“As of mid-August, MFR has spent $2.2 million on overtime. That amounts to $2,079,470 more than expected, or 1,411 percent over budget,” the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
Apparently a multiyear worker shortage is the culprit, leaving the current staff working extra, overtime hours due to so-called minimum manning requirements, which should be four workers on pumping-hose trucks, four on ladder trucks and two on medical calls according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to have firefighters in place,” Mayor Todd Strange told the Advertiser. “You can’t understaff.”
But MFR going over budget is nothing new. In 2017, the department exceeded its overtime budget by a cool $2 million. However, in 2018, MFR is expected to surpass that number by $500,000.
MFR officials hope to up their up their recruiting numbers in the future, help ease the burden of current firefighters.
“We’re hiring! Take the 1st. step to an exciting and rewarding career with Montgomery Fire/Rescue by applying NOW at jobaps.com/mgm,” MFR posted on Facebook last month.