Press-Republican

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November 19, 2013

911 overtime surpasses budget

MALONE — Specialized training and no Civil Service list to hire from has pushed Franklin County Emergency Services’ overtime expenses over budget by $15,000 to $20,000.

The county is under budget across the board, so money will be transferred from the general fund to make up the loss.

“We’re trying to limit the damage as much as possible, but we’ll be over by a fairly big amount,” Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost recently told legislators.

He said the added expenses are related to the extra training dispatchers needed following the installation of new communications equipment this year and because he had to use per-diem employees more often during that period.

NEED TRAINING

But even finding enough per-diems was tough because, since Jan. 1, there has been no active Civil Service list from which to recruit them.

Provost has two people in training for per-diem jobs now, and two more will start immediate training in January.

“There was a long period when we could not hire anybody,” he said.

“We can’t get them trained fast enough,” he said, adding that one person was in the 11th week of the 12-week training course and abruptly quit.

Other trained per diems leave to take full-time jobs rather than wait for a full-time dispatching job to open up.

“It’s a Catch-22 right now,” he said.

CPR TRAINING

The director also said his staff accrued overtime while conducting 14 training sessions for county employees and residents to learn cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“That is 140-plus people in the county trained that would have cost about $2,000,” Provost said, adding that the only other place for such training is at Alice Hyde Medical Center, and it costs $40 per person. 

Communications Specialist Sandi Dunn is conducting two CPR sessions this week for county and town highway departments.

With about six weeks left in 2013, County Manager Thomas Leitz said, the county is projected to be about $600,000 under budget at the end of the year, so the cost overrun in Emergency Services can be absorbed.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com

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