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June 29. 2014 10:25PM

Chief: Fire marshal job a cost-saver

MANCHESTER — Aldermen are set to hear a request Tuesday night to create a new fire marshal’s position for the Manchester Fire Department, a move that could save the city more than $60,000.

Manchester Fire Chief James Burkush pitched the proposal to the city’s Human Resources and Insurance Committee last month. In a memo to Human Resources Committee Chairman William Shea, Burkush wrote that the May 30 retirement of Manchester District Fire Chief Edward O’Reilly offers an opportunity to reorganize the division.

O’Reilly heads up the city’s Fire Prevention Bureau. Burkush requested an assessment to determine whether the job required someone in a district fire chief level position at pay grade 25, or if it could be filled by another grade position.

According to Jane Gile, the city’s human resources director, her department evaluated the position of fire prevention chief. The position was originally developed through the city’s Yarger Decker pay scale, according to Gile, but never evaluated or scored to determine the appropriate salary grade.

Gile and the HR department updated the position’s specifications, giving consideration to additional responsibilities not anticipated when the slot was created, such as participating in fire prevention inspections and fire investigations. Burkush said the new specifications reflect the duties of the position.

Burkush has requested that the title of the position be changed to city fire marshal to reflect the responsibility of the job holder during fire origin investigations, and to “elevate the status of the position with the public and other agencies.”

Gile said the new position is scored by Yarger Decker as a grade 23. According to Burkush, if the proposal is approved, the number of uniformed personnel in that division would remain at four, with an anticipated savings of $62,319.60. That amount is included in the fire department’s fiscal year 2015 budget request.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen gets underway at 7:30 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers on the third floor of City Hall.

pfeely@unionleader.com


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