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Morning Sun
  • Girard to seek new fire chief

  • The Girard City Council will be advertising for a new fire chief after agreeing to recommendations made by a fire department review committee formed after the termination of previous fire chief Dustin Johnson.

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  • The Girard City Council will be advertising for a new fire chief after agreeing to recommendations made by a fire department review committee formed after the termination of previous fire chief Dustin Johnson.
    Joey Adams, spokesman for the committee, gave the committee report during the Monday night council meeting
    Adams said that Girard Mayor Maurice Harley had given the committee only two requirements.
    The group was not to make any recommendations that would negatively impact public safety or the community’s ISO rating.
    The committee surveyed other area communities of similar size to Girard regarding whether or not their fire departments had a full-time chief, how many full-time employees they had, how many volunteers, scheduling, the number and type of fire fighting equipment and the ISO ratings.
    “Our recommendation is that a full-time fire chief be hired, with three other employees for a total of four full-time employees, with no more than five part-time employees,” Adams said. “No change is recommended in scheduling because it’s adequate the way it is.”
    The committee also recommended that the role of firefighters as medical first responders be maintained with the necessary training, and that the new fire chief be a member of the Southeast Kansas Fire Chiefs Association.
    Gary Emry, city administrator, said that he had prepared a fire chief employment ad with an updated job description.
    “I’ll run it in the State Fire Chiefs Association and League of Municipalities for three weeks,” he said.
    Emry also said that he had prepared the final budget draft.
    “The mill levy is lower than last year, which is always good news,” he said.
    However, the cost of  Blue Cross and Blue Shield premiums for city employees is up from 8.58% for an employee to 9.80% for an employee with children.
    “I had a conversation with our provider today that this will be shopped next year,” Emry said. “Some cities self-insure and there are state pools. Four to six months from the renewal date we need to start looking.”
    The final budget draft will be published and hearing for the purpose of public questions and comment will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 13.
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