Perkins fire Chief Keith Wohlever said the increase came because:
• Part-time Perkins firefighters are among the lowest-paid professionals, compared to other area departments.
• There’s an increased demand for training and certifications.
• It will help Perkins officials maintain a group of highly trained and motivated employees.
The township employs 23 part-time firefighters, who all stand to receive a raise. “I didn’t realize it had been six years,” Wohlever said.
The most recent pay increase for part-time firefighters was in April 2007. “We just had to stay competitive with everyone else,” Wohlever said. “We decided it was time to get those salaries up to where they needed to be.”
Wohlever said he’s not waiting another six years to increase part-timers’ salaries. In fact, another pay bump could come within a year.
“If I can figure out a way to bring it up again, I will bring it up,” he said.
Perkins fire operates on a budget of about $2.6 million a year, funded through a separate levy.
Part-time salaries account for about 6 percent of the budget, equating to $168,000 yearly.