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Cuts possible for Easthampton Fire Department’s overtime costs

To the editor:

The Easthampton Fire Department chief is requesting $17,000 per month to cover coming overtime costs. He notes that the department is allowed to fill slots on shifts in need of manpower with call firefighters, who are paid $12 per hour, but there aren’t any left.

Vacated slots on shifts must be filled with full-time regulars at time-and-a-half. The answer should be obvious to councilors and the mayor.

I’d bet Southampton firefighters would be willing to sign on here and be available for call work, as needed, on shifts running shorthanded.

With a continual refurbishment of the call force, the yearly overtime costs could be reduced by two-thirds.

Rebecca Reid

Easthampton

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