RUTLAND CITY—On Aug. 2, the Rutland City Board of Aldermen signed off on Fire Chief Bill Lovett’s request to raise the rate of pay for fire department officers on private duty.
In addition to providing taxpayer-funded services to Rutland City residents, the fire department can be contracted by private companies and organizations. Lovett named Green Mountain Power and the Vermont State Fair as two such customers. Traditionally, for private duty of this kind, the firefighters receive wages equivalent to their hourly overtime rate.
According to Lovett, however, overtime pay has gone up since the city last approved a private duty rate increase for officers in 2017. He asked the Board of Aldermen to equalize the rates by raising private duty pay to $60 per hour for deputy chiefs and $55 for lieutenants. The rest of the city’s firefighters will continue to receive $40 per hour for private duty, the rate negotiated by their union during collective bargaining.
The board unanimously approved Lovett’s proposal. The private entities that hire Rutland City’s fire department, not taxpayers, will bear the increased labor cost.