Background:

With the increased training requirements and responsibility of our Volunteer Fire Department, the department has been noticing a decline in enrollment in the past 5 years. Knowing that volunteers are not stepping forward to undertake the required duties, the department conducted a survey of its members to determine if financial compensation would increase the commitment to the department.

The following is a summary of the survey (full survey available at www.porthardy.ca or at Municipal Hall).
  • 18/28 64% Fire Department Members took the survey.
  •  Most of the respondents want to see some form of compensation, however there was some dissatisfaction with the rate being presented at $10.00 as it was below minimum wage.
  • The respondents favoured a paid-on-call system for the benefit of their families including being able to pay for a baby sitter and/or recreation.
  • 72% of the respondents said that their commitment would be increased with financial compensation.
  • 82% said that paid-on-call was important for Council to consider, yet the bonus system as presented was not favorably received as only a handful of officers would benefit.
  • The advantages of a paid-on-call system included recruitment, attendance and appreciation.
  • 23.53% of respondents noted a disadvantage to the paid-on-call system is discrepancy in pay. While 64% saw no disadvantages.
  • Annual compensation was tied between $1,000 and $5,000 per member.

Council reviewed the survey and determined that there are many different compensation scenarios that could be considered, and Council wanted to conduct a survey of its taxpayers to understand the level of compensation that the Council should be considering in its annual budget.

The Current operational budget for the Fire Department is $217,446.00 (2017), compensation would be over and above that amount. 

 

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