Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Oak Forest City Council voted to raise the rate for part-time firefighters and paramedics from $13 per shift hour to $20, which Fire Chief Patrick Duffy said is the same as what neighboring Midlothian and nearby Homewood pay, and is similar to rates offered in Country Club Hills ($19 per shift hour) and Flossmoor ($21).

Oak Forest has used part-time firefighters to supplement their staff since 2009. The department has had trouble attracting sufficient numbers of part-time people to work, and has had to use career staff to fill shifts that were intended for part-time firefighters, which winds up costing the city more money.

Boosting the part-time pay rate may help the Oak Forest find more people to fill the slots – which involve having people work 12-hour shifts at a time. Currently, the department has seven people working part-time slots. Oak Forest is likely to undertake a new effort via social media to recruit people for the part-time slots they wish to fill.

The fire department has problems retaining part-time firefighters because the qualifications for the job are the same as that of full-time firefighters, which means that other cities often hire away part-timers for full-time jobs when they have vacancies. During the past 90 days, Oak Forest several part-timers have quit to take jobs elsewhere.

thanks Dennis

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