Looking forward to getting past a budget crisis, the Red River Parish Fire Department has cut salaries, received rebates from the former payroll management firm, and make other budget reductions. That is the report from Fire Board President Shawn Beard to the Red River Parish Police Jury on Wednesday.
Since the new Fire Department Board took over earlier this year, Beard said they have made changes to the department pay scale. Beard said, The firefighters took a 23% pay cut and we have lost none of them. They understood that we had no choice but to make cuts.”
Each month the Fire Department reports to the Police Jury on their financial situation. Beard reported that they have received a $35,000 rebate from PMI, the department’s former payroll management firm. Beard said they also got a $35,000 rebate from LWCC.
Another move the Fire Board made was to terminate three civil service positions: Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and Secretary. Beard explained that removing those jobs from the civil service system would give the Fire Board more flexibility in hiring and getting those positions out of the state firefighters retirement system, which would save the department some money. Beard said they will hire a part time chief instead of hiring a full time chief. A committee is currently writing a job description for the part time chief.
Looking to the future, Beard said, “It has projected us to possibly start building us a little surplus. We may have about $200,000 by the end of the year and we have the first January pay checks covered.”
The Fire Department Board will meet next Monday, April 12th at 10:00 am at the fire station. It is a public meeting and anyone interested may attend. The meeting will be streamed live on The Journal’s Facebook page.