Bradley County Fire and Rescue Chief Dewey Woody said Tuesday evening during a fire board meeting he was aware of the budget. However, he is faced with the possibility of losing up to eight paid firefighters who have applied to other departments.
Woody said the cost would be losing fire and rescue personnel with five or more years’ experience, knowledge and time. It takes up to four months to get a new individual on a truck. Most of the early training is done within the department at little cost. Costlier additional training is required after about two years.
The chief said two firefighters could be lost to Cleveland Fire Department which is expected to have two vacancies due to retirement.
He said moving to another department has nothing to do with job satisfaction. It all comes down to money. The pay disparity between the departments at the entry level is $10,000.
“We will survive regardless of what happens,” he said. “But, we can’t be a trainer for other departments.”
The fire board voted to recommend Bradley County commissioners approve a list of nine duties of the fire board members. The board approved a list of duties in August 2003, but it was never approved by the full Bradley County Commission.
Fire Board Chairman Terry McGuire said the list of duties was needed to formalize the board’s purpose and as guidance for new members.