Malden, MO fire department sees pay cuts

Malden, MO fire department sees pay cuts

MALDEN, MO (KFVS) - The Malden City Council voted to change the number of hours the four full-time firefighters work.

In the past, Malden Fire Chief Charlie Cooper said the full time firefighters worked 45.5 hours a week.

The city wants them to cut back to only 40 hours, which according to Cooper will mean a decrease in pay.

According to Malden City Administrator Ted Bellers, that change will add up to $26,000. That money will be used to put toward extra firefighting training.

Cooper said while the training is important, it is not necessarily essential, especially if the city can't afford it.

"We had to take an hourly cut as far as I know in order to balance the budget to afford the training. I think all firefighters should do it if they could, of course, there again only if you can afford it," Cooper said.

Cooper also said one solution to make this pay cut work would be to man only a single station instead of two.

According to city council member Jimmy Garris, who voted against the budget change, using only one station could mean slower response times to fires or other emergencies.

"We're talking about four people to keep two stations open, and we're still going to have four people, but they're going to a 40 hour work week and you can't keep them open. It's impossible. And if you don't have anyone to man that truck and you have a fire, you're in trouble," Garris said.

It is yet to be determined whether one of the stations will actually close.

Garris said the fire department was the only city office that saw a budget cut.

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