The Board of Commissioners voted last Tuesday to award a pay increase for the field operators of Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services.
“It was good to see the Board of Commissioners supporting the public safety and the fire department,” said Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson. “We’ve always had a good, strong working relationship with this Board,” he added.
The pay increase comes on the heels of an emotional presentation to the Board of Commissioners June 20 work session, in which Thompson emphasized the struggles of maintaining his staff while not being able to offer them competitive pay.
In this presentation, Thompson revealed that in the past year, the department has received fewer than six applications for the firefighter/paramedic positions, while during the same timespan losing 12 employees to other counties or hospitals.
Of those few applications, the department was able to hire two employees. Two more were offered a job, but turned it down.
“Hopefully (this pay increase) will enable us to be able to retain the personnel that we have, and to be able to, in the long term, begin to recruit personnel,” said Thompson. “It was good to see the Board of Commissioners supporting the public safety and the fire department. We’ve always had a good, strong working relationship with this Board,” he added.
“We were very pleased with the amount of support that we received from the citizens of Dawson County,” Thompson emphasized. “It means a lot. The men and women come to work every day and sometimes they’re not always told they’re doing a good job. But after my presentation (at the previous BOC working session) leading up to the vote, we had a lot of community support, and that really keeps the men and women wanting to come to work every day.”