Medina told it’s violating Civil Service rules with extended temporary firefighters

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The Village Board has been told it has violated Civil Service rules by having temporary paid firefighters for an extended period.

Jack Welch, the Orleans County director of personnel, advised the Village Board members last week that the village needs to address the situation.

The village created a temporary paid firefighter position 18 months ago. It was first created for a year and then was extended another six months. The Village Board created a second temporary paid position about six months ago.

Fire Chief Todd Zinkievich asked the Village Board tonight to make the two positions permanent. He estimated the two positions, as permanent full-time jobs, would cost about $4,000 to $4,500 more each annually than the temporary positions. That doesn’t include health insurance costs.

Zinkievich said the two positions have helped reduce overall overtime costs for the department, and also allows the department to answer nearly every call on a speedy basis. He said revenue increases in the ambulance service – higher mileage reimbursement rates and increased out-of-district charges – should more than cover the added expense for the two full-time permanent positions.

Village Trustee Marguerite Sherman said the board would likely request a little more time from Welch to resolve the issue. The board briefly discussed the matter during its meeting tonight, before going into executive session behind closed doors.

Zinkievich urged the board to reach a decision soon.

“We need to have serious dialogue,” he said. “We can’t let this drag out.”

The fire chief said the union for firefighters is willing to make concessions in its new contract if the village would make the two positions permanent.

Zinkievich also reported that firefighter Ashton Lang passed the test to serve as a paramedic.

“We have another paramedic on staff so that is excellent,” Zinkievich said.