Representatives of the Decorah Fire Department are asking that the City of Decorah begin paying four firefighters for the work they do for the department.
The request involved the First Assistant Chief, the Second Assistant Chief, the Public Education Officer and the Training Officer. Fire Department officials are requesting $150 a year in pay for each of the first three positions and $750 a year in pay for the Training Officer. Those salaries would increase to $200 a year and $1,000 a year starting the second year.
Most of the discussion at a budget work session Wednesday night focused on the Training Officer position. The current training officer spends three to five hours a week for training. That time commitment has increased because the State of Iowa now requires volunteer fire fighters to receive a minimum of 24 hours of training per year.
City council member Randy Schissell questioned why the pay request wasn't included in the regular Fire Department budget request. He also commented "It looks like we're moving away from a volunteer department to a paid department."
City council members took no immediate action on the request, although they were expected to have to make a decision when preparing a tentative budget.