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New language approved about supervision of city fire engineers

Posted: Mon, Oct 2, 2017 7:17 PM

The Decorah City Council has approved revisions in city ordinances that cover the supervision of fire engineers.

On a 6-1 vote, with council member Chuck Lore voting against, the city council approved language appointing the City Administrator as supervisor of the three fire engineers.  The Fire Chief will supervise all volunteer firefighters and will make recommendations to the city council about needed equipment.

Lore asked City Attorney Rick Zahasky questions about whether the three fire engineers would be considered members of the city employee union and was told they are in a union-covered position.  Zahasky said only if the fire engineers themselves requested a vote on becoming non-union could the position change.  Lore also asked why the fire engineers can't work as volunteer firefighters on their off  days, but City Administrator Chad Bird said having them do that would expose the city to "excessive liability" if they served on a volunteer basis, noting there's a difference between someone who's a volunteer only and someone who's an employee and volunteer.