HFD could see pay scale changes

HFD could see pay scale changes
Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker and members of his administration are rolling out a pay scale alignment for the Hattiesburg Fire Department. (Photo source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker and members of his administration are rolling out a pay scale alignment for the Hattiesburg Fire Department.

It's one way that city leaders are hoping will continue to grow the numbers when it comes to manpower inside the department.

"As we have listened to both of our public safety departments, whether it be police or fire, one thing that you heard that there was really no sort of career ladder," said Barker.

The city recently implemented a pay scale change for the police department.

"Same thing here with the fire, what we're trying to do is create a similar system as we did for the police department, which gives firemen predictability in terms of where they can go in terms of rank structure, where they can go in terms of salary," Barker said. "It rewards educational attainment, but ultimately, this is going to be a valuable recruitment tool for the Hattiesburg Fire Department."

He said structure is one thing that will help the department when it comes to a pay scale and giving the employees a plan to grow.

"It gives them predictability, so when a fireman starts with our department, coming right out of the training academy, they know where they will start," said Barker. "We believe it will keep our best and brightest in the fire department for years to come."

Barker said he plans to present he pay scale alignment Tuesday Feb. 20th at the city council meeting.

"One procedure we often use is that when we're bringing a new policy proposal forward, we bring it to the council and then let it lay over for at least two weeks," said Barker. "That way if anyone has input on it, if a council member wants to make changes, it's there, and by properly vetting things on the front end it keeps us from making mistakes on the back end."