Parkersburg Fire Dept. seeks payment for damages from city
The case involving the Parkersburg Fire Department seeking payment for damages from inadequate holiday pay is continuing.
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - After the December ruling in favor of the firefighters being paid incorrectly by Wood County Circuit Judge J.D. Beane, the fire department is looking to receive money for damages.
Before the ruling, firefighters were not paid time-and-a-half for holiday pay — or 36 hours. The city is looking to strike a motion of the exact amount the firefighters are looking to be owed according to the “Griffith Report.” This report by accountant, Roger Griffith shows the exact amount the firefighters are owed since 2015 according to the fire department’s attorney, Joshua Miller.
Miller said a win for the damages case and getting adequate pay will help ease the burden for firefighters. It will also help to recruit more firefighters for the station.
“So, recruiting and retention is the key to any fire department. You have to keep your experienced firefighters and you have to recruit new ones. And the way to do that is to compensate your firefighters the way that the West Virginia state code says you’re supposed to. And the West Virginia state code here says as a firefighter, for each holiday, you should get 24 hours of pay or 24 hours of P.T.O. And if it’s pay, actual pay and not time off, it’s got to be paid at time-and-a-half,” Miller said. “And that is what the reason for that statute is to help recruit and retain firefighters across the state of West Virginia.”
The International Association of Firefighters Local 91 president and Parkersburg firefighter, Brandon Brown said there needs to be at least 16 firefighters on call for a firefighter to have their P.T.O. approved. Brown added there is a lack of time this can be accomplished due to the shortage of firefighters.
The next hearing for this case will be on October 6th. Miller said he expects to see the Griffith report used by this time.
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