Three members of the Brazil City Fire Department will soon rise to officer status, Chief Tobey Archer announced last Thursday.
The Brazil Board of Works voted last Thursday to replace the department's vacant office of assistant chief with three new leadership positions. The new offices-- a captain and two lieutenants-- will likely be filled by the end of next week, Archer said.
The department had previously staffed four officers: chief (Archer), two assistant chiefs (Jake Bennett and James Smith) and a captain (Joe Bennett).
When Smith resigned his office late last year (he is still a member of the department), Archer opted to create additional positions rather than fill the vacancy.
"Instead of paying somebody officer's compensation, I think they should be given a position down there, because they definitely do a good job," he said.
A captain in the Brazil Fire Department earns $1,200 a year in addition to their regular pay. Archer said compensation for the lower-ranking lieutenant positions has not yet been determined. Though the additional compensation paid to the three new officers will exceed the $1,900 the assistant chief earned, Archer said the move will ultimately save the department money.
The law requires an officer be on duty at the firehouse for every shift. When an officer is not present, the senior firefighter on duty receives a greater rate of pay-- called officer's compensation-- to assume those responsibilities.
"It's really become a notable cost for the department," Archer said. "Basically (the new offices) are to ensure an officer is always on staff, for scheduling purposes."