Brookfield trustees have endorsed Fire Chief David Masirovits’ plan to attract and retain firefighters and emergency medical personnel by raising the pay for part-time employees, and allowing the occasional scheduling of employees who are not certified to fight fires.

Beginning Aug. 1, the pay rates for part-time firefighters and paramedics was set at $17 an hour (up from $15) and the pay for part-time firefighters and emergency medical technicians was set at $15 an hour (up from $13.)

The old rates had been established July 1, 2022.

“This will temporarily probably put us in the top four in the county,” Masirovits said of part-time wages.

“Those are still low rates,” said Trustee Mark Ferrara. “Those are not excessive rates.”

The township also will begin to hire paramedics who are not firefighters at $15 an hour, and emergency medical technicians at $13 an hour. Masirovits sought to hire these workers to fill out shifts, especially when only two guys are working. The plan is to have one non-firefighter working to staff the ambulance, which has a complement of two, allowing a certified firefighter to be at the station to respond to fires, vehicle crashes or other calls.

The department is supposed to have five people on duty to work every 24-hour shift, but part-time employees to fill out shifts have been hard to come by. In June, Station 51 on Addison Road was closed 53 out of 60 shifts, meaning there was not enough personnel to open it and the main Station 18 on Route 7. When staffing is short, all employees work from Station 18.

The trustees also allowed the chief to spend $2,560 to buy eight sets of EMS safety gear from Blue Line LTD for non-firefighter personnel, and $1,150 to buy five safety helmets from Heiman Fire Equipment for them. These employees will not fight fires and will respond to fire calls only to handle medical issues, Masirovits said.

“We really do appreciate you trying to find ways to keep our numbers up, staffing, because I think it’s critical,” Trustee Dan Suttles said to Masirovits. “You’re going beyond the call.”