Progress made on overtime

Vernon’s fire department is hoping to reduce the impact of overtime costs on taxpayers

Vernon’s fire department is hoping to reduce the impact of overtime costs on taxpayers.

Net overtime costs between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7 are $196,912.

“We’ve had some significant extraordinary events,” said fire chief Keith Green referring to two fires at the Greater Vernon landfill as well as incidents involving emergency management.

Of the $196,912, $49,336 can be recovered from other agencies. Of that, $32,280 is related to the landfill fires and those costs will be invoiced to the Regional District of North Okanagan.

“We’re able to bill for our services where we weren’t before,” said Green.

If those funds are recovered, the net overtime costs for the department from Jan. 1 to Sept. 7 will be $147,576.

Overtime costs have also been impacted by other factors, including two homes burning down at the same time, and six statutory holidays so far in 2013.

Green says his staff have taken the issue of reducing overtime seriously.

“Our guys have done a tremendous job at covering shifts,” he said.

In 2012, the department had overtime costs of $313,082, with $39,147 of those being recoverable.