Horry County Fire Rescue (HCFR) is hopeful 30 new recruits will alleviate a shortage of firefighters that dates to 2015. Hiring new firefighters to reduce overtime costs is not a new concept, however HCFR seems to be experiencing a chronic shortage of firefighters that dates back at least the last two years. In fact, the department has a mandatory overtime policy that requires firefighters to work overtime.
According to WMBF news:
“Mandatory overtime is a department policy that was put in place in January 2015, HCFR spokesman Capt. Mark Nugent said. Since then, it’s never stopped. However, it’s not used unless there’s a need to fill a shift vacancy.”
While many firefighters welcome a little overtime from time to time, according to some HCFR firefighters the mandatory overtime is “wearing them out when they can’t prepare for the toll of working an extra shift.”
According to Capt. Nugent the department is working to reduce the amount of mandatory overtime and limits the maximum amount of overtime a firefighter can work. Firefighters are limited to a maximum 96 hours of overtime every 28-day work period.
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