Petal approves new pay rate for fire department


Petal’s upcoming budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year features some good news for the Petal Fire Department, with a new pay scale that gives certain positions an approximate 3 percent pay raise.

At the request of Fire Chief Joe Hendry, the Petal Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to adopt the new pay scale, which took effect Wednesday.

“In last year’s budget, the board had agreed to give raises to firefighters at the lower end of the scale – the guys who are not ranking members, just starting out,” Mayor Hal Marx said. “So this year, to get the scale back in line … (Hendry) wanted to bump up the leadership scale a little bit.

“So we did that, and now we feel like we’ve got a good overall scale, from the newest rookie firefighters all the way to the fire chief. The scale works a lot better that way.”

The new pay scale includes $52,500 annually for the fire chief, $49,410 for the assistant chief, $16.03 per hr. for battalion chief, $42,000 annually for captain, $13.89 per hr. for lieutenant, $13.18 per hr. for engineer, $12.64 per hr. for fireman 1st class, $11.75 per hr. for fireman 2nd class, $11.04 per hr. for fireman 3rd class, $10.15 per hour for recruit, $14.15 per hr. for 1st class dispatch and $13.46 for administrative assistant.

“We were pleased to be able to do it,” Marx said. “Our pub-

lic safety workers – whether it be police or fire – we wish that we could pay all of them a lot more, but we have to work within the confines of the budget and what we have available.”

“The police received a raise last year. We weren’t able to do that this year, but we hope to be able to give them another raise next year.”