• firepost3

    Canada’s New Upper Class

    As stated in my last post I will deal with financial info, layout of shifts, new aerial, new station and status of halls.

    MACLEAN’S APRIL/15/2013




    LAWERENCE ROBERTSON – Fire Prevention Officer
    PAUL SORRELL – Training Officer


    Why? Because of the excessive amount of overtime. I personally feel they are abusing the system.

    That why my solution, has the part-time firefighters (volunteers) manning the hall during off-peak hours as suggested by the consultant.

    As Rick Honsberger stated: Part-time firefighters. Therefore why are we has a city paying $100’s thousands of overtime per year. When we have at the present time 110 part-time firefighters at our disposal and not once were they called in to cover a shift. Is that not the reason why all corporations(such as the City of Thorold) have part-time workers. So they don't have to pay over time.

    My solution will eliminate over-time 100%. Saving the taxpayers substantial amounts of monies. And provide the same if not better protection.

    My time-frame occurs over an 18 month period.

    And yes I realize the city has contract obligations. But all contracts do come to an end.

    Thorold 2012 Fire Budget 3.09 million. As per page 111 of the report 90% were for personnel salaries and related expenses.
    2.79 million went towards wages. With the part-time firefighters accounting for only app. $350,000. divided by 110. equates to $3,181,18 per man.

    The full-time accounting for $2,440,000.00. Divided by 20 equates to $122,000.00

    I would implement a plan as such.

    Using the recommendations as suggested by the consultant. Page 109 of the report. “ the department should investigate the option of a demand-based staffing system that can be based on a combination of 10 or 12 hour shifts ( as required) with the utilization of volunteers during the off hours”

    I in fact wanted to do this in 2009 but council turned down my idea down. As Rick Honsberger has said in one of his recent post. “ Tell the taxpayers how much the city spent on a labour lawyer” When I tried to stop the hiring of 3 full-time. The fact is years later, a consultant hired by the city has basically suggested the same as I did in 2009. And if council at the time would have supported me. The taxpayers would have saved over $2,000,000.

    From day 1 to day 182 we would begin to implement, plan and recruit available part-time firefighters to man Stn: 1

    Starting on Day 183. The full-time fire fighters would man the hall from 7am Mon to 11pm Fri. During the period of peak hours. Working 36-40 hr. shifts.

    Presently to man the hall during these hours with full time cost the taxpayer $12,512.64

    To man the hall with volunteers would cost the taxpayer $2140.80

    A difference of $ 10371.84 x 26 representing 6 months.

    A savings of $269,667.84 with no overtime. 2.6% of the tax base

    Now we would have at least 8 front line firefighters(full-time) on duty during peak hours where now we only have 4. Better protection by %100. during peak hours. And as far as contract obligations 4 or more would have to phone in sick to create overtime. And if so we have 110 part-time at our disposal.

    On day 365. The full-time fire-fighters would man the hall from Mon-Fri 7am-11pm. With the part-time covering 11pm till 7am Mon-Fri.

    Full-time wages $ 232,377.60 representing the 2nd 6 month plan Part-time wages $ 39,624.00

    A savings of $ 192,753.60 with no over time. 1.9% of the tax base

    On day 366. The full-time firefighters would man the hall Mon-Fri 7am-7pm during peak hours.

    Full-time wages representing the 3rd 6 month plan $116,188.80 Part-time wages $19,812.00

    A savings of $ 96,376.80 with no overtime. 1% of the tax base.

    Just the savings in overtime covers all, and would eliminate all but the chief from being on the sunshine list.


    So over a 18 month period. the taxpayer would see a savings of $558798.24. Which basically represents the amount of overtime wages paid buy the city during an 18-24 month period.

    I would also recommend not replacing any full-time fire fighters who may retire during this period.

    Realizing this post is lengthy. I will post tomorrow comments in regards to aerial, new station and status of halls. I appreciate your patience. For I have done extensive research and it takes time to formulate all stats


  1. Rick Honsberger says: September 3, 2014 at 6:24 pmReply

    Here we go again Jim, but you will not mislead the public. First of all the $100,000 club is public info so what. I will dispute your claim of averages, but you like to inflate your facts. Secondly false overtime is not the sole factor. In fact the base salary does. Thirdly as you stated in a previous post the fire prevention and training cover overtime wrong one shift has been worked by the FPO in 34yrs!!! Fourth point, you have to be a member of the union to work on shift, freely negotiated job protection clause with the city!! Fifth point we have a response problem with the part timers as reported by the chief. At last count approximately 80 of 110 work steady days they could not work night shifts. As for the rest some work shift work, therefore reducing the numbers further. Sixth point your average salary of $122,000 is such a blatantly false statement. We have 18 professional fire fighters. The salary is $84,469 for fire fighters THE LOWEST IN THE REGION NOT $122,000 as you state. Captains make $94-104,000 depending on experience, again freely negotiated. Not one Thorold Professional Fire Fighter has ever made a base salary of $122,000 as you falsely lead the public to believe. I am glad you recognize the need for 8 Professional Fire Fighters on day shift after all we do have a daytime problem. Jim you contradict yourself so often. You state you are not out to reduce full time in one post and want to the next. Which is it Mr. I am in a Union guy? Finally you compare Pelham to Thorold, now I must say I respect Pelham volunteers but this is the kind of service you endorse as equal or better. Today in Pelham smoke in the building. First pump on scene over 15 minutes, this will never happen in Thorold. Professional Fire Fighters in Thorold average 4-11 min to any response to the whole city.They had to page three times to get manpower to the Pelham call.23 minutes for next truck,27 minutes for second truck. Now I want to say I am sorry for having to prove this point. I do not want to drag Pelham into this, but you do. Interestingly enough one of our members lives in Pelham. He pays $3400 in taxes, and paid $2400 in Thorold, where was the better value for service.

  2. Jim Handley says: September 3, 2014 at 10:13 pmReply

    Rick, if my financial figures are so off. Please show me proof of your figures and source as I have. Area municipalities, Stats Canada & consultants report. All by the way are public records.
    Lastly my survey will uncover which volunteers are willing to man station #1 during the weekends over the course of Phase #1 of my first 6 month plan. FULL time Monday to Friday WEEKENDS Part Time firefighters of which 80-110 do not work weekends according to you.

  3. Rick Honsberger says: September 3, 2014 at 11:09 pmReply

    Jim you know full well your salary figures are false, your statement that we abuse overtime is malicious, and everything I said is in the contract between the city and the Professional Fire Fighters a public document available at city hall. Everything you say you will have to prove in good time. I know I can.

  4. Anon. says: September 4, 2014 at 2:57 pmReply

    Just a suggestion but, aren’t most if not all of the full time firefighters former Thorold volunteers? Why doesnt Thorold hire some more of them as union guys to elevate overtime? This way there is no union or contract issues…. My union just won a battle over another union filling my position. It’s illegal, won’t work. If you can’t cover shifts with regular time, I’m afraid you have a staffing issue.