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Hiring More Firefighters Not Always the Best Answer to Excess OT [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Mar 14, 2016 11:58:22 AM

When fire departments are overworked, the amount of money they have to allocate for overtime payments can reach impressive levels. At first glance, it may appear that the department in question is simply understaffed. But hiring additional firefighters isn't always the best answer.

For instance, in the Columbus, Ohio fire department, overtime payments reached $8.6 million in 2015, with some firefighters earning 30 percent more than their base pay.

Though Fire Chief Kevin O'Connor acknowledged that this was the result of an understaffed department, he told the Columbus Dispatch that hiring additional firefighters would cost even more due to insurance and benefits.

To control overtime costs, it helps to use workforce management software so that existing resources can be easily and quickly leveraged. Add to that the ability to use historical data to analyze workloads and better schedules can be planned for in advance.

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more about how technology can be used to improve management of the public safety workforce.

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About Orion Communications

As workforce management and data interface experts, Orion Communications is a leading provider of public safety workforce management software.  Orion’s AgencyWeb® software helps agencies simplify complex workforce management processes and reduce labor cost. Orion has been serving the public safety industry since 1998 and is a certified women-owned business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

For more information, please contact Jackie Belasky at 214-361-1203, #2413 or