Concerned citizens: "County pays too much in overtime." - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Concerned citizens: "County pays too much in overtime."

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Some concerned citizens there say Wilcox County is paying way too much in overtime for EMTs and Paramedic workers.

First responders say changing the way the ambulance service works is a bad idea.

Wilcox County spends roughly $460,000 per year to pay 6 EMT's, a director and a clerk, a total of eight people.

"I read an audit report for 2008 and it set off red flags, 48 percent of the paramedics salary is overtime," said Carlton Fisher, Assn. of Concerned Citizens for Better Government.

Fisher is a part of a newly formed group, the Association of Concerned Citizens for better government.

"There is one commissioner that has advanced privatizing the system as a way to avoid overtime," said Fisher.

The group is working on their own ideas on ways to cut costs.

"Our beef is not with the EMS or EMT's, our beef is with the commission and the excessive overtime," said Fisher

For the last three months of 2009 one worker had as much as 100 hours of overtime totaling more than $2,200.

The Rochelle volunteer fire department doesn't want to see any emergency service cut.

"With the economy, everyone is looking at budget cuts, but when it comes to saving a child's life we need to make a decision, which is more important," said Wayne McGuintyRochelle Volunteer Fire Dept. Asst. Chief.

The citizens group doesn't want a service reduction; their plan adds two more medics and supports putting the director in the rotation to cut costs.

"I would hope they would put our director in the rotation that'll save 2,000 hours of overtime and $45,000 per year," said Fisher.

Fisher said the plan would save Wilcox County more than $109,000 thousand dollars each year.

The county commission chair told us they are aware of the problem but don't want to cut services.

The Association of Concerned Citizens for Better Government plans to share their ideas at the next commission meeting.

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