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Baltimore Fire relies heavily on overtime to fill shortages

March 19, 2019

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore City Fire Department says it relies on employees working overtime to cover nearly a third of its firefighter and medic shifts.

Department spokeswoman Blair Adams tells The Baltimore Sun that the department has already used its $11.2 million overtime budget for this fiscal year, which has several months left.

The department overspent on overtime by more than $8 million last year. Fire Chief Niles Ford has said department’s payment system is faulty and has been miscalculating overtime pay since at least 2017. He said last month that it still wasn’t fixed.

Adams says the department also is relying on firefighters or medics to sometimes work one shift right after another.

She says the staffing shortage is due to several factors, including employees on medical, military or disciplinary leave.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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