I am not opposed to different city departments cross training. I have often said that cross training between two departments would be beneficial to taxpayers;
With the increased workload, Public Works has put out the call for additional assistance. One who answered that call is Sioux Falls Master Firefighter Tim Schons.
“We received notice from Public Works that they were in need of individuals to help out their crews, just man-power wise,” Schons said. He chose to sign up to lend a hand.
Besides the obvious question, ‘If a firefighter has time to fill potholes you wonder if they have enough to do?’ OR ‘Why haven’t we been using the fire department for extra street work to begin with?’
But what I found interesting is this;
The main reason for Schons’ decision to sign up was a feeling of civic duty. “We are paid of course for working, but it is volunteer,” he said. “Public Works and the rest of the entities in the city help us during emergencies — well now they are in need of help and this gives us the opportunity to kind of return the favor — the ultimate goal is to help out the citizens.”
Yes they are, if you look at the city salary data for 2023 you will see that temporary service employees for the street department make around $20 an hour which is decent pay if you are pulling 40 hours a week. Mr. Schon makes around $75K a year which equals about $36 a hour. If I were Mr. Schon I wouldn’t mention that to the other guys at coffee break.
I also wonder what the Firefighters Union thinks of this?
Maybe the city should recruit some engineers to fill potholes, I heard they are not really busy these days.