This Thursday, October 12, 2023, the Madison Township Board will be voting on the 2024 budget I have proposed for the Madison Township Fire Department (MTFD). There are items in the budget that I would like to highlight for taxpayers, so you have an understanding of the issues that face your fire department.
I have four goals I want to achieve with these specific line items in the budget:
- IMPROVING THE BENEFITS OFFERED TO EMPLOYEES
- STABILIZING OUR EMS DELIVERY SYSTEM
- STREAMLINING ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES
- IMPROVING OUR REPORTING AND COMMUNICATIONS OPERATIONS
Each of these line items have been proposed to have a budget increase. It is important that you know that the funds for these increases would be paid for with the funding the State of Indiana has given us based on the growth of Madison Township. (Did you know that our net accessed evaluation for Madison Township has grown a projected 39% during the years of 2022-2024?)
Line Item: Health Insurance
In my opinion, our department has an unacceptably high turnover rate. A major reason for that is that we do not offer health insurance for full-time employees. I want MTFD to be a place that people want to work. By contributing to each full-time employee’s health insurance, I believe we will not only be doing the right thing for our crew, but also, the necessary thing to encourage employee retention. High turnover increases costs to taxpayers due to frequently having another new hiring process, sending new hires to department physicals, and overtime costs to replace the vacant position.
Line Item: Salaries and Wages
We must stabilize our EMS delivery system in order to best serve our Township. As an Advanced Life Support provider, we currently we do not have enough full-time paramedics to provide the required level of service 24 hours a day. My budget adds one full-time paramedic. Without this addition, Madison Township could lose this service.
Line Item: Chief
Since the Fire Chief position is returning to part-time status, the Trustee and I believe that it will be for the betterment of the department to go back to the three-Chief system (Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief). This will help in several areas including run-string responses and streamlining the administrative duties of the department. Once approved, we will create the new department organizational chart outlining the new responsibilities.
Line Item: Software Subscriptions
The reason for this line items is for us to provide for software programs that are critical to the reporting and communications operation of the department. Included in this line item are all fire reporting, run responses, inspections, scheduling, and asset management. This will allow us to be compliant with state reporting requirements, and provide better data to apply for and track grants. (Did you see our post the other day about our FEMA grant? – Check it out on our Facebook page!)
As always, I want to work in an inclusive and transparent environment. It you have any questions, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.