The West Baton Rouge Parish council approved a measure on July 24 finalizing the job classifications and pay grades for the parish fire district.
The original measure the council approved on May 8, prior to the consolidation of the fire district, contained two job classifications which Parish Fire Chief Charles Stephens recommended either renaming or eliminating based on conversations with the Office of State Examiner.
The job classifications and pay grades are as follows:
*Fire Fighter - 110
*Fire Fighter Operator - 112
*Captain - 117
*District Fire Chief - 119
*Assistant Chief WBR Parish - 122
*Fire Chief WBR Parish - 124
The job classification of “Lieutenant,” as it appeared in the May 8 measure, was eliminated. “Captain” appeared in the May 8 measure as “Battalion Chief.”
District Fire Chiefs are the new names for city and town chiefs, officials confirmed.
In related news, Brusly Assistant Fire Chief Kenny Hunt was named Assistant Chief for the parish, Parish President Riley “Pee Wee” Berthelot said. Hunt was one of four local applicants who were interviewed for the Parish Fire Chief position early this year.
On April 24, the parish council was slated to consider whether or not to add the position of Assistant Fire Chief to the city’s books.
That position was introduced that day as part of the aforementioned measure, which was then approved on May 8. The measure is formally known as Ordinance No. 23 of 2014, an amendment to Ordinance No. 3 of 2014, the ordinance consolidating the parish’s six fire protection sub-districts by July 1.
According to Ordinance No. 3, “The Fire Chief shall have the authority to hire, discipline, and dismiss all employees of West Baton Rouge Parish Fire District No. 1 subject to the budgetary authority of the Parish Council.”
Berthelot explained that Stephens simply chose Hunt and that Berthelot agreed with the decision.
However, once the parish council selects three members to serve on the Fire Civil Service Board, and after that system is in place, “the Fire Chief’s authority shall also be subject to Civil Service rules and procedures,” the ordinance states.
The parish fire district does not yet have a civil service system in place.