, the Town of North Kingstown is seeking measures to cut costs. One such cost-cutting measure may be a radical restructuring of the North Kingstown Fire Department which would result in
According to Town Manager Michael Embury, the restructuring could lead to a savings in the neighborhood of $800,000 and $1.1 million. The idea for 24-hour-long shifts was brought up this past year during arbitration between the town and North Kingstown's fire union, Local 1651.
The new structure would move firefighters from working 10- and 14-hour shifts to 24-hour shifts (10-hour on-duty day shift followed by a 14-hour on-duty night tour) with the following 48 hours off, averaging a 56-hour work week. Though this would be 14 hours more a week than what NK firefighters currently work, there would be no extra compensation for those hours. The structural change would also reduce the number of platoons in the department from four to three. According to Embury, the department is short eight to nine members. Under the proposed structure, there would be no new hires, just "floaters" that would help reduce overtime.
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The proposed law is set for a public hearing before the North Kingstown Town Council on Jan. 9.