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All firefighters should get differential pay

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Guam Fire Department testified in support of legislation that would give 15% differential pay to airport firefighters if they receive emergency Medical Technician Basic certifications. Speaking on behalf of Acting Fire Chief John Salas during today's hearing was Captain Darren Burrier, who said the bill should include the following amendments.

He said, "GFD recommends that the bill be amended to include all other firefighters within in the Guam Fire Department with the same restrictions applied in this bill we further recommend that the 15% be reduced to 10%, so as to differentiate the compensation for those who treat patients as opposed to those who provide continuous treatment transportation to a medical facility. Lastly, an alternative to bill 4-31 would be to include all EMT work as part of the hazardous pay compensation presently in existence; in doing this personnel at the Department of Corrections who are EMT-b certified and doing EMT-b work through the treatment of persons and prisoners and students will also be covered."

Currently only firefighters who work on the ambulance are getting the 15% differential pay despite the fact that firefighters on the truck are the initial responders to any scene providing care until a medic arrives. We should also note the bill would only allow airport fighters to receive the 15% if they are actually performing EMT-b work.

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