By Jordan Gerard

Editor, The Caledonia Argus

In an effort to keep more members on Brownsville’s Fire and Rescue crew, the Brownsville City Council accepted a proposal from the department that will protect employees on both ends. 

The proposal was accepted by the Brownsville City Council at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The proposal states, “If a city employee joins the Fire and Rescue Department they will be allowed to leave work to respond to a medical or fire call. They will continue to be paid for the first hour of their response. After 1 hour the employee has the ability to either 1) make up the lost time by working extra hours. 2) use PTO to cover the lost hours. 3) take the lost time as unpaid time.

In order for a city employee on the Fire & Rescue Department to be eligible for this policy they must meet a few minimum requirements. Requirement 1) In the first two years of service an EMS license must be obtained.

Requirement 2) The EMS license must remain valid. Requirement 3) All minimum requirements of the Fire & Rescue training/call response policies must be met and the employee/member must be in “good standing”.

Example 1: City employee leaves to respond to a medical call at 9:27 am.

The call is over and the employee returns to work at 10:12 am. No action is needed to make up time because the time spent on the call is less than 1 hour.

Example 2: City employee leaves to respond to a medical call at 9:27 am. The call is over and the employee returns to work at 11:10 am. The employee may work 43 extra minutes during the pay period to make up the lost time.

Example 3: City employee leaves to respond to a fire call at 9:27 am. The call is over and the employee returns to work at 2:00 pm. The city employee can use 3.5 hours of PTO to cover the lost time.”

Council member John Jangula said if they’re willing to fight the fire, don’t dock them for it. Many cities are also facing a shortage of EMTs and firefighters.

Brush site hours

The council reminds residents that brush site hours are Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mayor Al Whitesitt said there were several items brought into the brush site that should not have been, and if the problem persists, the city could install a camera. 

Other news

The council approved paying League of Minnesota Cities dues, according to its new population of 566.

A timer will be installed on the LED ligth at the baseball field this fall, by Darin Ideker, in order to provide better lighting and timing for the ice skating rink. City staff reported the ice rink saw a lot of use last winter and is hoping for the same this winter. They also appreciated people helping clear off snow from the rink. Also concerning the ice rink was installing a wooden border, instead of hauling in limestone. The council agreed to the wooden border.

The council accepted two donations from an anonymous donor. One was an AED machine that will be placed in the manor. The other was the donation of two, almost new refrigerators. One will be placed in the kitchen at the community center and the other will be at the concession stand.

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