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Stipend positions OK'd by fire district

"Fire District 3 commissioners have created three stipend positions.As a result, the district now has a Rescue Coordinator (Darin Reid), EMS Coordinator (Connie Shields), and High School Firefighter Program Coordinator (Don Elliot).At $500 per month, the stipends are minuscule if figured on an hourly basis, but the approach does allow the Fire District to put people in charge of programs without paying them a salary.If I had a paid staff, they'd be doing this for the volunteers, said Chief Don Smith, describing the duties of the stipend positions. Each position comes with a narrative describing a dozen or more duties.Smith told the commissioners that the new positions will help keep track of extensive paperwork required for proof of training. For example, the district's 40 EMTs must maintain their certifications, a time consuming process. We can't keep doing it with volunteer labor, Smith said. Except for a few paid positions, Fire District 3 is an all-volunteer force.Chief Smith will be responsible for overseeing the work of the stipend coordinators. The funding begins Oct. 1. This is an excellent thing for the district, said Commissioner Bill Benjamin.Also Wednesday, the commissioners acted on an emergency services committee recommendation and accepted the second highest bid for a new rescue van, described by Chief Smith as a mobile treatment room.Road Rescue's bid of $131,245 was declared the winner, even though North Star offered $123,905. There were two other bids that were considerably higher than either of those.Darin Reid, EMS committee member, said the Road Rescue bid more closely followed the bid specifications. "

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