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EMTs, casual-call police officers get pay raises

The Hudson City Council increased the pay of two groups of city employees when it met on Jan. 28.

St. Croix EMS & Rescue personnel and casual-call police officers received the raises.

Intermediate-level emergency medical technicians and paramedics will get an additional $10 per 12-hour shift that they are on call.

That boosted the pay to $110 per shift for EMT-intermediates and $115 for paramedics.

EMTs with a basic level of training get a $5 raise, increasing the pay to $100 for a 12-hour shift.

In addition, the ambulance and rescue service's full-time paramedics got a raise of 45 cents per hour, and the pay for casual-call paramedics was increased 34 cents per hour.

The new wage rate for full-time paramedics is $18.01 per hour, and for part-time paramedics, $17.16 per hour.

"We're asking a lot more of our staff nowadays," St. Croix EMS Chief Kim Eby told the council.

She said the service is in the process of receiving critical care certification, which is required to transport very sick patients from one hospital to another for further treatment and care.

Some of St. Croix EMS's paramedics are going through an additional 180 hours of training in order to obtain the certification, Eby said.

In a written memo to council members, Eby said the paramedics are being trained to read certain types of lab work, and upon completion of the course, will be allowed to administer more medications.

"This will allow our service to do those inter-facility transfers that we are currently not certified to perform," Eby wrote.

She also reported that at the start of 2013 St. Croix EMS dropped its two back-up shifts and created a third primary shift in an effort to increase staffing levels.

"We've gotten to a point where this can no longer be a hobby for them," Eby said of EMTs.

The City Council approved the pay increase on a 5-0 vote. Council President Rich Vanselow was absent.

The council approved a $2-per-hour raise for the police department's causal-call officers, boosting their pay to $14 per hour.

Police Chief Marty Jensen said that the officers' pay had been stuck at $12 per hour since the causal-call program was started in 2004.

The wage rate was lower than that paid by any surrounding law enforcement agency, Jensen said.

St. Croix County pays its causal-call deputies $16.26 per hour, Jensen reported, and Somerset pays it causal-call officers $16 per hour. Only Glenwood City, at $12.50 per hour, had a wage rate close to Hudson's.

The council also approved the pay increase for casual-call officers without opposition.

Polling place closing

City Administrator Devin Willi reported that Feb. 19 primary and April 2 spring elections will be the last ones in which residents in Aldermanic Districts 2 and 6 vote in the Community Room of the St. Croix County Government Center.

The Community Room will be used for an expansion of the county's Emergency Communications Center.

Willi said the city has been looking into other places that might serve as a polling station. He named three churches -- St. Patrick's, Hudson United Methodist and First Presbyterian -- that have been contacted about the possibility.

Residents of District 3 and 4 already vote at the Methodist Church on Laurel Avenue.

Other action

In other business, the council:

--Approved the appointment of Gordon Anderson to the Community Access Television Board. Anderson will serve for the remainder of Elizabeth McCormick's term, which ends in April 2014. McCormick resigned from the board.

--Authorized spending $7,500 to have Foth Infrastructure and Environment, the city's consulting engineering firm, update detail drawings and technical specifications for routine construction projects.

--Approved temporary licenses for the Knights of Columbus to sell beer and wine during fish fry dinners at St. Patrick Church on Feb. 22 and March 8, and to sell beer on March 22.

--Approved St. Croix Animal Friends' plans for a "Raise the Woof" event in Lakefront Park on Saturday, June 8.

--Approved plans for the fifth-annual Monica Jensen Foundation race to be held Saturday, Oct. 12, at Lakefront Park.

--Approved a schedule of Public Works Department service-charge rates based on Wisconsin Department of Transportation rates. Public Works Director Tom Zeuli said some of the state rates are lower than what the city's were.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066