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New fire dept. policy sets minimum for duty calls

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Among the new policies and procedures of the New Ulm Fire Department is a minimum requirement to respond to fire-related calls, which will be more strictly enforced.

New fire department policy and procedure manuals were adopted by the city. The new policy will replace current bylaws to reflect the best practices of the League of Minnesota Cities.

One of the most significant changes was a change to fire call attendance percentages. Firefighters are now required to report to 45% of all fire-related calls.

No exceptions to the attendance requirement will be made for a probationary member. The 45% will be calculated during six-month periods. If a firefighter’s attendance for fire calls falls below 45% during six months, the firefighter will be on probation for a year.

If attendance is below 45% for another six months, the firefighter will not qualify for a service-year toward retirement.

Failure to meet the attendance requirement will be grounds for further disciplinary action and possible termination.

Fire Chief Paul Macho said the 45% attendance is a reduction from the previous 50% attendance policy.

The change to 45% is a pilot program. Macho said this new attendance policy will be in effect for 18 months. The department will look at the numbers to determine if additional adjustments are needed.

The majority of the fire department did vote for this change.

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