MFPD board votes against schedule change for employees


By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors officially decided July 20 that they won’t be changing schedules for any employees, ending a monthslong discussion.

The schedule change issue was brought forward in the past by Captain Ty Cardona, shop steward of Mehlville Local 2665 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, as a possible  Employee Manual of Policies and Procedures change. Cardona said the change would help keep the district competitive in hiring.

Employees requested a 3/4 schedule for EMS and a 48/96 for fire. An employee survey in July showed that more employees liked the current schedule versus any change.

The board has been cautious about a change as well, citing potential issues with overworked staff and accidents as a result. Chairman Aaron Hilmer gave a breakdown of the board’s final decision on July 20.

“Chief (Brian Hendricks) assures me we have no issues with any hiring, getting excellent applicants, and in fact we’re in the process of putting together a sixth 24 hour ambulance,” Hilmer said.

Hilmer said Hendricks also reached out to districts with other schedule types to see if they were having trouble hiring firefighters as well, “and the answer was yes.”

“I couldn’t see anything that said this was a Mehlville-centric issue. I would say at this point it’s pretty clear … that it’s not going to work this year,” Hilmer said. “If we can see 10 months from now that other fire departments are not having staffing issues on the fire side and we are, I’ll be the first person to help bring this to the board, because that’s a very real issue.”