By JULIE E. GREENE
Hagerstown City Council members have approved a new pay scale for firefighters that will bring their salaries in line with those of patrol officers on July 1, 1998.
Council members unanimously approved the change Tuesday.
"It's nice to be recognized and appreciated," said Andy Hartman, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1605.
Union members on Nov. 9 overwhelmingly approved the changes for the final year of a three-year contract, Hartman said.
The increase in wages and benefits will cost about $203,000 in the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1, 1998, said Eric Marburger, city personnel manager. The money will come from the city's general fund.
The highest annual salary - for a firefighter with 27 years of experience - will be $39,165 as of July 1, 1998, according to the contract.