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More than 60 new hires included in proposed Washington County spending plan

April 10, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- An early draft of Washington County's fiscal 2009 budget includes funding for 63.5 new full-time equivalent positions, 59 of which are public safety positions.

Most would provide staffing for projects such as Central Booking, the EMS strategic plan and a new housing unit at the Washington County Detention Center.

The public safety positions would be divided as follows:

  • 11 Sheriff's Department deputies to staff an emergency housing unit at the Washington County Detention Center.

  • 10 deputies for a central booking facility in the county, which officials have said will speed up the arrest process for local police departments. That facility is expected to be complete in December. Those positions would be filled in July.

  • 18 Emergency Services Department life-support technicians based on Phase 2 of the EMS plan, which would establish requirements for medical responders that could result in more county oversight of companies that fall short in their response to calls. The budget proposal calls for nine advanced life-support technicians and nine basic life support technicians to be hired.

  • 11 emergency communications specialists for the 911 communications center. Those positions will come from the City of Hagerstown, according to Budget and Finance Director Debra S. Murray.

  • 3 advanced life-support technicians II to complete Phase 1 of the EMS plan. Money for those positions was set aside this fiscal year.

  • 1 assistant chief for Phase 1 of the EMS plan. Money was also set aside this fiscal year for this position.

  • 2 emergency communications specialists for the 911 communications center.

  • 1 property, planning, fleet management and grants coordinator; 1 training and accreditation coordinator; and 1 sex offender registrar to allow three police supervisors to switch from administrative duties to patrol work.

    Not all of these positions will be filled in fiscal 2009. For example, while all 18 advanced life support and basic life support technicians will not be hired in the coming fiscal year, money will be earmarked in the budget for those positions, Murray said.

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The remaining new positions included in the preliminary spending plan would include three part-time recreation attendants for after-school programs at the county's new elementary schools, a geographic information systems technician in the planning department, an operations/safety inspector in the solid waste department, and one office associate and a part-time mechanic in the transit department.

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