Sunset Beach beach patrol draft proposal

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Estimated costs comparing salaries of current beach patrol and costs for fire personnel during the 131 days of the summer season as proposed by Sunset Beach Fire Chief Kevin Dempsey.


Current beach patrol           Fire personnel 

Daily costs $270                      $350

Annual costs $35,000            $45,490


The current hourly wage of the beach patrol staff is $10.25 per hour, with the supervisor earning $13.50 per hour. The average hourly wage of an entry-level firefighter is $14.58, including benefits. 


It will require the addition of six firefighters. This would allow the fire department to assume control of the current beach patrol and replace the current staff of three with two certified firefighter/emergency medical technicians. The firefighters would assume all the duties of the current beach patrol, such as restroom locking and unlocking, code enforcement, and still be ready for a rescue or medical emergency. The hiring of six firefighters would enable us to retain these firefighters for regular duty at night and in the winter months. 


Estimated salary with benefits 

Salary with scheduled overtime — $31,665   

Benefits — $10,752   

Total costs per firefighter for initial year: $42,417


The purchase of a utility vehicle (UTV) and a Jet Ski is necessary for this transition. The UTV is a small, open-type vehicle similar in size to a golf cart, which will enable firefighters to access the strand much quicker and safer rather that a full size vehicle. The Jet Ski will allow a much quicker launch and utilize less labor while in use. Estimated costs are as follows:


*2014 Polaris Ranger Crew 900 UTV — $22,000

(Price includes patient transport attachment, emergency lighting, siren, and medical equipment.)

*2014 Yamaha VXS 1800 Jet Ski with trailer — $16,000

 (Price includes rescue board and department lettering)