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NH Town Limits EMS Employment To Residents

EPPING - Out-of-towners looking to make some extra cash as an EMT with Epping's on-call ambulance crew will have to look elsewhere. The fire wards this week agreed to keep the town's overnight ambulance service in the hands of Epping residents.

Questions over the hiring of non-residents were raised after the town received more than a dozen applications from outsiders interested in taking a paid shift position. The fire department has full-time emergency personnel who cover ambulance service Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, it relies on other EMTs who are on call from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Those on-call workers are paid $7.25 an hour to cover a 6- or 12-hour shift.

Fire Capt. Bruce Chapman said the overnight shift positions are attractive because the workers remain at home while they're on call and are paid for an entire shift regardless of the number of emergency calls. EMTs who live in other nearby towns that have no ambulance service have expressed interest in coming to Epping, but Chapman said the town has enough of its own EMTs to cover the shifts.

"We seem to have adequate personnel in town right now so we don't have to solicit out of town," Chapman said. "My feeling is take care of your own town first." Chapman said that if the town began having trouble finding EMTs to cover the shifts, it might make sense to start looking outside the town.

Meanwhile, the fire wards are still searching for a new full-time fire chief to replace Jeff LeDuc, who resigned in July after he was unable to reach a contract agreement when the position became full-time. LeDuc was hired to replace Skip Galvin after he resigned in August 2009.

Charlie Goodspeed, chairman of the fire wards, said several candidates have been interviewed, but a few more interviews will be conducted before a decision is made.

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