After incurring more than $100,000 in unexpected emergency medical worker salary costs during the 2012 budget year, the Cole County Commission has approved a two-pronged approach to prevent such an overage next year.
To limit the additional hit to the salaries budget, the commission:
• Eliminated additional pay of $1.25 per hour for eight- and 12-hour shifts, which was intended to keep general payroll costs down. Employees still will get overtime after 40 hours worked each week, but it will be calculated based on their standard wage.
• Ambulance employees will need pre-approval from a supervisor to work more than 36 consecutive hours. Ambulance Director Mike Shirts said that doesn't occur too often, but is a safety issue to make sure employees don't get too tired to do their jobs well.