Pay raises a topic at a county meeting

By Vicki Brown

Colleton County Council voted unanimously at its April 12 meeting to approve two separate pay increases for two groups of county employees – those serving in the Colleton County Fire Department and those which serve the Colleton County Memorial Library.

Salary increases will be implemented immediately.

Pay increases for Colleton County Fire-Rescue paramedics have been requested by the county’s fire commission and the administration due to the “severe shortage of firefighters,” County Administrator Kevin Griffin said. EMTs and paramedics that the county is experiencing,” he said.

Colleton County currently has 16 paramedic/ambulance vacancies. Unfortunately, neighboring counties are also experiencing shortages and have increased their salaries to attract employees to their counties. This left Colleton without enough countywide paramedics.

“For the past few days, Fire/Rescue has only been able to operate six or seven of our eight ambulance units due to staffing shortages,” Griffin said. “Council approved a raise of $2.14 per hour, the same given to Sheriff’s Deputies (recently), as an interim measure until we explore this further in the next budget.”

The new pay scale will cost the county $825,663 annually at the current rate, and the cost from April 11 to June 30 will be $174,659.49.

At the same meeting, demands were made by the administration of the Colleton County Memorial Library on Hampton Street in Walterboro for employee wage increases.

The library increases were requested by the library board along with existing and projected new state funds the library is expected to receive.

Approval was given by board members for the library to pursue salary increases with state funding. Details of these funding increases were not available.

Jessica C. Bell