JAY — Town officials would like to set up a subcommittee with Livermore and Livermore Falls to discuss possibly charging Livermore Falls for fire service calls and what Livermore Falls plans to do.

Selectpersons also voted Monday to increase the base pay by $1.05 for firefighters when the minimum wage increases Jan. 1, 2023, to $13.80 an hour.

The joint fire service committee would consist of town managers/administrative assistant, two selectpersons from each town and representatives of the fire departments. An initial meeting was held Nov. 18 with representatives from each town.

Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said it’s not that Jay firefighters don’t want to go to calls in Livermore Falls, rather, it is a budgetary concern. The town budgets only so much each year for fire services.

The Livermore Falls Fire Rescue Department’s turnout is between zero and two firefighters at incidents, Livermore Falls board Chairman Jim Long said previously. The town has been without a fire chief since September and is advertising for one.

Mike Booker, chief of the Jay Fire Rescue Department, said Jay has been to 45 calls in Livermore Falls since Jan. 1 and if there was an adequately-staffed department there, it would have probably responded to about nine of them.


Some calls in Livermore Falls are considered nuisance calls, including downed wires or wires on trees, minor crashes and first responder calls.

Livermore is also responding in Livermore Falls more than the typical mutual aid calls.

Booker estimated the cost for Jay to respond to the calls is conservatively between $1,000 and $1,200 since July 1.

“That is what scares me,” Booker said, referring to the budget.

As of Monday, Jay had responded to 364 calls since January.

“We are probably going to be over 400” for the year, he said.


Firefighters responded to 353 calls last year and 411 two years ago, he said. The department is not responding to medical calls unless requested.

Booker said the department has responded to about 60 mutual aid calls this year and has asked for mutual aid assistance 17 times.

“I foresee us being very busy this winter” because of the increases in fuel and other items. He said people will be using alternative heating sources and probably starting their wood stoves after not using them for a while.

“I think it is a good way you are handling it,” Select Board Chairman Terry Bergeron said about forming a committee to find a solution on calls in Livermore Falls.

In another firefighter matter, Booker said a $1.05 an hour minimum wage increase is going into effect Jan. 1, 2023, and was not budgeted. He will not get an increase because he receives a $25,000 stipend each year as chief and for multiple other duties.

Under the increase, the deputy chief’s base pay would increase to $16.55; the assistant chief, $16.30; captain, $14.75; hot shot firefighter, $13.80; probationary firefighter, $13.80; and a firefighter, $14.05.

The pay scale was instituted to encourage firefighters get advanced training and certification. There is an established base pay and additional amounts for each certification they achieve, LaFreniere said.

With the increase and if the call numbers stay about the same, it’s estimated the cost for additional pay for the first six months of 2023 will be about $1,673, which is not in the budget, she said. For a full year, it would be around $3,400 if all regular base fees are adjusted.

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