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City Launching Review of Medford Fire Sick-Time Usage and Resulting Overtime Costs

City Launching Review of Medford Fire Sick-Time Usage and Resulting Overtime Costs

Mayor especially concerned about excessive sick leave usage and overtime costs between Friday, February 2 and Tuesday, February 6, after the majority of Firefighters called out sick on the day tour resulting in over $92,000 in Sick Time and Overtime Pay 

(MEDFORD)—The City is conducting a review of firefighter sick leave usage after the majority of scheduled firefighters called out sick for a portion of their 24-hour shift in the first long weekend of February. On Saturday Feb. 3rd alone, twenty-one (21) fire fighters out of twenty-three (23) called out sick. Over the five-day period, this triggered costs to the City of over $92,000—over $58,000 of which was overtime.

On average, a Medford firefighter works 8 twenty-four (24) hour shifts per month, with each 24-hour shift being broken down into a 10 hour day tour (8 AM to 6 PM) followed by a 14 hour night tour (6 PM to 8 AM).  Most of the firefighters who called out sick for the day tour portion of their shift between February 2 and February 6 reported for duty at 6 PM to work their night tour.

“I believe that these excessive sick leave call outs over the weekend of February 2nd were an orchestrated event and my office will do everything in its power to continue to review it and make sure it does not happen again.” Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said. “The excess sick leave usage and resulting overtime costs has a cascading effect throughout the City’s operating budget, and results in the diversion of funds away from critical investments in our schools, roads, and other social services.”

“I appreciate the Mayor and her team keeping the entire City Council informed about this situation when it occurred,” said City Council President Isaac B. “Zac” Bears. “Ensuring responsible use and fair allocation of public funds will continue to be the top focus of the City Council during discussions with the Mayor and city staff about the Fiscal Year 2025 City Budget.”

After learning of the sick time usage, a full staffing breakdown was conducted, and it has led to additional concerns about the manner in which some members of the fire department have utilized their sick time in the past that has added to overtime costs to the City. 

  • Medford Fire Department