Protesters plan to show public safety concern; council members consider EMT wage increase proposal

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LAWRENCE, Ind - A group of people in Lawrence plan to protest during Monday's city council meeting to show their concern about public safety.

This, after several city EMTs said they left the department because of low pay, and a plan that would have given Lawrence EMTs an immediate raise was turned down by council members.

Now, council members will look into a proposal that would give Lawrence EMTs a raise starting next year. Protest organizers have been selling shirts and putting signs in yards to show their support for the fire department.

Lawrence

Photo: "Lawrence Voices" on Facebook 

Right now, Lawrence EMT salaries start at $13.33 an hour. In Indy, the starting pay is $19 an hour, and in Wayne Township, it’s $20 an hour.

Lawrence paramedics start at at $15.64 an hour.

The proposal that failed last month would’ve given Lawrence EMTs an immediate $2 dollar an hour raise, with the possibility of more next year.

After that didn’t happen, some people were worried about losing more EMTs, and the effect it could have on emergency response time.

“I think the citizens of Lawrence deserve better and I’m just trying to deliver the service that they not only paid for but they deserved,” said Lawrence Fire Chief Dino Batalis.

Council members who voted against the proposal say the proposed pay raise was a temporary solution — one that would’ve altered the 2016 budget — and say they want to find a permanent fix in next year’s budget.

The new proposal would give Lawrence EMT’s a $4 per hour raise starting next year.

Monday’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

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