Vacancies in fire departments throughout the Triangle are causing big bills and tired staff.
WRAL Investigates found fire personnel in Durham and Raleigh racked up about $5.1 million in overtime pay over the past year, which has an impact on city budgets and the workers themselves.
“There are a lot of firefighters that are tired,” said Durham Fire Union President Jason Davis. “At some points, we are working 72-hour shifts.
WRAL Investigates filed public records requests and found between June 2021-June 2022, Durham Fire Department employees worked 36,000 hours of overtime, which totals $1.3 million. In the same timespan, the Raleigh Fire Department has wracked up 122,000 hours of overtime, which cost $3.8 million. “With some of our guys that have worked a significant amount of overtime where they are getting to that point where they are just burnt out,” Davis said.