Selectmen OK health care for Beacon Hose position

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BEACON FALLS — The Board of Selectmen on Monday approved offering health insurance to Beacon Hose Company No. 1’s administrative assistant position.

The administrative assistant is the company’s sole full-time position. The rest of the department is staffed by volunteers.

The insurance plan will cost $7,600 a year and would be split between the town, Beacon Hose, and the employee. The town’s cost would be covered by money Beacon Hose receives from responding to ambulance calls.

Under a current agreement between the town and Beacon Hose, the department is allowed to have an account of up to $50,000 funded through ambulance calls as a rainy day fund to pay for any unforeseen emergencies. As long as the department has $50,000 in that account, all money made off of the ambulance calls is divided with 80 percent going to the town and 20 percent going to the department.

Tom Pratt, who serves as Beacon Hose’s treasurer and on the Board of Finance, said the department is on track to end the year with over $100,000 in that account.

Selectman Michael Krenesky expressed concerns that once health benefits are put into place it would be difficult to remove the benefit for the next person that fills the job.

Fire Chief Jim Trzaski said the department takes care of its own human resources when it comes to the job.

“If this person were to leave and we were to get another job description for administrative assistant it would be up to the leadership of the Beacon Hose Company to create the job description for that person,” Trzaski said.

The board ultimately agreed and voted unanimously to approve the health insurance for the position.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Beacon Hose Company No. 1’s treasurer as Thomas Broesler, who is the town’s finance manager.

1 COMMENT

  1. To clarify, the question I raised was would this benefit automatically rollover into place if a new administrative assistant were hired in the future. It was First Selectman Chris Bielik that stated “once a benefit is given, it is difficult to remove it”. I voted to support this as it was right and correct that the position carry medical benefits.