Winn Parish Fire District #3 Board Strips Personnel of Promotion and Pay Increase

At their monthly meeting on June 8, 2020, the Winn Parish Fire District #3 Board (The Board) passed a motion that eliminated promotions and pay raises received almost two years ago for three full-time personnel.

In September of 2018, The Board approved the creation of a lieutenant positions including the job description, the standard operating procedure(SOP), pay scale and guidelines for promotion. Winn Parish Fire District #3 (District) Fire Chief Harry Foster then promoted full-time employees Benjamin Murphy, Nicholas Carpenter, and Dustin Parker to the rank of lieutenant with the approved increase in pay.

During the June 8 meeting, board members asked, “why do we have three lieutenants that we never voted on?” and then stated that they approved the SOP and pay scale but never promoted anyone to the position.

In the recording of the June 8 meeting at large appointee and President of The Board, Mark Johns, stated, “We may need to make arrangements for Ben and Nick to reimburse their pay raises.” Chief Foster responded, “If that’s where you want to go, I’ll repay it, I’ll pay every penny of it.” At large board member, Brad Cooper commented: “I don’t think there is anything to take from them from the past, let’s go forward now. We only want two lieutenants.” Village of Sikes board appointee William “Buddy” King replied, “I don’t think we need any.” Johns chimed back in to say, “We don’t need someone with a title other than Harry.” Village of Calvin board appointee Ronald O’Bryan joined the conversation at this point “I think it should go back to how it used to be, everybody make the same money, and everybody be part-time and full-time. It’s less problems and less headaches. I think everyone should all make the same. It’s less complicated; everyone should make the same thing. O’Bryan then made a motion that eliminated the previously Board approved lieutenant position. The motion carried with three yeas, and two abstains. The roll call vote was as follows:

Gene Cain (at large appointee) – Abstain
Ronald O’Bryan (Village of Calvin appointee) – Yea
Buddy King (Village of Sikes appointee) – Yea
John Holden(Village of Dodson appointee) – Yea
Brad Cooper (at large appointee) – Abstain

The decision to eliminate rank and structure from the department could negatively affect the District’s Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) Fire Rating, which would then increase parish citizen’s homeowner’s insurance rates.

The District fell from a ranking of 5 to 6 during their last evaluation. The PIAL ranks departments 1 – 10, 1 being the best. According to PIAL’s website, personnel is one of the criteria with most point value. Personnel items that affect the rating include on-duty manpower, training, and certifications. The previously approved lieutenant position pay scale outlined a plan to incentivize additional certifications.

“I was trying to create a more professional department to provide the people of the parish with better service. Good equipment, good people, and trained personnel,” said Chief Foster.

The Winn Parish Police Jury (WPPJ) is the governing agency of the District. The three “at large” positions on The Board are appointed by the WPPJ. The other four board positions are appointed by the mayor and alderman of each parish village, Calvin, Dodson, Atlanta and, Sikes. Atlanta’s position is currently open. 

Any concerns about the actions of The Board and its possible future effects on homeowner’s insurance rates can be directed to your district fire board representative listed above as well as your WPPJ Juror.

District 1 – Phillip Evans
District 2 – Deionne Carpenter
District 3 – Josh McAllister – President
District 4 – Tammy Griffin
District 5 – Kirk Miles
District 6 – Author Robinson
District 7 – Allen Michale McCartney – Vice President

5 thoughts on “Winn Parish Fire District #3 Board Strips Personnel of Promotion and Pay Increase

  1. Looks like they have some folks that don’t understand the ranks and chain of command of a fire department

  2. This should be on a ballot for the constituents of Winn Parish to decide. We pay enough in taxes and insurance. This decision, possibly, affects our insurance rates. Give it to us for a vote!

  3. The clear lack of leadership in that parish is appalling and the citizens of this parish will be the ones that pay the price. When your property catches on fire or your loved one gets in an accident that is not the time for you to wondering who’s going to be in control of that scene. And now, on top of that, there’s no incentives to work there or even show up to help. Complete ignorance of you leaders will be to blame

  4. I find it pathetic that this gossip “journal” does nothing but offer information that at best, is half truth abmnd focused on trying to tear down Winn parish. I also find it ironic that the very person who is over this “journal” seems to be a scorned ex politician candidates wife who is probably the reason her husband lost the bid for sheriff because of her constant lies and tearing down of others.

    • Gossip? Half-truths? Scorned ex-politician…oh my!

      Every article I have read on the journal has been straight facts. Not one line of anyone’s opinion. And, definitely not gossip. How does informing the community of what’s really going on in our parish now count as “tearing down Winn Parish?” It’s passed time that we the people get a clear understanding of what the people chosen to represent us are actually doing in our name.

      I voted for the so called “scorned ex politician” and I’ve been around him since the election. He’s anything but scorned. He’s humble and still motivated to help this parish and the people in it. And, the fact that you blame his wife on his loosing says alot about the person that won. Your comment clearly indicates NOT that the better candidate won, but that the better candidate’s wife lost him the election.

      Fact check, Betty…he almost lost…after being in office for 8 years and that alone tells you that the people of this parish are just about tired of the old boys club politics that has kept Winn Parish from moving forward.

      Love the fact that you only listed your first name. Everyone’s a hero behind a screen.

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