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Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and EMS hope to be next for hero pay bonuses

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 11:29 PM EST
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Every day, first responders put on their uniforms to serve the public -- all to do a job that doesn’t have the option to work from home, even during a pandemic.

“In particular to this pandemic, our personnel have put in hundreds of man hours, have done COVID testing for nearly 10,000 people,” said Bradley Hughes, a paramedic for Putnam County EMS. “I think it’s important we recognize the drive they’ve put forth for COVID testing and the treatment they’ve provided for our citizens since the beginning of March.”

Earlier this week, Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese and Putnam County EMS Director John Dearnell requested that hero pay bonuses be an item on the County Commission meeting agenda.

“Seeing what Kanawha County did for their employees, I thought it was the perfect time since it was the holidays, to go ahead and request that to get it on the agenda and see if the commissioners would approve it,” Deweese said.

Last week, WSAZ reported Kanawha County approved a raise, as well as a hero pay bonus for Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority.

But during Putnam County Commission meeting, the commission decided to table the item until next meeting.

“We’re in the middle of a transition, we just had an election year, we have a new commissioner coming on in January,” said Commissioner Andy Skidmore. “To Steve Andes’ credit, he felt this was an important decision and he felt the new commissioner should be a part of it.”

The commission will cast the deciding votes at their next regular meeting Jan. 12.

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