Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the most significant pay raises for Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) personnel in 15 years.

“As first responders, Atlanta’s firefighters are on the front lines of danger each and every day. When an independent study confirmed they were underpaid, it was this Administration’s duty to respond in the urgent and meaningful manner they deserve,” Bottoms said. “With this significant investment, our compensation will be competitive to support and enhance AFRD’s recruitment and retention rates.”

Bottoms was joined by AFRD Chief Randall Slaughter when she unveiled a $15.6 million plan to further increase base pay for the City’s sworn firefighters in AFRD over the next three and a half years.

The investment combined with the 3.1 percent raises that were included in the Administration’s last two budgets, the actions of the Mayor and the City of Atlanta have amounted to a 25 percent increase in base pay for Atlanta’s firefighters—all without raising taxes.

“This is a historic day. The pay increase highlights the dedication and attention that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has shown not just to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, but to all public safety entities in Atlanta,” Slaughter said.

“AFRD personnel work tirelessly to protect this great city and are grateful for the Administration’s work to get this done.”

Bottoms hinted at the arrival of this announcement last month during the annual Breakfast with Our Bravest, an awards and fund-raising event organized by the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation.

Though firefights were disappointed that she wouldn’t say more, they are now ecstatic that Bottoms has kept to her word and provided a very big announcement that impacts not only them but the entire city.

Similar to the historic Atlanta Police Department (ADP) raises implemented just a year ago, a combination of budget reprioritization, re-purposing of one-time items and baseline revenues will fund AFRD’s raises.

However, firefighters will not have to wait as long as police officers for their raises to fully take effect. ADP’s 30 percent raise will not fully take effect until 2021, due to gradual increases over a three-year period.

AFRD raises are set to reflect in AFRD paychecks by January 31, 2020, with the increases backdated to January 1, 2020.

(Photo: Courtesy Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Station 11)

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