By Ray King

With all the talk about public safety and increasing the salary of a new police chief and police officers, Fire and Emergency Services Chief Shawn Howell on Friday said his department is in a similar situation.

Howell went on to say he understands the perception that when people think public safety, the police department is the first thing that comes to mind.

He told Deltaplex news that firefighters have received small salary increases in the past but those have not been enough to prevent firefighters from going to other departments where they can make more.

Howell said the fire department is budgeted for 100 members and currently has 16 vacancies.