Glynn County Fire Department personnel want to charge the Glynn County Airport Commission more for its services.
The airport commission pays the fire department $40,000 a year to provide 24-hour coverage with three firefighters each taking one shift, Glynn County Fire Chief R.K. Jordan told the county’s revenue study committee on Wednesday.
“The actual cost of providing that service ... is in excess of $160,000 in personnel costs between salaries and benefits,” Jordan said. “Since they have housed an engine there it’s never really been an issue.”
The $160,000 estimate doesn’t include overtime or training for firefighters.
The contract predates Jordan’s tenure as fire chief, and he has traditionally trusted the airport on the matter of the contract’s existence. Jordan acknowledged he has never seen a copy of it.
This is coming up now because of the airport’s plans to build a new station, Jordan said. Airport commissioners want the county government to pay for half of the cost of the new station’s construction.
“If we have to pay half the cost, I believe it’s only fair they compensate the department on its cost that we pay,” Jordan said.
Station 5 serves two purposes. It houses a regular fire truck and a truck specialized in airplane firefighting and rescue.
The Federal Aviation Administration will pay for most of the equipment used to fight aircraft fires, Robert Burr, executive director of the Glynn County Airport Commission, said after the meeting. It will not contribute toward the part of the building housing structural firefighting equipment or personnel.
Jordan also would like to see the new station moved to the other side of the airport. It can’t expediently respond to fires outside the airport property due to its location.
Locate it somewhere else, like near Stambaugh Aviation, and Harry Driggers Road becomes accessible, he said.
“That would have benefited the department in two ways — it would have given us a full view of the runway and allowed us to respond to areas right now we have a long response time to,” Jordan said.
According to airport officials, the new Glynn County Fire Station No. 5 is slated to be built right next to the current one, next door to the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport commercial terminal.
During the process of creating a new master plan, Burr said the location was determined to be the best spot.
“The station is very old,” he said. “It goes back at least over 40 years. It had a face-lift of the exterior side in 2005 for appearance purposes.”
Members of the revenue committee told Jordan they would take the matter up the chain within the county government for review.
The committee also voted to accept a timeline for changing park fees from Recreation and Parks Director Lisa Gurganus and begin the process of enacting changes.