The Accomack County Board of Supervisors authorized County Administrator Mike Mason to implement hazard pay for first responders who provided face to face services to the public during the period from March 1 until June 30 at a rate of $2 per hour.
Accomack County Administrator Mike Mason told the Board that “it goes without saying that our fire-medics, deputies and correctional officers have performed admirably throughout this pandemic literally putting their lives on the line every single day to provide the services necessary to keep our residents and visitors healthy and safe. During the pandemic, first responders don’t have the luxury of working from home or from behind plexiglass or even practicing social distancing. Jobs such as these require extreme courage and sacrifice and we all should be thankful that we have such a dedicated individuals working for the County.
At the June 17 meeting the Board, at the request of the County Administrator appropriated Cares Act funds for a number of different initiatives including one that would provide hazard pay for the county’s first responders. Hazard pay is an eligible expenditure of CARES Act guidelines, only those employees within these departments who provided services directly to the public. Administrative personnel and dispatchers were not included.
Mason also acknowledged the dedication of the rest of the workforce who unfortunately do not qualify for CARES funded compensation increases but have nevertheless earned one.
Mason said that the county’s finances are such that locally funded general pay increases are not possible at this time. The loses created by COVID-19.
Mason said he hopes that the County revenue will return to normal levels by the end of the fiscal year allowing the employee compensation increases once approved by the Board when the FY21 County budget was being developed but later allotted to move forward.
The Board unanimously approved the expenditure.