The captain`s position was created to handle rescue operations, but those tasks are now being carried out by other officials, making the position of fire commander essentially obsolete, Holste said. DAVIE – Six fire captains, whose positions were eliminated under a new collective agreement, have been promoted to battalion chiefs. The captain`s position has been eliminated to consolidate the chain of command, said city spokesman Phllip Holste. “The management of the department felt that there was no need to test, as these employees had already acted satisfactorily as a safeguard for the battalion chief,” Holste said. Having more battalion leaders on the ground will improve emergency management, he added. In recent years, the responsibilities of the Chiefs of the Fire Staff have shifted so far that their duties were closely in line with those of the battalion chiefs who, in the event of an incident, will take command and mandate the personnel. An official promotion ceremony is scheduled for February 26. bballou@tribpub.com, 954-356-4188, Twitter: @briballou city officials say that the captains are essentially qualified because the position of battalion leader is similar. Their new titles come with increases of nearly $7,000 to $22,500. Under the new contract, which expires on September 30, 2017, battalion chiefs are considered released and are no longer eligible for overtime.

The position requires an associate degree, and the new boss, who does not have a degree, must obtain one within three years. The Davie Fire Fighters IAFF Local 2315 did not return many calls to seek an interview for this story. The promotions, which came into effect on October 1, were granted without the usual criteria for climbing to the position of battalion commander, including testing and interviews. The new battalion chiefs are Robert Diferdinando, Richard Hopwood, Vincent Martinez, Scott Mogavero, James Ross and Alan Seldal. Two of the new battalion chiefs will now earn 116,710 $US, an increase of 22,548 $US on their captain`s salaries. The other four received increases between $6988 and $7,163. Higher wages include additional wages for working days.