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Shared Services a Future Possibility Between Brighton, Hartland Fire Departments

Brighton and Hartland are exploring the possibilities of a shared human resources position.

For the past few weeks, the Brighton Area Fire Authority has loaned a human resources employee to the Hartland Fire Department to help complete certain HR related projects, according to Brighton Fire Chief Mike O'Brian.

Hartland is paying all expenses, including the employee's wages for the number of hours worked with their department. The shared position will not extend past 90 days.

O'Brian said human resources positions within fire departments were not common and he believed Brighton to be one of two departments with human resources staff in the state.

Hartland fire chief Adam Carroll described the temporary position as a “trial run” and a way for both departments to decide if the arrangement was working.

Currently two of the projects include updating job descriptions for the department and also updating the employee manual.

“For us, I certainly I can say we’ve been very happy with what we’ve gotten out of it,” Carroll said. “It’s what we were looking for.”

After 90 days, Carroll says an evaluation will take place between the two departments as well as the HR director where all groups will decide if the arrangement is working.

“It’s more than just Brighton and I saying this works, let’s do it,” Carroll said.  “The HR director has to be able to say I can balance the work load.”

Genoa Township Trustee and BAFA board member Jim Mortenson said he was leery of any kind of shared human resources agreement between Brighton and Hartland because of possible legal implications when it was discussed at Thursday's meeting.

Gary McCrire, Genoa Township chair and BAFA board member, said he had no problem with an agreement.

"To me it would be no different than them needing a truck," McCrire said. "And I'm sure this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened somewhere."

After 90 days, both departments will need to come to a decision on the status of the shared position. The neighboring departments will then have to decide if they will continue to share employment of contract the position out.

If the job becomes a regular position, Carroll says the department is estimating that it would take up one-fifth of the employee's work week.

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