ANDERSON — The Anderson Board of Public Safety has ruled that a paramedic with the Anderson Fire Department must reimburse the city for the cost of training.

The Safety Board Monday ruled that Chance Hensley has to repay the city $5,400 for the cost of paramedic training under the terms of the contract in 2020, when he received certification for the training.

Attorney Donald Smith, representing the Anderson Fire Department, said Hensley was hired by the department in 2017 and signed up for training the next year.

Smith said the contract with Local 1262 included a provision requiring paramedics who left the department before five years of service to reimburse the city for the cost of their training.

Hensley took a position with the South Madison Fire Territory in January.

Firefighters Local 1262 filed a grievance that also involves language in the 2022 agreement, which states that if paramedic training is provided the firefighter has to spend the rest of his career in Anderson.

Cody Leever, president of Local 1262, said the union needs an interpretation of the new contract. He maintains the language requiring that a paramedic remain with the department throughout their career was a mistake.

Leever said other area departments are paying more for paramedics than Anderson is for less work. The union offered a compromise to prorate the amount that Hensley would be required to repay based on his actual years of service, according to Leever.

Tim Lanane, attorney for the safety board, said Hensley should be covered under the contract in force when he received the certification as a paramedic.

“The new language in the contract is problematic,” he said of the career requirement, “but the union agreed to the language.”

Mike McKinley, chairman of the safety board, made the motion that Hensley should repay the city the $5,400 for the training.

He also urged both the union and the administration of Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. to amend the language in the 2022 contract.

In other business

Todd Fisher, director of the Anderson Municipal Development Department, asked the board for permission to accept bids to clean up two properties.

Fisher said the owners of 1608 Sherman St. and 715 Prospect St. have been notified repeatedly to clean up their properties. Both will be in environmental court this week, according to Fisher.

The Safety Board set a special meeting for April 17 to determine whether the property owners have complied with the clean-up order.

If the properties are not cleaned, the city will hire contractors through the bid process and place liens on the properties to seek repayment.

The board approved the following demolitions: 2314 Dewey St., 2613 East Lynn St., 1631 Fletcher St. and 428 West Fourth St. Bids will be received March 27.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.