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Atlanta firefighters get 'most significant' raises in 15 years

The city unveiled a $15.6 million plan for the pay increases.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced pay raises for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department on Wednesday.

In what the city is calling the "most significant" raises in 15 years, Mayor Bottoms, along with Chief Randall Slaughter unveiled a $15.6 million plan to further increase base pay for the city’s firefighters over the next three and a half years.

“As first responders, Atlanta’s firefighters are on the front lines of danger each and every day. When an independent study confirmed they were underpaid, it was this administration’s duty to respond in the urgent and meaningful manner they deserve,” said Mayor Bottoms. “With this significant investment, our compensation will be competitive to support and enhance AFRD’s recruitment and retention rates.”

With the $15.6 million investment and 3.1% raises included in the administration’s last two budgets, the actions represent a 25% increase in base pay for Atlanta’s firefighters — all without raising taxes, city officials said. 

Slaughter said this is a historic day. 

"The pay increase highlights the dedication and attention that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has shown not just to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, but to all public safety entities in Atlanta,” he said. “AFRD personnel work tirelessly to protect this great city and we are grateful for the administration’s work to get this done.”

Similar to the Atlanta Police Department raises implemented just a year ago, a combination of budget reprioritization, re-purposing of one-time items and baseline revenues will fund AFRD’s raises, the city said.

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