PHOENIX — None of the 13 Prescott hotshots who were killed fighting a wildfire in northern Arizona were promised a promotion or full-time benefits, the city said Tuesday.
“I never promised to promote any seasonal Granite Mountain Hotshot to a permanent position,” said Prescott Fire Department Division Chief Darrell Willis. “Employment decisions such as promotions are required to go through a screening process and interview with the Human Resources Department, and final decisions must be approved by the city manager.”
The city said, even if Willis had verbally offered promotions, that such an offer would not be binding.
Several family members of the fallen hotshots claimed the men worked full-time hours and thus deserved more benefits. The city said the 13 men were part-time employees and are not eligible for full-time benefits, per law.
“It’s easy to get emotional and everybody wants to do the right thing, and the city absolutely,” said city spokesman Pete Wertheim. “But what is the right thing? Well, for the city it’s limited by the law. And we’re fully complying with it.”
House Speaker Andy Tobin has said he’ll introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session to provide benefits retroactively to the Granite Mountain Hotshots and any emergency responder who dies on state lands in the future.
Prescott said it would continue to work with the families of the hotshots to make sure they receive proper benefits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets