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Chicago Firefighter Overtime Costs Surge To Estimated $43 Million

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Massive overtime costs for Chicago public servants: It's not just for the police department.

Total overtime payouts are projected to hit roughly $43 million by the end of the year, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told WBEZ Friday.

The estimate is more than twice the $20 million Mayor Rahm Emanuel earmarked for the department's overtime pay in this year's budget. According to NBC Chicago, firefighters union president Tom Ryan testified before City Council that overtime pay has soared partly due to attrition.

Despite a reported backlog of 10,000 applicants, hiring new firefighters was temporarily suspended until several discrimination lawsuits were resolved.

The department projects OT costs will hit $71 million in 2014, the Tribune reports.

The city will hold its first firefighters entrance exam in eight years next year 2014 with a revised process that will add new blood to the force on an as-needed basis.

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