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So much for being Heroes...we are now blood sucking public servants who make too much money.
Hey, go to that page and comment on the article, I did. Check out the bottom of page 20 under the name Andrew, I let them have it. I couldn't help it F***sticks like that make my blood boil. I hope they all get rectal cancer.
It's not worth it. We fight these battles here all the time and the very people who complain have absolutely no idea what we do on a day to day basis, nor do they know what our responsibilities are, nor are they aware that our benefits are disgusting, nor are they aware that we have worked without a contract for almost 5 years.

We are going to get hammered in the press as soon as our contract comes down, because it is going to look like we are getting a 12% increase, when in reality that is divided between 4 years. The media is going to publish what they can find out, without getting the whole story, whatever will sell papers and get a reaction.

The best thing to do is not to go into those conversations and abuse people right back, the best thing to do is to educate the public.... your neighbours, your family, the parents at your kids sports games, etc. When they ask you what you do in a day... tell them.

In an average day, we arrive at work, check our equipment to make sure it is good working order, make sure we have everything we need on our gear (chalks, wedges, tools, etc). Then we check the rig to make sure it is functioning properly and to make sure all of the equipment is the way we expect it to be when we pull up to a call. We check the medical equipment and make sure we have a good battery in the defib and lots of O2 in the cylinder (so we can save lives of course). We then have a table top discussion regarding what we will be doing that day and discuss anything that someone feels worthy of discussing, whether it be Union news (which we are technically no longer allowed to do at work), or an incident that has recently happened in our department or elsewhere so we can learn from it. We then clean the entire station, no tax payer dollars keeping things sparkling for us. After this we pick up groceries and head back to the station to cook... all the while responding to calls and sometimes being forced to drop our pants in a parking lot to get our bunker gear on because there are reports of "smoke showing". We then eventually, get back to the station, prepare and eat a meal... again, sometimes being called away during this. We then have a little time to ourselves where we read, workout, or maybe even watch television, it's like a lunch break at work or school. After lunch we get to training. Some days it's table top and we discuss building construction (which takes 3 or 4 days depending on call volume), or RIT, self rescue, large room search and rescue, confined space search and rescue, live fire, foam, medical, defib, extrication, ladder operations, etc, etc, etc... anything we can train on to ensure the safety of the public and ourselves.
Finally, at the end of the day, we get to go home to get some rest so we are refreshed and ready to do it again the next day.... You don't even want to know what a night shift is like!!!

That's a lot of information for a person to grasp. They really do believe that we sit on our asses and wait for calls. They don't know that we train every day. The only day we take off here is Sunday, unless we missed the training the day before.

We are considered greedy here as well, it's too bad. The general public has no idea that I don't make enough to afford a mortgage and I have to pay rent so high that I use credit cards like some use debit. I have a second job in order to help make ends meet, it's not about the money... it's about loving the job. If it was only about the money, I don't think I would enjoy myself at all.

EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE!!! Get in the papers, get out in the public. We keep telling our Union pres that we need a media rep.
I don't think that the intent of the blog was to bash the fire service, but what is construed as wasteful spending or over spending.
I mean; I have to be honest; a firefighter retiring on $80,000 a year and free medical?
We really DO believe that hero crap, don't we?
Again; as I have said many times; people WANT fire protection. They just don't want to PAY for it.
Art I haveto disagree with you on this one Brother. You have to look at cost of living by the area they live in.

In South Texas $80,000 a year retirement is going to leave you in GREAT shape financially. But a nice 3 bedroom house is $150,000

In South Florida were it is $450,000 for the same house in a comparable neighborhood, $80,000 may not be enough to cover mortgage, insurance(home, car, etc...), groceries, and utilities without having to work after retirement.

SoCal, they firefighters make over $100,000 a year and have to live 100 miles away to be able to live reasonably. It is all relative to area.

I know i was offered a job in Hemestead back in 1995 and would have garnered a 20% cost of living raise, that still didnt make it affordable to live there and be close enough to work that the family could just pop over to the fire station.

What I find hilarious is all the democrats who voted in the big tax and spend politicians are the same ones crying about how much public servants cost them.

The thing is we all have a right to make a decent living...we are professionals who have thousands of hours of training to sdo the job our jurisdiction expects us to protect. We train every day on new techniques, refresh skills daily and wear so many hats the term firefighter will probably be gone the way of the fireman within 15 years.

What we need to explain to the public is we are Emergency Services Professionals (paid or volunteer), and that means we do more then fight fires, but when we do, nothing but our best effort is acceptable.

I personally have no issue with a guy giving everything to his community and getting a fair retirement for his sacrifice. How many of us will be at the Station tomorrow instead of sitting at home with our families? How many will get called away from dinner to help those in need, and how many of our kids events do we miss because we are working on saturday while they are playing. Firefighters/EMS/Cops give a lot to their communities, why should they not be rewarded for their sacrifice???
Allen, buddy.
RETIREMENT comes AFTER you make a living.
You CANNOT expect to make what you made on the job in retirement and expect the taxpayers to greet that with open arms.
By retirement, you are looking to downsize; not upgrade. You want to live comfortably; not necessarily in the lap of luxury.
That is more money than a retiring politician gets in this state. And you should hear how they talk about politicians around here.
I understand cost of living, but $80,000 a year still sounds like a lot of money to me. Especially since I don't even make that NOW!
It sounds like a PR nightmare trying to justify it.
Glad it's not me.
Art...its all about the area you live in.

In Dallas I made $75 hr as a graphic artist. Here its $25!!!! Thats 33% of what I made at home. Of Course I can live here for a third of what it costs to live in Dallas.
New Yorkers move south for the low cost of living at retirement. Pay cash for a house that is usually as big as what they just sold there.

South Florida is stupid expensive...and Im sure Jim on the blog makes plenty as he's a Republican in S Florida...not to mention his Degree issues. Somehow doesnt get that our schooling NEVER ends...and we have a s many or more classroom hours as the lawyers have. Just not that PhD.

So my Brother...have a safe and happy thanksgiving! Oh and I make about $55,000 before OT which has dried I see your point on retirement, and we pay into a 401Kish plan...10% a payday.
Oh now, that is real spooky.
You and I make the same and pay the same percentage into our 401k.
I guess what hangs me up is that I am already thinking about how I will afford medical coverage and such when I retire. I am 55, so it's not that far off. Thank God, everything that we have, we own. No payments. So, because I married a Swede, she is socking away as much as we can afford and still enjoy a social life, but the way it's going, the Feds will punish me for saving, lower my social security, increase my Medicare payment, if they even let me qualify and we will probably wind up selling our big house and move into a smaller one, just to save on utilities. We are both in very good health, so, barring any unforseen medical problems, we will manage.
It's just hard for me to fathom a retired firefighter making $6500 a month in their retirement. And if they pounded nails for the union on their off days, then they will definitely be living large in their old age.
It's not that expensive to live here in Illinois, but if our current governor had his way, we'd have to move to S. Florida to save money.
Enjoy the holidays. Play the lotto.
In nj the biggest problem we have right now is the fact that the state and the towns have not been paying into our pension system for many years at least 10 and they took money from it to pay other bills now they have to pay back what they owe and we are the bad guys because it is costing them so much money. even though we have paid our 8.5 percent the whole time supporting the pension system. its tough sometimes it really is and on top of that with the cost of living here i cant afford to buy a house i have to rent and i work a couple of jobs for a while i worked three jobs and worked 7 days a week for my first yr on the job just to make ends meet
Yeah well whats even scarier is I am Swedish American! With a name like Wahlström what else could I be???

Yep socked away for 15 years left the fire service cashed out and lost $150,000 in my business. So starting over again, new baby coming, just purchased a house and am looking at 4 kids college tuition!
Oh yeah wife is a pohysical therapist so we are doing ok..tho she makes what I do in 20 hours a week! And I do graphic art on the side nad have a cycling related business that allows me to travel to Europe...wait thats not that much fun...I HAVE to travel to Europe on business...even less fun.

Have a great thanksgiving and tell your fru I sad God Jul!
My opinion? We should be worrying about our own state, keeping our own communities trust & keeping it as non"political" as we possibly can. && no one should be against the FF's ... that's just not right. Happy Thanksgiving yall
Ok I will take the hit for this but here I go. I know we all have knee jerk reactions and want to deffend the service I did the same. The truth be told I am a former career firefighter and medic in south florida and the amount of waste that went on was out of control. The money spent on equipment and other things that should have went to training and other needs didnt happen. When you have a routine sick person EMS call and you get the response of an ALS engine a rescue unit and a private ambulance and then the department pays the private ambulnce to transport and that ambulance bills m-care or caid and collects on the that trip and we sit and ask for more money in taxes why should they stand up and scream????
If you where told tomorrow taxes went up because the garbage company sent 3 trucks to a can and then paid another person to move that can what would you say?
I know we all want pride and how dare any one question who and what we are they have no idea of the risk the stress the loyality and dedication but they also have heard the stories. How many of you complain about auto alarms and want to fine someone for it or refused to help pump out a basement or acted like an ass because a tooth ache call at 3am???? Please remember who and why and dont get caught up in screaming and listen to all sides.

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