Firefighter one of nation’s safest jobs

Firefighter one of nation’s safest jobs

The nation’s astoundingly well-paid public firefighters insist that they receive their high salaries and pensions (averaging around $175,000 a year in total compensation in California, with age-50 retirements and schedules that allow them to sleep on the job and work only a few days every two weeks) because of the terrible dangers they face on the job. They do face occasional and serious dangers, but according to a new National Public Radio report, such dangers are well below those faced by most of America’s workers.

The average death rate in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 workers for the average American worker. Fishermen had the most dangerous jobs with 121 deaths per 100,000, followed by loggers and pilots. Firefighters die at a rate of 2.5 per 100,000 workers, which is slightly above the rate for cashiers (1.6). Yet not many cashiers — or loggers or fishermen or taxi drivers, for that matter — receive “3 percent at 50” retirement plans courtesy of taxpayers. Police officers died at the rate of 18.6 per 100,000, which is significantly below farmers and just above construction workers, although well above the national average. About half of the police deaths are because of car accidents.

By the way, the government considers it an “on the job” death when a firefighter or cop dies from heart attacks, cancer and other common ailments. These are referred to as presumptions. It’s a presumptuous standard, but one that unlocks myriad benefits for surviving family members.

Police and fire also argue for their millionaires’ pension — one would need several million dollars in the bank to receive a lifelong six-figure payout for employee and spouse — based on the idea that they die shortly after retirement. Union officials repeat that falsehood, but even the union-friendly California Public Employees’ Retirement System released a presentation showing that the longest-living category of public employee is a cop followed by a firefighter. They tend to live well into their ’80s which, if you think about it, is why there are those huge unfunded pension liabilities.

All jobs have their dangers and stresses and I don’t wish to minimize those faced by public safety officials, but their unions promote an outsized sense of danger for disturbingly political reasons, just as their unions exploited the 9/11 tragedies for cheap political gain. I wish everyone a long and healthy life, but it would be nice if public-safety unions stopped overplaying the dangers they face in order to hit up the public for more cash. It’s time to stick to the facts.


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  1. Hondo
    Hondo 23 January, 2013, 19:57

    If you discount 911, which was an act of war, I’m sure the death rate would go down further.
    As a former paid and unpaid firefighter, we have see the profession become much safer due to a few things.
    One, better training. But that is normal with any job.
    Breathing apparatus, the air tanks on your back, were huge. A couple breaths of bad air can kill you. Before breathing apparatus, firefighting was a truly dangerous occupation.
    The third is building codes enforcement. Buildings built before ww2 are far more dangerous with horrid electrical wiring, no firestops between floors, better lighting and exits, and SHEETROCK!!!!!. Before sheetrock, all the walls and ceilings were wood. A huge deal. The eastern US has far more old buildings and there fore far more deaths. The west is far newer. Most of Kali’s buildings were built after ww2 and huge fires have never been a problem here. Except for wildfires. But after the Storm king mountain fire in colorado that lost 12, new rules were put in place and even that is much safer.
    Now, they mostly go to car wrecks, and heart attacks. Occasionally a meth lab blows. Not much else though. They just gorge on burgers and shakes and apply for disability when their arteries clog.

    Reply this comment
    • Jb
      Jb 29 January, 2014, 22:57

      Not many a firefighters make near that kind of money. I am a LT and make under 50. I disagree with your analogy of fires being safer. Fuel load! Today’s homes are filled with plastic. It’s flashes faster and puts off hydrogen cyonide which off gases for hours. We still fight plenty of fire. Look at firehouse every day. Wild land fires have taken a huge toll. Storm king was a horrible tragity. I live in Colorado. I can think of a few recent tragities Toledo Fire, and the Granite a Mountain Hot shots. Then go tell our brothers in Detroit your analogy. Shall I go on. Your opinions are based on a worms eye view. I think its hateful to hear a so called brother lash out based on BS. Why don’t you use National statistics.

      Reply this comment
      • Confused
        Confused 5 May, 2015, 17:24

        Jb why don’t you post the Nation Statistics and compare them to other ‘dangerous’ professions and compare the salaries. Transparent California shows many firefighter salaries above 90,000 dollars a year. Let’s take some of their pay and shift it your way. Pay different rates for different calls.

        Reply this comment
      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 25 June, 2015, 15:03

        Jb, my comments are geared towards CALIFORNIA firefighters. Perhaps you should READ before commenting!

        If you are a “LT,” then you ain’t one — I doubt there are any LT’s among our California firefighters (maybe in CALFIRE, but not in most local departments). And CERTAINLY not making $50K. You work in some other state making FAR less than our overpaid CA firefighters receive.

        FACT: The average California firefighter is paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states (ignoring the 72% who are volunteers). CA cops are paid 56% more. And then there’s the 30 year pensions that issue a higher take-home check than these public servants’ salary provided when they were employed. But the CA 2011 median household income (including 2,000,000 gov’t workers) is only 13.4% above the national average.

        Fortunately for Californians, it’s all paid for by the Tooth Fairy. It’s true — I read it on the Internet!

        Reply this comment
        • Voice of reason
          Voice of reason 14 September, 2015, 11:19

          Before you comment that someone didn’t fully read you post perhaps you should go back and read it. You didn’t make the comparison of California wages to California deaths, you compared to America “The average death rate in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 workers for the average American worker”. Further, I would like to point out that firefighters, police officers and soldiers aren’t paid to die, they are paid because they purposely put themselves in the line of fire. If it is California that you are criticizing you need to be a lot more specific or risk coming across as a jerk. Of course that may not be a problem for you.

          Reply this comment
          • Worker
            Worker 28 August, 2017, 15:55

            U r putting yourself in the same category as an active duty sodier. Like soldiers who fight wars. R u foreal?? U need to stop what u r doing and lookup where your so called fireman job is on the most dangerous jobs list. This is how u types continue to spew garbage about fireman safety but for whatever reason people believe it. I am jealous.

        • Bryan
          Bryan 22 September, 2015, 23:34

          I have to agree. California fire fighters are overpaid and underworked. California Transparency proves this to no end, showing earnings by individuals to be double the base salary of 78K with mandatory overtime for when they are sitting at home “on call”. Many fire stations are unmanned yet rural residents are paying a fire tax for vacant fire houses. The wasted funds spent on pick up trucks (4×4 pick ups) for use in the city is absurd. Why would any fire fighter working within the city require a Ford Raptor at an outfitted cost totaling more than $90K. The number of pick up trucks I see with custom wheels and oversized tires with do nothing fire administrators is out of control. The red flags should have went up when 261 homes burnt to the ground in the second set of fires that swept Southern California in 2007, a vast majority with a fire hydrant adjacent to the property. Something needs to be done about their inflated paychecks and pensions before we are all left hold the bag. Not heroes by any means.

          Reply this comment
          • Bambam
            Bambam 31 March, 2017, 14:33

            It’s obvious Hono that you were never a firefighter especially on the west coast by your comments here. The west coast is full of non reinforced masonry buildings. (Jist like the east coast.) And on the west coast drywall (sheet rock on the east coast and mid west) replaced lathe and plaster, which actually kept the firea out of the structure much better than the drywall does. The furnishings are now the biggest issue as they are no longer made from cotton, wool, or natural fibers but are now mostly petroleum based. They put off a much more toxic smoke that is also absorbed through the skin. The cancer rates for firefighters per a CDC study in 2016 is much greater than for the general population. This has been mirrored by studies by NIOSH, Harvard school of medicine and several other major university studies. Studies of fire fighters, the cancers of primary concern were ● ● cancers of the ● ○ lung ● ○ brain ● ○ stomach ● ○ esophagus ● ○ intestines ● ○ rectum ● ○ kidney ● ○ bladder ● ○ prostate ● ○ testes ● ● leukemia ● ● multiple myeloma ● ● non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The rate of cancer related deaths in fact have risen steadily since 1950. Haters will hate, I get that, but putting out false information should never be accepted.

          • Joanie
            Joanie 23 May, 2017, 12:10

            You have no idea what you are talking about ! My husband died. He never made the money you talk about. You should all be ashamed.

        • Rich
          Rich 15 March, 2016, 19:47

          I’m calling BS on the average being 175g a year. I only make 72, which is very good,and maybe a few chiefs make what you posted. Please get the facts correct and don’t be jealous.

          Reply this comment
        • The Ted Steele System
          The Ted Steele System 9 November, 2017, 08:01

          Richy— I agree that the pensions may be a bit too high for these lads—Gov Brown has fixed that issue going forward so relax little buiddy. But also— these fellows pass from cancer and heart disease after retirement in higher numbers and the job while they have it is dangerous despite this so called study— It’s too bad the pensions got to 3%– just a tad high imho. Im sure you are about to cite some dubious studies– please— enjoy….3,2,1.

          Reply this comment
      • yodog
        yodog 4 February, 2016, 23:44

        Per hours actually working vs down time including sleeping, studying, or even doing book work for an addition occupation all full time fireman and women are overpaid, over compensated, because of extensive rhetoric of heroism. All of your “brothers” BS feeds into each others, I for one don’t buy it. Want to know who everyday heroes really are?? Everyone that goes to work everyday busts their ass’ every minute to make a living the minute we punch in until we punch out, and I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t risk their lives if need be without extensive training or proper gear, to save someone. Volunteer fireman are for real, they have my respect. Police have my unequivocal respect, military most, real people with a real badge of heroism.

        Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 11 May, 2015, 11:32

      “if you discount 9-11”

      LOL Honda—- God Bless ya little buddy—-tell all those dead FF’s and cops—–Of Course– it’s a dangerous job– like other jobs— clowns can debate the subtle nuances til we all fall asleep—— but it takes bravery to be a cop or a FF— I know you hate to hear that but it does and almost every single American agrees—– I can’t understand why republicans are so bent on destroying the working conditions and compensation of the people who protect us.

      Oh—- and the Illinois Supreme Court (among many other courts) agrees— but I’m sure you’ll “discount” that opinion…in 3, 2, ….1

      Reply this comment
      • Bozo
        Bozo 30 October, 2016, 23:52

        Has anybody noticed that after 9-11 all cops and firemen are now considered heroes…Heroes because they went to work that morning. Well my friends, there were a lot of other people who went to work that morning who are never mentioned…..Now every small-dick bonehead wants to be a tough guy hero…

        Reply this comment
    • BK
      BK 23 July, 2016, 05:52

      I have been a firefighter for 12yrs now. A driver for the past 10. I am also a fire instructor. My opinion if both Greenhut and Hondo is: They most likely have never been in the fire service at all and are talking out their a**. Here is why. To start with the national mortality rate of a firefighter in the U.S. is 11.1 per 100,000. Not 2.5 as Greenhut has implied. Yes, the rate has dropped over the years and Greenhut is correct when he said it is partially due to improved PPE. But as much this makes it safer for firefighters here is what has declined and has made firefighting more dangerous.
      Structures are not made as strong as the were not long ago. Here is just one example is in lightweight construction. The gusset plates used now made out of aluminum and just tacked it. This alone saves construction companies a lot of money but does not take much fire to made the aluminum expand and fall apart which causes structural collapse.
      It is true sheet rock is now commonly used and it does generally hold 1 hour fire retardation. NOT FIRE PROOF.
      What J.B. said about fire load is dead on correct. The materials used in normal furnishings used to been more fire resistant or did not burn as hot. Example: untreated wood, cotton. Now we see plastics, treated wood, styrene and other man-made materials that not only put off hydrogen cyanide as J.B. has stated but it burn much faster and much much hotter. It used to be a Backdraft that was a common threat. Now it is a Flashover which makes a Backdraft mild in comparison.
      With this in mind, it takes the positive effects of the sheetrock almost completely out of the equation as previously mentioned.
      When it comes to the salaries. Greenhut says the average salary / compensation a firefighter is 175,000 annually. It is obvious both himself and Hondo must be talking about California. I do not know California statics but that is a far cry from the national average. A firefighter is about $75,000 to $85,000. That includes retirement, health benifits, vacation ect.
      Greenhut and Hondo also claim firefighters only work a couple of days every 2 weeks. Actually we work 24 hrs on and 48 hrs off. Which equates to a 3 week cycle. Two weeks we work 3 days which is 72 hrs and than 1 week that we work 48 hrs. Which is more than the average worker working a 40 hr week. It is true we are not actually working every hour while on shift. And we do get to sleep. Depending on the call volume daily we could make 20 to 30 calls in a 24 hr shift and on a non-active day 4 or 5 and everything in between. A lot of that depends on the city and/or station the firefighter works at. Which brings up the Heart Attack as Greenhut and Hondo mentioned. They referred to it as if was just the same a everybody else. WRONG!. Heart attack is the #1 cause if death amongst firefighters. Largely due to the stress. We are sound asleep and the station alerts sound off. From within that moment we are from a sound sleep to being in the middle of a structure fire. Not only putting out the fire but probably searching for trapped occupants or a car accident tring to extricate and keep a victim alive. Remember we were asleep 6 min ago. We go from zero to 1000 in a moments notice. What neither Greenhut or Hondo mentioned is the liability we are faced with. If we make a mistake and somebody dies or gets injured because of something we did or did not do. The firefighter personally could be faced with fine, job loss, getting sued, jail time and possibly imprisonment. I am referring from one extreme to another. So to summarize. To compare a firefighter and the pay, work structure ect to the average workers. We work hard for our benifits. We are paid not for what we do. We are paid for what and when.we have to do it.

      Reply this comment
      • Johnny Tonkins
        Johnny Tonkins 25 July, 2016, 13:07

        Your death rate is way off. You provide no source

        Reply this comment
      • Bozo
        Bozo 30 October, 2016, 23:45

        Your profession is not the most dangerous….Yes, perhaps a bit more dangerous than a rodeo clowns, You are all a bunch of tit-sucking government leeches…Someday the public will wake up to the outrageous salaries we are paying cops and firemen and maybe there will be a revolution…..

        Reply this comment
      • Gordon
        Gordon 27 June, 2017, 16:41

        You complain that the 2.5/100000 is the wrong mortality rate. Then you go and quote number also unsubstantiated. So you are trying to win the ‘make up numbers’ contest? How about backed up numbers:

        Annual US firefighter deaths in 2016 is 69

        Numbers of firefighters in the US is 1217400

        Using basic math the death rate per 100000 is:

        (100,000/1217400)*69 = 5.7

        SO YOU ARE BOTH WRONG. But i am with Hondo since this rate doesn’t merit firefighters the right to defined benefits pensions WHICH NO ONE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN EVEN DREAM OF ANYMORE.

        The point you are missing is that firefighters should have to create a 401K and manage your own money like the rest of us. You are not that special. Sorry to bust your bubble with facts. Do fishermen get pensions for life? No they don’t. So shut up before the people paying for you rise up on mass and make you have to worry about whether you will be working at 78 like my Dad currently does. Get the point now?

        Reply this comment
    • Bk
      Bk 23 July, 2016, 06:13

      I really should have proof read my material before i sent it. I want to clarify something i sent. I the portion where i was referring to the work schedule. I said we are on shift 24hrs and off for 48hrs. I also made the point for 2 weeks we work 3 shifts. What i meant to emphasize is “we work 3 24hrs shift a week for 2 weeks”. And than 2. 24hr shift for one week.

      Reply this comment
    • Firebrew
      Firebrew 29 September, 2016, 17:18

      Tell that to Michael Fahey’s family. FDNY, RIP.

      Reply this comment
    • Bill - San Jose
      Bill - San Jose 19 February, 2017, 18:22

      I know that the average life expectancy of a CA firefighter is 85. I am sorry for not having the research at hand from my cell phone but the fellow who made CalWatchDog what it is today, Mr. Greenhut, mentioned this at a town hall back a few years ago.

      I am sure that CWD and Steven would not publish fake news.

      Cheers all.

      Reply this comment
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      Reply this comment
    • Bambam
      Bambam 31 March, 2017, 14:27

      It’s obvious Hono that you were never a firefighter especially on the west coast by your comments here. The west coast is full of non reinforced masonry buildings. (Jist like the east coast.) And on the west coast drywall (sheet rock on the east coast and mid west) replaced lathe and plaster, which actually kept the firea out of the structure much better than the drywall does. The furnishings are now the biggest issue as they are no longer made from cotton, wool, or natural fibers but are now mostly petroleum based. They put off a much more toxic smoke that is also absorbed through the skin. The cancer rates for firefighters per a CDC study in 2016 is much greater than for the general population. This has been mirrored by studies by NIOSH, Harvard school of medicine and several other major university studies. Studies of fire fighters, the cancers of primary concern were ● ● cancers of the ● ○ lung ● ○ brain ● ○ stomach ● ○ esophagus ● ○ intestines ● ○ rectum ● ○ kidney ● ○ bladder ● ○ prostate ● ○ testes ● ● leukemia ● ● multiple myeloma ● ● non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The rate of cancer related deaths in fact have risen steadily since 1950. Haters will hate, I get that, but putting out false information should never be accepted.

      Reply this comment
    • Worker
      Worker 28 August, 2017, 15:47

      U r just supporting my view of this bull shit. U have to try to play the danger card to support your insane salleries, am i jealous yes sir I am. I work my ass off and I do not have a city I can screw for millions a year. Why do u feel u deserve such huge salleries. U have not skills required prior to hire. U r completely trained on the job.

      All over the country paying these crazy fireman numbers has weekened cities or what typically happens is they go into some type of fiscal emergency but keep paying those numbers because the public is afraid to say a bad word about a firman. Most smart folks know it’s their union one of the strongest ever. Cities are terrified of that union for some reason.

      Yes sir I am very bitter, with so many struggling this job category just keeps going up. I would be very very interested to know how many hours they actually work. But no one seems to be able to figure this out. I wish I could sleep at work.

      Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 January, 2013, 21:13

    I have said it beofre, they DESERVE!

    Reply this comment
  3. Donkey
    Donkey 23 January, 2013, 21:38

    The myth of the “hero” in red is just that, a myth! It is only a well choreographed facade, designed to steal pay, perks, benefits, and huge pensions from the hard working private sector taxpayers, as it is with most in the employ of the RAGWUS.

    When the end comes for these thieves, prison time is the reward they have earned. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Tbone
      Tbone 28 May, 2015, 07:17

      I wonder if this will be your opinion if your at a window ready to jump to your death and a FF has to come get you.

      Reply this comment
    • firet11
      firet11 21 September, 2015, 11:20

      Are you the azzhole that tried to chases away firefighters from your burning livingroom when we arrivied and find you trying to throw trashcans of water on it? True story .

      Reply this comment
  4. Joe
    Joe 23 January, 2013, 22:44

    Most of these people (firefighters) could stay home and the damage would be about the same. I’m 77 years old and have never seen a cop or firefighter do anything that the average citizen has done in the same situation. we tried to stop this scam about fifty years but they (politicians) let them form unions and the scam was on and has never stopped. This has ruined most towns and cities in the USA.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 07:18

    LOL, I can only laugh at you cowards that sit home on your computer and proceed to tell us how dangerous our job Isn’t. Most of you are just looking to stir up a fight. Most have you have not seen or done anything that even comes close to what we go through. Joe, I cant imagine how many countless lives you have saved in your 77 yrs. of life. Please make sure you NEVER call 911, because your average neighbor will be able to handle the problem!

    Reply this comment
    • mrmarijuanakills
      mrmarijuanakills 2 August, 2013, 13:53

      I get sick and tired of that bullshit from firefighters ‘ YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT WE GO THROUGH ‘
      Please tell me then .

      Reply this comment
      • john
        john 2 March, 2014, 10:04

        It is true that there are fewer hazards today than their were of the firefighter’s the “myth” is built around. But this doesn’t mean many of these hazards aren’t still around today. Firefighting is a noble occupation, and it takes guts to maintain complete composure while putting one’s life on the line for another. I have an equal level of respect for cops in this regard. You ask to understand “what we go through”, but it is surely not something that I can tell you. You’re so quick to discount the merits of a great profession from so little of what you apparently know.

        Reply this comment
      • Ilya Bobrovsky
        Ilya Bobrovsky 14 May, 2014, 15:00

        Are you kidding me, I believe firefighting is a dangerous job. My job that I do now is actually one of the most dangerous jobs and I’m just a roofer. A lot of roofing deaths are just lack of safety. But also can be from equipment failure. Why I think firefighting is more dangerous is because when they go into a fire that fire is growing and weakening the structure.. People should get the point. Us roofers don’t have to worry about fire under us. Hell I saw firefighters cutting a roof in a lightning storm!

        Reply this comment
      • Tbone
        Tbone 28 May, 2015, 07:18

        How about instead you tell the families of fallen firefighters how you are sick of bullshit from firefighters who say “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT WE GO THROUGH”

        Reply this comment
    • Betty Anthony
      Betty Anthony 26 December, 2013, 22:03

      I just read the obituary of my ex-husband’s cousin in the paper. He died from the damage done to his lungs fighting fire. There still are houses with asbestos in them and that furniture that has that ‘fire preventive’ covering? Well, it i a killer to the lungs also. My ex had it safer as a cop than his cousin as a firefighter. When my late husband had his heart attack, it was the firefighters who responded before the ambulance got here & kept him alive. My grandson is a forestry firefighter.. Anyone remember how many Hot Shots died in Arizona this summer of 2013? My grandson is a Hot Shot. They put their lives on the line all summer for you piss poor excuses for human beings. may God forgive you and the writers of this articles for your ignorance.

      Reply this comment
    • HALLER
      HALLER 11 October, 2017, 18:35

      Great comment Dave! Most people never even give a simple thanks until we are there cutting them or there loved one from a mangled car or reviving there toddler because they don’t know what to do. But damn if a firefighter falls through a burning roof or floor & dies. The fact is that we put our lives at risk to save others & not to mention that most firemen are in fact volunteers & “most paid” are under paid….

      Reply this comment
  6. R J Pease
    R J Pease 24 January, 2013, 07:20

    “Astoningly well paid”?!? Over 70% of the Nations Firefighters are VOLUNTEERS!

    Explain that fact away!

    Reply this comment
    • jp
      jp 8 August, 2014, 11:38

      Yeah, I would like to see a major urban city staff their fire department with volunteers.

      Reply this comment
  7. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 07:31

    Hey Hondo, just from reading what you wrote, I can tell you were NEVER a part of ANY brotherhood! I would imagine your dreams were to be a career firefighter and somehow they were dashed! Now you are just a disgruntled wanna be!

    Reply this comment
  8. Eric
    Eric 24 January, 2013, 07:55

    Well now I have to argue a lot of this point, and yes I am a firefighter!!! According to statistics provided by the United States Fire Administration ( there are 1,082,500 firefighters in the US 278,300 career and 804,200 volunteer! Therefore, it is not broken down whether we are paid or volunteer, unless it is some type of administration such as the USFA, so we as firefighters are all categorized into the same category, yet as shown above 804,200 do not receive a pay check, we can not retire with money received from being a firefighter, why, because we do not get any money from anyone. What do volunteer firefighters get? Well in addition to performing life saving duties, and property conservation, we also save lives by performing other duties, such as CPR. Many volunteer firefighters come from many different backgrounds, we have doctors, lawyers, police officers, secretaries, and yes even crappy news reporters with their own personal opinion on firefighters, and also there are some firefighters who are 77 years old and run circles around the younger crowds, so there is a large mix of what we do to make money!

    In 2012, there were 83 firefighters who died in the line of duty, which means they have sacrificed their lives for the life of another! 40 of those were volunteer, 32 career firefighters, and the remaining were either wildland, contractors, or industrial firefighters. 23 of the 83 died on the scene of the call, 17 died after, 15 died while on duty, 12 died while responding, 8 died during training, 7 died on the scene of non-fire emergencies (car accidents, medical emergencies and the like), and 1 died returning from a fire to the fire station. facts as posted above.

    Now, while I have posted these lists above, and shown the link of the line of duty deaths, I will say I am not disputing there are other careers which are more dangerous, however, just remember this, until 9-11-01, firefighters were nothing until we were needed, for approximately 5 years after that tragic day, we were heroes in everyones minds, we would have passing motorists wave at us, people thanking us while walking past the fire company building, people who’s homes were just on fire thanked us for providing a service and possibly saving their lives, then and to this day, we are again nothing until needed. What do we get for doing our jobs, harassed because we “took too long” we “cut holes in the roof and broke windows for no reason”, we did this, we did that, we let the house burn to the ground, well lets say this, as a fire officer, I am not putting any of my personnel in extreme danger to save your home, possessions can be replaced, an human life can’t. So I task you with this, if you think that you can create a change for the fire service, or if you think you can handle what we handle on a daily basis, then do me a favor, either join your local volunteer fire company, or apply, study, and pass all the tests required then attempt to make the changes you feel you can make!

    Reply this comment
  9. Tim
    Tim 24 January, 2013, 08:20

    Very well said Eric. I’m sure nothing from the guy who published this will be able to come back on here with a rebuttal. I’m sure he is sitting scratching his head as to why he posted something so stupid just to get some publicity. The media has ruined this country and continues to with the ramblings of what reporters think will get a rise out of their audience. I hope he never has to call 911 for a fire or for a medic to diagnose his chest pain and give him life saving medical care.

    Reply this comment
  10. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 24 January, 2013, 08:33

    Bla, bla, bla…so many in our society think they are special and deserve financial rewards for their entire life, becasue of what they do for their chosen career. Study up about Doctors without borders anad many other charitable pursuits. Bla, Bla, bla, no wonder so many youth are self centered; their “role models” are spoiled brats.

    Reply this comment
    • Justin
      Justin 16 May, 2014, 09:28

      . I want you to do a firefighters job for a year. try waking up 4-5 times in the middle of the night after running 7 calls in the day and having to put out a burning blaze. yes firefighters do sit around but not as much as some people think. but when they are sitting around they are waiting for ignorant idiots like you to call. i hope you never need firefighters to help you.

      Reply this comment
  11. alan
    alan 24 January, 2013, 09:02

    when i was 15 i was an Eagle Scout and got my EMT certificate. As a shotputter i could bench 230 and run a couple of miles so physically i was ahead of most adults at 6ft 225lbs. I could not drive though and needed someone to drive me. It is not that hard a job and if a 15 year old can do it physically and trainig wise what is the big deal.

    Reply this comment
    • stfu
      stfu 12 July, 2014, 20:27

      So at 15 you were performing CPR and cutting people out of cars and climbing 105′ ladders all while wearing full turnout gear and caring equipment?
      Ask me how many times as a firefighter I was required to lift 230 lbs off of my chest.
      Glad you asked. That is a great question. The answer is zero. Zero times have I have to lift 230 pounds off my chest.
      Your comparison to you being able to workout out means nothing to the work done as a firefighter. Stay in school. You are going to need it by the sounds of your post.
      Side note… I have never heard of firefighters making in upwards of $100,000. The article and the video posted above is possibly the dumbest thing I have seen or read.
      -Crash Rescue Fire

      Reply this comment
      • Court Wiedenmayer
        Court Wiedenmayer 24 August, 2014, 23:50

        You can’t be serious doubting this article exposing how much firefighters make? What district or agency do you work for, or are you with a volunteer fire department? Our already well-paid local firemen just got raises and bonuses, but here are the actual pre-raise numbers. The amounts combine pay (regular+OT+other)and other benefits – health care allowances, etc. Ready to face reality (or actually fantasyland for most private sector employees?) Here you go:
        16 senior-level employees make between $234K and $427K. The lowest, most junior positions pay between $192,589.00 and $204,828.00. TWO to FOUR times the amount you ‘never heard of firefighters making in upwards of $100,000.’

        Reply this comment
        • Mike
          Mike 26 September, 2014, 17:01

          I’m on the East Coast. When firefighters start at FDNY, they are making $39k/year. That’s not even enough to LIVE in the city, which is a requirement for being employed by them. It’s not until after 5 years that they start making $76k/year. I’d love to know where firefighters can make $192k/year starting… I’ll move there in a second.

          Reply this comment
          • SDVeteran
            SDVeteran 30 March, 2015, 13:38

            Ok, I checked your facts, but you lied to us about what happens next, and you miss-led us about overtime (you forgot to add in the 10-20K for a newby., So you’re a 22 yo with no college (or very little) and you go to work making 40K a year to start. I personally think that is a GREAT, GREAT salary for a starting job. And that doesn’t count OT. Get your head on “Mike” and check your facts. Idiots like you spout off false information. And by the way, check out their pensions and factor that into pay!

        • Mik
          Mik 27 April, 2017, 21:06

          Where exactly are y’all people getting these pain numbers I know initially to start off as a firefighter in California depending on what part you live in yes can be 66 to $100,000 now is you worked up you can make more yes. Do you know how expensive s*** and California is Yelp a stupid amount of money for houses that you go anywhere else and get that for 1/3 the price. Why is everything more expensive in California everything. Now yes technology and gear has gotten better I will grant that to anybody who says anything. When you look at Cost of Living and pay that’s a little off the wall I paid $90,000 for my house and I only make 40 Grand a year yes I live in Alabama now because California was too expensive. If you really want to make money as a firefighter contract overseas. And what’s bad about the big departments like San Francisco they actually run their butts off. Including medical calls fire calls car accident. They even go to Joe Blow on the side of the road who’s complaining that he’s cold and decided to call nine-one-one. Too bad the private sector doesn’t have a retirement plan anymore it used to for certain jobs but you’re going to complain about firefighters when city workers get the same retirement because I work for the city and they’re giving back to the people. What the hell does a worker at McDonald’s give back to the people you can’t even put cheese on my hamburger? Now if you’re a hard-working American you’re into Construction let’s see what other jobs are there they’re actually hard-working that you going to bust your ass every f****** day ac and heating Plumbing eletrical. Oil feild welding.etc…… there’s a bunch more that it slipped my mind but if you sit behind a desk all day and play with Microsoft Word that’s not really a career in my eyes because I can’t stand like Tronics like trying to make people distance from each other when they’re sitting side by side I do like old-fashioned skills like farming just because I’m a firefighter at day doesn’t mean I don’t Farm on my days off and give back to the community and try to sell my crops or chicken houses or cattle or pigs. Most firefighters I know have multiple jobs because their career yes has great benefits but it doesn’t pay all the bills especially when you have 4 Kids a wife and a dog not including any farm animals. Thank you I enjoyed reading everyone stuff everyone is entitled to their opinion this is America that’s something we are known for I’ve been to several other countries in my time in the military that you couldn’t speak your mind so God bless and have a good day and yes I was writing this all on my cell phone so the grammar is messed up and there’s not punctuation blame it on my cell phone or just blame it that I’m grammatically unintelligent and this like Electronics even though I have them

          Reply this comment
    • bigz
      bigz 19 April, 2015, 13:39

      Hey Alan I’m going to call your bullshit, you have to be 18 to take your national registry for EMT, so how did you take it at 15?

      Reply this comment
    • BK
      BK 23 July, 2016, 06:26

      Well Mr. Eagle Scout. Each department has there own level of difficulty. Some don’t have any. There is no NFPA standard for the agility test. You must have tested for a department with very low standards. Which is probably the quality of firefighter the receive. The flip side is: Our agility test is so stringent that men coming staight out of the military have trouble oassing it. Actually pass/fail ratio is 1 out of 10 pass. So you can rock on in your substandard department. You little fire hero.

      Reply this comment
  12. eyeamok
    eyeamok 24 January, 2013, 09:03

    “so many in our society think they are special and deserve financial rewards for their entire life”

    They believe in their being special so much that, Without even Blinking an Eye, proudly proclaim that ENSLAVING OUR CHILDREN IN DEBT to pay for their WANTS today is totally acceptable, after all it’s not like they can vote, they are just kids. EVERY Public Servant and Public Employee in AMERICA is MORALLY BANKRUPT. They are the Modern Day Slave Masters. Including and especially Police and Fire.

    Reply this comment
  13. Lee
    Lee 24 January, 2013, 10:09

    FACT: Police Officers are the ONLY occupation where the “average death rate” includes persons wishing to intentional and unlawfully KILL with MALICE AFORETHOUGHT, a person performing a public service provided by the government. Many of the “car accidents” stem from police pursuits where the public servant is attempting to catch a violator, and in doing so, dies as a result, can you say manslaughter? OR, responding to an “in progress” call for service or “back up” to a fellow officer, all to serve their community.
    FACT: I’d rather see public safety official “over paid” with “unfunded” pension liabilities, than “dead heros”, for any reason, any day.

    Reply this comment
  14. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 10:10

    Quoting …”All jobs have their dangers and stresses and I don’t wish to minimize those faced by public safety officials, but their unions promote an outsized sense of danger for disturbingly political reasons,”

    Your word “political” should be “GREEDY”.

    Reply this comment
  15. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 10:14

    Eric, save the union lies for the meetings. FF’s and Cops are overpaid and underworked 99% of the time and you know it. The truth is that the only people in government that work less than cops are FF’s.

    The wild fires are all fought with prisoners from the state Prison Industrial Complex(PIC) while the suited up “professional FF” stands around collecting overtime and acting as if they have to power of an Army General.

    The ruse you and your theiving comrades have pulled on the hard working taxpayers will not be corrected by applying for your worthless job category. The entire FF system needs to be terminated and replaced with all volunteers, paid only when actually needed. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Larry
      Larry 13 June, 2014, 07:09

      I have a buddy of mine here in Florida that is a retired Cop and he draws more money retirement than he did on the job.FACT!!!!!

      Reply this comment
      • Tom
        Tom 23 June, 2014, 09:36

        Pensions are based on a percentage of earnings while working. Your FACT is impossible.

        Reply this comment
    • gdogs209
      gdogs209 20 February, 2015, 23:53

      Donkey…. Its so easy to find the facts about things before you…post. I am a wildland firefighter, professionally. I do not belong to the “pic”, I work for the federal government. So do thousands of others. Last year I worked over 800 hours of overtime (all on fires) yet I still made less the 30k that year. Where you and this author are getting these silly numbers of 175k/year and 99% are underworked I don’t know. I do know you need to check your sources and maybe read for a few minutes. If you worked as many hours as I did, in the conditions I work in, as hard as I work, hiked as far as I hiked and were abused like most firefighters, for 30k a year, I’d bet you’d refrain from making comments like this.

      Reply this comment
      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 7 October, 2015, 21:19

        gdogs209 — The facts being discussed here are for CALIFORNIA local union firefighters. Not the forestry firefighters. Not the federal firefighters. Not the firefighters in most other states. And the facts presented here ARE accurate.

        Yes, unbelievable. But accurate, nevertheless. All you need to know is this: YOU need to become a local union California firefighter!

        Reply this comment
        • Mik
          Mik 27 April, 2017, 21:14

          So that is base pay correct? Or is that overtime mixed with benefits and base pay?

          Reply this comment
    • Firefighter134
      Firefighter134 9 March, 2015, 21:58

      You sound like you know what you are talking about. Have you have been in prison to experience this yourself? Or do you just hear about it from the media. When you generalize statements like”they all are prisoners” it really hurts the credibility of your statement. You should be grateful there are people who get out and fight the fires, and since you have suck strong words about them maybe you should get off your ass and do it yourself

      Reply this comment
    • donkeys daddy
      donkeys daddy 7 October, 2015, 16:40

      DONKEY wtf do you do for food?

      Reply this comment
    • Jbizzle
      Jbizzle 4 January, 2018, 22:08

      As a Marine and a current FF, your comment is ridiculous, I truly hope you never have need of the tremendous services of our great first responders. Your callous remarks leave me questioning what this generation values and gives me a sick feeling in my gut.

      Reply this comment
  16. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 10:25

    Quoting Dave ..”All jobs have their dangers and stresses and I don’t wish to minimize those faced by public safety officials, but their unions promote an outsized sense of danger for disturbingly political reasons,”

    Dave, It sounds to me that you’re simply pissed that a former “brother” has the audacity to expose the Greed and BS that constantly comes from you “heroes”.

    At some point your pension will assuredly be reduced (the MATH always trumps politics). While I generally don’t like that idea for PAST service accruals, in your case …. bring it on.

    Reply this comment
  17. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 10:28

    Boy I mixed up that last comment. Lets try again…

    Quoting DAVE …”Hey Hondo, just from reading what you wrote, I can tell you were NEVER a part of ANY brotherhood! I would imagine your dreams were to be a career firefighter and somehow they were dashed! Now you are just a disgruntled wanna be!”

    Dave, It sounds to me that you’re simply pissed that a former “brother” has the audacity to expose the Greed and BS that constantly comes from you “heroes”.

    At some point your pension will assuredly be reduced (the MATH always trumps politics). While I generally don’t like that idea for PAST service accruals, in your case …. bring it on.

    Reply this comment
  18. Kuh Shise
    Kuh Shise 24 January, 2013, 11:37

    Perhaps I should not dignify Mr. Greenhut’s rant by answering his drivel; however in the spirit of reminding his readers of the tenacious existence they lead while living and loving over the Newport – Inglewood – Rose Canyon fault zone. Let alone being a part of the millions that flirt with the San Andreas while driving to and from work. Mr. Greenhut might be too young to remember the Northridge and Loma Prieta quakes of 1989 & 1994. We wonder if he would risk his life crawling under the debris from collapsed buildings and freeways to search and rescue trapped citizens.

    Being a “Well Read” journalist, perhaps he should take the time to understand what happens if a major fire evolves into a conflagration. One that generates its own draft capable of throwing heavy timbers a half mile or more as documented in the Great Chicago Fire or that fire, generated in his own state following the 1906 quake in San Francisco.

    I challenge you, Mr. Greenhut to find an expert on modern “Engineered” light weight construction, and green buildings to really learn about the dangers faced by firefighters when attacking these “Modern Construction Marvels.” Perhaps you would like to contribute to a fund to help pay for treatment of cancers in firefighters caused by exposure to combustion products. Wear your breathing apparatus, you say… Try that when you are the driver, putting the pump in gear while the line is being stretched, and a wind shift blows the stuff in your direction. Pennsylvania recently changed the law concerning cancer found in firefighters. Immediate result was a three fold increase in Workmen’s Compensation premiums. Do you think that the insurance companies were under covering a lot of the cases?

    For the other fellow who claims to have been a firefighter… Before there was drywall, there was plasterboard, and before that there was lath and plaster bound with pig hair and mixed with asbestos. Stucco goes back thousands of years and the dust from these things has been a known carcinogen since the days of the pyramids. Stone Masons Consumption was a fact of life for slaves and laborers since man started building with stone. Firefighters have always been exposed when it became necessary to overhaul and move debris. Not just recent phenomenon, but recent studies have highlighted the true causes.

    Reply this comment
  19. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 12:27

    Tim said …”I’m sure nothing from the guy who published this will be able to come back on here with a rebuttal. I’m sure he is sitting scratching his head as to why he posted something so stupid just to get some publicity. ”

    Really ? I re-read the article and the take-away isn’t that firemen or policemen are unloved or unappreciated, but that their compensation is simply too high, mainly via excessive pensions (and the risk isn’t there to justify it).

    The author specifically said … “Police and fire also argue for their millionaires’ pension — one would need several million dollars in the bank to receive a lifelong six-figure payout for employee and spouse “.

    Bottom line is that you’re VERY greedy and overcompensated …. mostly by your Union’s buying of our elected officials’ favorable votes on pay, pensions, and benefits via campaign contributions and election support.

    Reply this comment
  20. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 12:37

    Lee said …”FACT: Police Officers are the ONLY occupation where the “average death rate” includes persons wishing to intentional and unlawfully KILL with MALICE AFORETHOUGHT, a person performing a public service provided by the government. Many of the “car accidents” stem from police pursuits where the public servant is attempting to catch a violator, and in doing so, dies as a result, can you say manslaughter? OR, responding to an “in progress” call for service or “back up” to a fellow officer, all to serve their community.”

    Lee, dollars to donuts you (or your spouse) is an active or retired police officer benefiting from these grossly excessive pensions.

    Yes, what you said is true to some extent, but those deaths are in the stats presented and don’t add up to a risk level that justifies your absurdly generous pensions.

    Projecting your logic would mean we should give the front-line military (with 1000+ times the risk of police officers)$million/month pensions.

    You’re just GREEDY !

    Reply this comment
  21. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 12:48

    Quoting Kuh Shise …”Pennsylvania recently changed the law concerning cancer found in firefighters. Immediate result was a three fold increase in Workmen’s Compensation premiums. Do you think that the insurance companies were under covering a lot of the cases? ”

    All that means is that your Union successfully persuaded your bought-and-paid-for legislators to include as “job related” many diseases that most typically get as they age. Almost EVERYONE eventually dies from heart disease and/or cancer.

    Just more Public Sector Union/worker GREED.

    Reply this comment
  22. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 24 January, 2013, 12:49

    Bla, bla, bla,,,for those who think they are so special that they deserve an lifetime of generous income, just go make me ill.

    Reply this comment
  23. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 24 January, 2013, 14:37

    Of course the disabilities skyrocketed after the PA Legislature changed the presumption law. It became an entitlement. In California, the State Fund, created by the Legislature, is the largest provider in the state. Firefighters live on average into their mid-80s, the second-longest-living CalPERS group, which debunks the idea that their jobs are more life-threatening than others. That’s not to say there aren’t serious risks, but the data put the risk level in perspective.
    –Steven Greenhut

    Reply this comment
  24. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 14:55

    Tough Love..your a desk sitting COWARD as well!! You couldn’t handle our job..Face it!!! You are so tough sitting behind a desk…visit your local PD or FD and let them know how you feel! I am sure you wont, because you feel more secure behind your laptop! are funny…

    Reply this comment
  25. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 14:59

    I am guessing unemployed as well!

    Reply this comment
  26. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 24 January, 2013, 15:04

    Gentlemen: I’m being a little lenient here on the posts. But please keep it civil or I’ll start deleting.

    — John Seiler, Managing Editor

    Reply this comment
  27. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 15:09

    Dave, the “cowards” are the liars and frauds of the public employee unions police and fire scams. Now go back to waching your porn on the big screen tv provided by the taxpayers Dave! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  28. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 15:16

    Easy to talk from behind your laptop..Donkey Don’t be angry, get out there and find a job. You can do it. You have to put yourself to it. So go on, get off your couch, deny your next unemployment check and get to work.

    Reply this comment
  29. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 15:49

    Kue Shise, the average Californian that grew up in the 1950’s thru the 1980’s was exposed to more particulate matter in the dirty air we breathed than any than any present day FF. Thanks to the catalytic converter and non-abestos brake pads the air is much better today. The arguments you put forward are nothing more than RAGWUS talking points. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  30. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 15:52

    Dave…Safety public employees like you, with your unapologetic “GREED” make it worse. The “LOVE” is gone, so is the respect. Unfortunately Firefighters today are just another overpaid public employee.

    Reply this comment
  31. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 15:53

    Dave, I am retired from a business I sold five years ago. I now spend a small portion of my time explaining the crooked schemes the RAGWUS has played upon the private sector citizens. This will eventully lead to the end of your pilfering of public funds for your own enrichment. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Teddy
      Teddy 29 October, 2015, 17:19

      Duncey “sold” his yarn shop, lmao—– now he spends EVERT day ALL day gadfly commenting on EVERYthing!


      Reply this comment
  32. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 15:58

    Most citizens are angry Dave, once they are informed of what the RAGWUS has done and how much they are stealing. Don’t fret too much though, the math is going to fix the pay, benefits, perks, and peansions you are recieving. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Teddy
      Teddy 29 October, 2015, 17:17

      Poor Duncey donkey!!!


      Reply this comment
    • Mik
      Mik 27 April, 2017, 21:26

      This is funny. So California where everything is expensive similar to NY. So fire fighters pay. So after doing 20 plus years with a company you have to rely on your saving skills. I choose fire dept. I am a fire fighter yes. I moved from there due to way to expensive. Thanks to army i learned how cheap it is to live in other places. Fire fighting is not heroic it is a career feild where i rather put your needs above my own for Christmas. It is where I will come out to your house at any hour of the night just to help you. We give back to our community. He help with city events. We go out after storm and clear roads. It is a career i love. When i retire i wont get 100 percent of my pay. Ill get 35 percent maybe. Which then hope i saved enough to pay all my big bills off. Cali is expensive and people dont realize it untill they move. So yeah i work 10 to 12 days a month and volunteer with another county also. Because it about giving back not beeing greedy but i also need to support my family too. And not off Raman noodles. I hope yall figure this retarted issue out. God bless!

      Reply this comment
  33. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 16:03

    Yea…Ok Just think, even after all the garbage you spew, when you are clutching your chest, gasping for air, some poor slob will still pump on it, trying to bring you back to your laptop and unemployment check. I can only laugh at people like you. You are truly comical.

    Reply this comment
  34. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 16:18

    Dave …Private employee Ambulance companies can and are doing the EMS in many places at no cost to the tax payer. Only 2% of fire department calls are fires and could be handled in most cases by volunteers or paid call fire personnel.

    Reply this comment
    • Jim
      Jim 17 September, 2014, 10:34

      Private Ambulances doing EMS for no cost to the tax payer. Are you kidding! Private Ambulance companies are in the business to make money,not provide the most effective services. “No cost” obviously you don’t understand what happens after you get a ride to the hospital, you get a bill from the ambulance company! I’ve seen them as high as $1500 for a 2-3 mile transport. They charge you for everything, including oxygen. Where I worked there where 5 fire stations that covered the city and 2 private ambulances. I can’t count the times we arrived first to provide life saving measures and had to wait while the private ambulance company had to respond another ambulance from a different area, sometimes 10 minutes away to are call. Talk to any ambulance driver and ask them about “transfers”. These are the money makers for these companies. As the name implies, patients are transferred between locations via private ambulances. This at times reduced the available for medical calls. You need to do a bit more research before you make comments like you made.

      Reply this comment
  35. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 16:23

    No cost to the taxpayers? You may want to look into that a little harder. I have yet to see a Private Ambulance Co. work for free!

    Reply this comment
  36. Dream On
    Dream On 24 January, 2013, 16:23

    Dave – the “gabage” is also otherwise known as freedom of speech. You ain’t doing any favors by reviving anybody. You’re getting a rather handsome and undeservd paycheck

    Reply this comment
  37. Dream On
    Dream On 24 January, 2013, 16:25

    I meant garbage in prior comment

    Reply this comment
  38. Dream On
    Dream On 24 January, 2013, 16:34

    A system that allows 55 year olds to retire at 100K plus pensions for the rest of their lives within the context of a society getting older and taxed to the gills is not sustainable. Yes math is a bitch and generally speaking most folks are indeed both math and logic challenged but the math cannot be wished away. The question is not if but when. Older retirees are likely aware of this but don’t give a damn anyway because when this blows up, they would have maximized their ride on the gravy train anyway.

    Reply this comment
  39. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 16:40

    The fire department as we know it today need to be changed to reflect modern needs and realities, privatization and volunteers are all we will be able to afford. The “GREED” of todays firefighters have cost them their jobs. The fact remains that all retirement formulas must be reduced for current workers going forward. Safety is the poster child for reform. Many cities are paying very close to 50% of payroll for “GREEDY” safety (Fire and Police), making them cost 100K cash, 50K CalPERS payment, 12K medical, and for many up to 50K overtime for an education requiring a GED or high school education. That is well over 200K then they still get to retire as young as 50 years old with 90% of pay each and every year for the rest or their lives. The laws and legal outcome is unsettled when the question is: WHAT CHANGES CAN BE MADE TO FUTURE COMPENSATION FOR FURURE WORK.
    What we do know is unless changes are made we will see more bankruptcy (San Bernardino, etc.).

    Reply this comment
  40. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 16:42

    Oh Dave (Mr. “hero”) …. you’re on quite a rant.

    But the real reason you’re so angry mad is because you know a good part of your pension is toast.

    Reply this comment
  41. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 16:43

    Dave …They bill the Individual or insurance company.

    Reply this comment
  42. Mike
    Mike 24 January, 2013, 16:48

    Don’t even waste your time with these little kids!!
    When Obama money runs out they will be swinging from their rafters! But, we as Fire/EMS personnel will be there to cut them down and then go to the bank with our big fat paychecks!
    To the 15 y/o Boy Scout prodigy…. Hahahaha
    The joy of hiding behind a computer and telling great stories of your BS!

    Reply this comment
  43. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 16:50

    Hey Tough, sorry to burst your little bubble, but my pension isn’t going anywhere…I am STILL laughing at you Tough..your a funny guy. And Tough, you can never be half the man I need to push away from your laptop for that. Shelby, break down the individual billing that occurs from a private ambulance service. Let me know how much money that saves you!

    Reply this comment
  44. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 16:51

    Dave…Wait untill June of 2014 when the more realistic cost of public retirements are made public.

    Reply this comment
  45. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 17:05

    Dave….First, Judging from the overweight firefighters of today, I will bet I am half the man you are. Second, I will take my chances with the ambulance bill if I can save Millions of $ for the taxpayer by eliminating your obsolete position.

    Reply this comment
  46. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 17:08

    Dear Dave, does not surprise me in the least that you “laugh” at the citizens that call your crooked RAGWUS out into the open. You are the type of person that has no problem stealing from others to enrich yourself with ill-gotten gains.
    Gotta love the math of it all. You will soon be crying instead of laughing little one, just like the Greeks my freind. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  47. eatingdogfood
    eatingdogfood 24 January, 2013, 17:26

    Democratic Hustler Politicians + Corrupt Greedy Unions = BANKRUPTCY BABY!

    Reply this comment
  48. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 17:33

    I will continue to get paid for what I do. Protecting the good people of my community, and the ignorant people such as you! My job or PAY doesn’t change! No worries, we will be there when you call…and eventually some of you WILL CALL! Shelby, your wit is nothing short of…..boring!

    Reply this comment
  49. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 17:39

    No Dave, you will be recieving a large and unwelcome cut in your pay, perks, benefits, and pension in the near future. The free citizens California will refuse to pay for your personal greed my friend, they will not be your slaves so you can live rich, and the math will make it so!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  50. public watchmen
    public watchmen 24 January, 2013, 17:41

    Journalists have it pretty hard to I suppose….. When you live in a glass house becareful where you throw your stones…..

    Reply this comment
  51. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 17:42

    Good luck!!

    Reply this comment
  52. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 17:50

    Wake up Dave, You will need more than “Luck”.

    Reply this comment
  53. Tough Love
    Tough Love 24 January, 2013, 17:50

    Quoting Dave …”sorry to burst your little bubble, but my pension isn’t going anywhere…”

    Please check back in 5 years.

    Reply this comment
  54. Dave
    Dave 24 January, 2013, 18:03

    Hey Tough, you don’t scare us! We will be here now, and for a very long time. Still protecting and serving. For our so called unearned pay. Push away from the laptop Tough, Push away. Do something productive!

    Reply this comment
  55. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 18:05

    Davey, there is no luck involved, it is called math my friend, and you will be on the bitter end of the numbers. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  56. Jared Alexander
    Jared Alexander 24 January, 2013, 18:48

    Since you clearly appreciate the myriad dangers associated with our “astonishingly well-paid” career, is like to invite you to come train and work with us. We definitely could use someone as well-informed as yourself to show us how to better our offerings to the public for their tax dollars.

    As well, you can enlighten us as to your presumption of how a firefighter’s death from cancer, or heart disease, is not relevant. Maybe you know a way to avoid those dangers better than we? For instance, how to not breathe the hydrogen cyanide in smoke from a burning house; or how not to develop heart disease from the body’s natural stress response to being awakened by an alarm; or, perhaps how not to suffer injuries when a roof or floor made of lightweight construction materials collapses while we try to rescue a trapped person from the second floor of a burning home?

    On second thought, don’t come see how we operate, live, train and work. Clearly the aversion to danger and accuracy in opinion has kept you from harm thus far in your life. Let’s not risk changing that, so you can go on living a protected life. Don’t worry, you can say anything you want about fire fighters; should you ever need our services, we will risk our lives for you regardless of what you say. It’s our job, our profession, and our calling.

    Reply this comment
  57. Dream On
    Dream On 24 January, 2013, 18:53

    CA ain’t gonna improve at least in the near teem. Departures by business and residents is the only thing that has any hope of knocking some sense into the circus freaks in Sacramento

    Reply this comment
  58. Shelby
    Shelby 24 January, 2013, 20:36

    Jared Alexander….Unfortunately for you you about 30 years to late for what once was a noble “Calling”. Those days are gone as are the Honor and Respect that went with it. I do not know anyone anymore that would want to “come train” with you, or even visit a fire station filled with a bunch of “wana be heros” that live off the glory of those long retired.

    Reply this comment
  59. John Seiler
    John Seiler 24 January, 2013, 20:37

    Mr. Alexander: We are not questioning that firefighting sometimes is dangerous. Only that the dangers sometimes are exaggerated. And that the $175,000 average pay in California is excessive, as is the incredible pension package. In Orange County, when a handful of firefighter positions open up, they have to pack potential recruits into Anaheim stadium so strong is the desire for these jobs. In the private sector, that would mean the pay would go down considerably from the competition (excess supply drives down the price). But the government sector works on coercion, as organized by public-sector unions, so things work differently.

    Yet there are limits. Governments at all levels have become so expensive they effectively now are broke. Pay and benefits inevitably will be cut. Pensions will be reduced. Many departments will become volunteer.

    Reply this comment
  60. Donkey
    Donkey 24 January, 2013, 22:21

    Jared Alexander, I went through fire fighting and damage control training in my stint with the USN. You have no knowledge or skills over what I recieved in the navy, nor have you been exposed to anymore danger at your job than anyone else that uses the freeway system day in and out, heck I slept next to a nuclear reactor for two years you whiner. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • JQ
      JQ 3 October, 2014, 12:18

      oooh wow you slept next to a reactor for two years. I operated one for 6yrs and now do maintenance on them for the Department of the navy. The risk from those are far less than most jobs out there. You should really do your research before opening your mouth.

      Reply this comment
  61. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 24 January, 2013, 22:29

    The brief training in shipboard firefighting you had as a sailor doesn’t have anything in common with the training firefighters receive, other than the fact that you might have seen flames.

    Your comparisons truly are increasingly ridiculous, Donkey. The radiation exposure must have done something to your brain.

    Reply this comment
  62. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 24 January, 2013, 23:23

    Hey, old skippy is back…..Hey, how is that lawsuit going skippy??? Like I said, you can run but you couldn’t hide. I am looking forward ot taking your deposition, maybe you can get your gal pal to be your attorney of record.

    Reply this comment
  63. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 25 January, 2013, 02:18

    Volunteer fire fighters make sense only in rural areas where it is not practical to have a professional force. Imagine having volunteer fire fighters in a state that has 39 million residents! Your fire insurance premiums would go through the roof!

    Reply this comment
  64. Shelby
    Shelby 25 January, 2013, 03:13

    SeeSaw…Los Angeles County has a paid call fire program and it works great.

    Reply this comment
  65. Lee
    Lee 25 January, 2013, 03:27

    FACT: Public safety personnel don’t get paid for what they do, but for what they may have to do. Think about it.

    Reply this comment
    • Richard Rider
      Richard Rider 28 May, 2015, 08:33

      And volunteer public safety personnel get paid how much for what “they may have to do”?

      Think about it.

      Reply this comment
  66. Donkey
    Donkey 25 January, 2013, 07:49

    SKdog, my training in the USN was/is superior to anything the civilian FF recieves. Just as Navy Seals are better trained than any of your wantabe swat posers or peace officers. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • JQ
      JQ 3 October, 2014, 12:12

      Your USN navy training is better than civilian FF training my ass! I am a Navy vet and received that training as well as the civilian training. The navy teaches basic just enough to get dumbasses like you killed. The Department of the Navy Civilians get IFSAC certified the same as most civilian fireman, which is far superior to the shipboard firefighting.

      Reply this comment
  67. David
    David 25 January, 2013, 09:44

    Donkey, you continue to show your ignorance

    Reply this comment
  68. David
    David 25 January, 2013, 09:49

    Shelby, I hope a true hero comes to your aid when your tie gets caught in your paper shredder!

    Reply this comment
  69. Donkey
    Donkey 25 January, 2013, 13:54

    Dave, I am correct in every phase and on every point. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  70. Dave
    Dave 25 January, 2013, 14:35

    And you think your shipboard firefighter class makes you something special. Thank you for another great chuckle.

    Reply this comment
  71. Donkey
    Donkey 25 January, 2013, 16:00

    As much or more than you have ever recieved. How many ways can you break the fire triangle Dave? Do you actually believe your own hype? Just because you learned how to use a come-along, gas-powered saw, a pair of bolt cutters, prybar, tie a couple of knots, or pump a hydralic ram does not make you more than a Boy Scout working at an Auto Body repair shop.

    Face the truth! Your cabal is filled with a bunch of overpaid, pampered, whiners that have been stealing from the taxpayers for the last 30 years. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  72. Tough Love
    Tough Love 25 January, 2013, 17:31

    Donkey, Don’t waste you time with Dave and his ilk of over-paid, over-pensioned, and over-benefited firefighters.

    Their days are numbered … the countdown clock has begun with end the of the reign of overcompensated Public Sector workers on the horizon.

    Justifiably, it will most assuredly be accompanied by the reneging on a significant share of the promises already made.

    Reply this comment
  73. David
    David 25 January, 2013, 17:32

    LOL. Donkey, it is a fire tetrahedron you moron. Go back to school. Please don’t try to out wit those in the business. Your two weeks of training have given you just enough to make you THINK you have a clue. LOL. you are too funny.

    Reply this comment
  74. Donkey
    Donkey 25 January, 2013, 20:24

    It is very easy to outwit an unarmed person like you Dave. What is funny about all that feed at the RAGWUS trough is the way all the bureaucracies do all their little minds can do to create industry terms to define the non-functional jobs they inhabit.

    So the FF RAGWUS adds another section to the fire triangle and wow, now we have a bigger word, the fire tetrahedron, and all of a sudden pay, perks, benefits, and pensions must rise, because we all know that drawing and saying tetrahedron is so much more difficult.

    When the reckoning hits your little cabal, as it will because the truth is getting out and the money will dry up, those of us that have followed the stealing of the taxpayers money will be standing in line speaking the words “I told you so!” 😉

    Reply this comment
    • Katz
      Katz 4 June, 2015, 10:16

      We should make the navy volunteer. I don’t recall the last ship battle the U.S. was involved in? That would save billions and everyone would have awesome pensions in the America! Put all the ships back into port and send the folks home until they are needed! Same concept as getting rid of these money hungry firefighters. Don’t make much sense does it?

      Reply this comment
  75. Donkey
    Donkey 25 January, 2013, 20:27

    Thanks for the advise TL, but I am trying to instill some honor and integrity in this person in the hope tha he may redeem his crooked way. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  76. Shelby
    Shelby 25 January, 2013, 22:07

    Donkey…..These “wana be hero” firefighters sit around the coffee table all day and pat each other on the back. They should be worried. If they were caught up on current events they would know their retirement checks and health benefits were no longer guaranteed. Ask the retired firefighters in San Bernardino or other bankrupt city. If you think cities and countys have a hard time paying the bills now, wait until the new accounting rules are enacted in June of 2014. Many arrogant firefighhters will learn how little suport they really have, and how the “Love” they took for granted has been replaced with “Disgust”.

    Reply this comment
  77. David
    David 26 January, 2013, 03:57

    “I find that jealousy often grows from the root of low self esteem”

    Reply this comment
  78. Donkey
    Donkey 26 January, 2013, 06:10

    Dave no one responding to you is jealous or has low self-esteem, we are informed and educated. The extent of your creative defense of the corrupt RAGWUS you live in stems from union talking points not original thought or reason. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  79. Tough Love
    Tough Love 26 January, 2013, 08:56

    Quoting Dave …”“I find that jealousy often grows from the root of low self esteem””

    And what might I ask is the root of your insatiable greed ?

    Reply this comment
  80. Arlin
    Arlin 21 April, 2013, 11:18

    My 2 cents….cops and firefighters are not/should not be misconstrued as a hero.period ! They are just doing the job they signed up for and are getting compensated for it. Our soldiers and vets are heros. I thinks its disrespectful to classify cops, firemen and women into the same class as a soldier, who has someone else sacrifice their lives for them, and willingly abide by a solemn oath to follow through with that. I also take my hat off to the volunteer fire fighters for doing what they do, but then again….do they do it to protect their own property because they live somewhere that doesnt have the means to have a local municipality manage and pay for that service ? I would do that too if I had a chance of my place burning down because the nearest firehouse with paid firefighters are hundreds of miles away. The worst culprits are those california fire fighters and cops whose retirement is near 100 percent of their active wage. They are almost single handedly breaking californias budget….greedy lazy bastards if you ask me !

    Reply this comment
    • Justin
      Justin 16 May, 2014, 09:39

      yes but those vets/army personel mostly chose to do that also so how are they heroes if firefighters arent

      Reply this comment
  81. DL Goodman
    DL Goodman 21 October, 2013, 17:00

    Fireman are overpaid, over-privileged opportunists. Yup, opportunists. After 9/11 local fire bonds passed at alarming rate, allowing local fire districts to fatten their wages, build expensive memorials and over hire. It’s not until the past 2 years that some local leaders are waking up and calling BS. For instance – the main calls fore departments respond to are health related, not fires. So some leaders are making the right choices – instead of buying more bigger “better” firetrucks we should by more ambulance vehicles to serve the public better. We don’t need 24/7 large crew fire coverage, they need to learn LEAN principles and act like the private sector besides HOW GETS PAID TO SLEEP?!
    I will vote against every fire bond until I see each fireman making 2/3 of what they do now and staffed at what a private company would for same services.

    Reply this comment
  82. Molly
    Molly 23 October, 2013, 09:00

    Okay. so I am an 18 year old female volunteer firefighter. My question is did you all forget why you wanted to be a firefighter? It isn’t because you want to rub it in peoples faces that you risk your life and save strangers. well I sure hope not. I joined because I wanted to follow in my father and uncles footsteps. Seeing how everyone is reacting about firefighters being over paid and working few days. pay attention. Those who are paid FFs in my company. work 2 or 3 days. and their days off? they work either at another fire department or have other jobs. And everyone here is probably over the age of 20. you should be adults rather than female high schoolers and their drama. state your facts and opinions but don’t try and shit on others opinions. And for those who think that you can do what we firefighters do. PLEASE go to a firehouse on one of their drill nights and ask if you can try it. Id love to see that. And stop with the firemen. there are more and more females joining this career every month. Instead of thinking that all firefighters are greedy little bastards. talk to the volunteers. I am a volunteer firefighter because I love helping people. However, I hope I never run into any of you ignorant people. Walk in their bunker pants before you judge a firefighter.

    Reply this comment
  83. donkeys boss
    donkeys boss 1 December, 2013, 21:18

    Sorry I forgot to turn the computer off and donkey got on it.

    Reply this comment
  84. Mark
    Mark 11 December, 2013, 12:55

    Watch “burn” then tell me we are over paid!

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler 11 December, 2013, 14:24

      Watch “Lou Grant” and tell me that journalists should not get special government subsidies like firefighters for our bravery.

      Reply this comment
  85. Cortney
    Cortney 15 December, 2013, 13:45

    What! NO! Over 40% of firefighters have more than one job because the fact they don’t make enough for their families. If they Are know as heroes then they should be paid like one!

    Reply this comment
    • Richard Rider
      Richard Rider 17 March, 2014, 10:48

      Actually ff’s have more than one job because 20 days out of every month they have nothing to do — unless they clock some overtime (more and more common).

      Reply this comment
  86. Lt. Danny Carbol
    Lt. Danny Carbol 31 January, 2014, 06:40

    Firefighters are at Much Greater Risk for many Cancers

    A new study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on mortality and cancer incidence in career fire fighters shows an elevated risk of several types of cancer – and of all cancers combined – compared to the general U.S. population.

    Firefighters are at much greater risk than the general population for cancer: Type, Increased risk * Testicular cancer 102% * Multiple myeloma 53% * Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 51% * Skin cancer 39% * Brain cancer 32% * Prostate cancer 28% * Stomach cancer 22% * Colon cancer 21% The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010.

    Reply this comment
  87. Non firefighters
    Non firefighters 7 March, 2014, 20:31

    Non firemen

    I live in Malibu Ca. And every time I see a Fireman (usually hanging out at the beach or getting coffee at star bucks) I feel like asking them if (they think they may actually have to work this year?) or if it is going to be another free ride. A few of my friends and I have put out more structure fires than all of the Malibu fire fighters put together. Firefighters in rural areas are an extreme waste of money! Paid to sleep! The average rural fireman fights a fire on average of every five years…. Well he stands and watches the fire due to the fact that there is usually very little they can or will do because there is no water, no access in mountainous areas and most often refuse to place themselves in danger. What should be done is to fire these overpaid unionized paid to sleep pretenders and buy the biggest fire fighting airplanes made, then deploy them immediately without having to wait for a declared state of emergency. That is how you fight and win against wildfires. Furthermore When every state in the union does the same firing of these money draining useless non firefighters and has their own planes they can have mutually beneficial assistance agreement with each state so 100s of real firefighting airplanes could converge on any fire within the USA. Wildfire problem solved! – 

    Reply this comment
  88. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 17 March, 2014, 10:45

    I did some recent research on police and (paid) firefighter mortality rates — using reputable sources. For a variety of reasons, both jobs are becoming more and more safe compared both to the past, and to other occupations.

    Reply this comment
  89. FDNY 10 yr
    FDNY 10 yr 31 March, 2014, 15:41

    I don’t presume to be able to dissuade the negativity but please just hear me out. As a 10 yr plus fireman, i can tell you that these statistics come without the important variables. The statistic should include only ” career firefighters ” an enormous portion of american firefighters are volunteers and although I applaud their willingness to step up, the opportunities to volunteer mostly come in neighborhoods that don’t really have much fire duty at all. I do not think i am better than any of you. If you excel at your profession and make this country ever slightly better for our kids to grow up in, you are HERO in my book just the same. That being said, I earn every penny I am paid. We pay into our pensions and the truth is, dangerous environment is specifically our primary job and yes I go to fires all the time. I have been injured, contaminated and sick from smoke exposure more times than I can tell you. I probably keep the Netipot industry alive by myself. When a fireman dies its in the face of certain danger as the same with police and military, not from falling in a hopper or wood chipper.

    Reply this comment
  90. FDNY 10 yr
    FDNY 10 yr 31 March, 2014, 15:43

    AND fires are absolutely not getting safer. if anything its the opposite due to lightweight construction and modern content fires that create a 2nd rapid growth and decay stage introducing ventilation induced flashover and increasing probability of backdraft. Not to mention the more common failure of lightweight steel support systems that can fail with 5 minutes of being exposed to flame. but what do i know

    Reply this comment
  91. Xyzyx
    Xyzyx 11 June, 2014, 16:46

    Here are a few statistics.
    33% of firemen suffer from some sort of (obviously job related) PTSD.
    A fireman’s average life expectancy is almost 20 years less than a civilian. With the average civilian life expectancy being 74, the average fireman only lives to be 57.
    Per US Department of Interior, firefighters are 3 times more likely to die at work than those in other professions.
    Firefighters rank #1, sadly, in suicides and alcoholism based on profession, with police officers and military right behind. (Percentage based. 18-20% of firemen suffer from substance abuse, ie. alcohol.)
    There’s a reason a firefighters “pension is so big.” They can retire at 45 in most cases, it has to last them the rest of their lives. They retire so early because they die so much earlier. Keep in mind, 80% of all firemen are volunteer and receive no compensation. More loggers die than police officers, firemen, and military combat units. Because all of them are exceptionally well trained and prepared. Wildland firefighters essentially do the same thing as loggers, except with larger trees than may or may not be on fire as they fall them. But die less, because they’re better and safer at their job.
    Next time you see a fireman and a fisherman side by side, ask the firefighter to hop on a boat and catch some fish, and ask the fisherman to throw on some bunker gear and crawl into a burning building. Wonder which one would agree to the challenge.

    NOTE FROM CHRIS REED: CalPERS says the claim that firefighters have a shorter life expectancy is untrue. It says their life expectancy is 81 — the same as other CalPERS retirees.

    Reply this comment
    • Richard Rider
      Richard Rider 28 May, 2015, 08:20

      Thanks for the bogus figures from the firefighters’ labor unions and their “research” sycophants. Reality trumps your lies.

      Gosh, where’s your URL for this “study”? LOL!!

      Reply this comment
  92. boby burner
    boby burner 8 July, 2014, 19:11

    i second everyone`s emotion on over paid cops and fire-men.

    next we need to get on them over paid teachers..
    all class room must get much more audio video computer presentation equipments.
    automate and facilitate most of the teacher presention.
    use electronics to check if students are in there chairs and infront of there computer monitors.
    the kiddies only need to go to school two days a week if everthing was done remonte online.
    make the unemployed – out of work women become block monitors to watch over children doing there online lessons..
    there needs to be mandatory birthcontrol and serious guaranteed consequences .

    Reply this comment
    • Katz
      Katz 4 June, 2015, 10:26

      We should make the navy volunteer. I don’t recall the last ship battle the U.S. was involved in? That would save billions and everyone would have awesome pensions in the America! Put all the ships back into port and send the folks home until they are needed! Same concept as getting rid of these money hungry firefighters. Don’t make much sense does it?

      Reply this comment
    • Katz
      Katz 4 June, 2015, 10:52

      i still don’t understand why public opinion is so skewed on fire and police? What would you consider a good wage for firefighters and police? Keep in mind that we work a ton of hours compared to a 40hr work week where everything after 8hrs is OT. Holidays are part of our schedules also with no OT. Private sector employees would be outraged if your boss said you gotta work Christmas with no special compensation. The whole hero and death rate arguments are just dumb. No one takes these jobs because we are told you have a higher death rate than another profession. I always love the sleeping issue too! Do you really expect the people to be up 24hrs straight? You get sleep when possible so you can function at your job. So if you consider 8hr days like normal jobs you would need at least four shifts and you would be paying 16 hrs overtime every week. At 20$ an hour you would earn 1220 a week. Is that enough? Yearly around 60000$. But now the city has to hire 1 more shift of employees. Doesn’t make sense. It is such a tough subject to argue. If you want to privatize the service, what type of service will you get? Will an ambulance transport now cost 5000$ or the small house fire you had cost you 15000$? Don’t really know. Just think about what everyone has been saying. We live in a bad economy but we are looking tto save in the wrong places. I think it’s worth it when I call for help and I know that we’ll trained people are on their way no matter what they are doing. How long do you think other countries wait for an ambulance?

      Reply this comment
      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 4 June, 2015, 11:06

        Katz, you’re paid too much. We know this because of the huge number of qualified applicants, and the dearth of openings. Nobody quits as a CA city/county firefighter.

        We also know you are paid FAR more than government firefighters in the OTHER 49 states:

        FACT: The average California firefighter is paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states (and that’s not counting the volunteers). CA cops paid 56% more. CA 2011 median household income (including gov’t workers) is 13.4% above nat’l average.

        Moreover, private ambulances work fine, even in a city as large as San Diego, where the city contracts with Rural-Metro for ambulance service.

        Gosh, for such brave souls, you union firefighters whine and cry like little girls (with apologies to little girls for the gratuitous insult).

        Reply this comment
  93. Firefighter
    Firefighter 10 July, 2014, 08:24

    This article is stupid 1st off. The ignorance in this article and some these comments proves just how dum people can choose to be. If your going to comment on something your clueless about (firefighter job) you should actually do research instead of reading an article, or try going straight to the source. The death rate of police and fireman are much higher. Firefighters besides dieing on duty, also die from heart attacks, heart disease, cancer etc. There are also studies that show after our shift is finished, the effects of our job is still with us. There is NO compensation that can be given for what we see, experience, and sacrifice. And the big difference between other jobs and ours is when we die ITS FOR YOU!! Others studies:

    Reply this comment
  94. Wow
    Wow 15 July, 2014, 01:22

    Boby burner… Your complete and obscene inability to combine words into a well thought out and intelligent tructure just shows how ignorant your comment was. You are without a doubt a strong argument for the need for an increased presence of capable and well compensated teachers. And before you try to stumble up onto your barely literate high horse and attempt to now formulate a somewhat intelligent argument…. Save yourself the trouble and sit back down. Because it it impossible.

    Dr. Lee.
    Phd in organizational leadership

    Reply this comment
  95. JQ
    JQ 1 August, 2014, 07:42

    I’m a veteran and also a volunteer firefighter. I currently work for the government, that being said, let’s take a look at this. You complain about the cost of having paid firefighters, well if you didnt have them then you would be complaining about your insurance rates. I by no means consider myself a hero, and neither do any of my brothers or sisters i served with in the military or the fire service. We elected to persue our careers and we have done those to the best of our abilities. All jobs have risks. I don’t see any of you risking your lives to protect this country or your neighbors lives in life threatening situations. See that’s the thing about freedom it allows people like you to have this conversation and be ungreatful for the service of those who have died, are dying, or will die to protect it. Get a life and for the sake of this country get a job and be a part of the solution not a part of the problem. Most be nice to collect a check for doing nothing. Sounds like you people would fit in nicely with the rest of the greedy and ungreatful politicians in DC!

    Reply this comment
  96. Bob
    Bob 14 August, 2014, 23:46

    Go to the Transparent California website and look at just how much worthless firefighters are paid in California.

    Reply this comment
  97. B
    B 27 August, 2014, 20:19

    News flash: where I come from, the firefighters are only paid 7 cents for every tax dollar. In the surrounding cities and in my city the fire departments are Volunteer. So I’m tired of the bullshit of firefighters being overpaid. My neighbor is an engineer with a fire department and works 36 hour shifts 3 times a month. He goes on at least 5 count em’ 5 fires every 2 weeks. And the fires are getting more dangerous. The other week, there was a house fire. As the department had firefighters inside doing a search, a section of it collapsed. And for what? The homeowners weren’t home at all, but the firefighters (volunteer) went in because that info was not known. So all this hype about firefighting getting less dangerous is completely opinionatic. Rant over for now…

    Reply this comment
  98. 2881firefighter
    2881firefighter 28 August, 2014, 19:31

    Greenhunt you’re a F’ing idiot… Please contact me so you can come work a shift with me!

    Reply this comment
  99. Mrs. Villarreal
    Mrs. Villarreal 28 August, 2014, 20:13

    Many aspects of the paramedic firefighters life is not being accurately represented here as one should take into account the many days and nights seemingly endlessly back to back that they are “forced” to sacrifice!! Imagine being told you “are forced” on duty for endless 24 hours a day multiple days on end when looking forward to going HOME to their families!!! Wives having to do whatever it takes to keep the family together dealing with the unpredictable presence of their “head of household” “man if the house”!! Children almost being reared by a single parent as “daddy is respectably off helping people” YES we are aware of what we signed up for ALL OF US!! But dare you judge no MEASURE the worth of a firefighters TIME in his life on the job!!! Think about ALL the sacrifices!!! It’s SO much to ask of a man!! And this is MEARLY speaking in behalf of their down time away from home!!! You can’t imagine the SACRIFICE on a call on a fire!!! The fact that they are TRAINED to NOT DIE on a call is now being held against their WORTH!!??? Unbelievable!! What are you really saying? Think before you speak!!! There is a far bigger picture to the dynamic of a firefighter!!!! You should be grateful that there are still a few good men out there WILLING to sacrifice their lives and most importantly their TIME to help YOU!!!! If you know you couldn’t do it then stand down and hold your tongue!!! It takes more than you realize obviously!!! Son!

    Reply this comment
  100. Mrs. Villarreal
    Mrs. Villarreal 28 August, 2014, 20:24

    Not that it should matter who I am but as the loving and supportive wife of a ffp I also am an ER RN and see often first hand their effects on our community! And our family!! America has become so “entitled” it is the source of the down fall of our country!! Have some respect for those that willingly do what you don’t!! Would love to debate this first hand!! Bring it! I stand by my man!

    Reply this comment
  101. John Smith
    John Smith 23 September, 2014, 11:01

    For those of you who think safety forces are not needed…don’t call 911…EVER. It’s your choice. If no one calls 911 then the service will cease to exist.

    Reply this comment
  102. bill stanford
    bill stanford 3 October, 2014, 03:53

    OK… something people will never understand is the shit firefighters see. we are a brother hood because we can relate. avg lay people DO NOT realize the shit we see or do.. why? becuase we aren’t dying? that makes our job NOT dangerous? We spend countless hours every week, every month, training to be safe in situations that otherwise can and will lead to death or serious injury at any given time. until you see the light leave somebodies eyes.. a 4 year old shot in the head, a meth head plopping out a baby, flushed it down toilet and didn’t realize she needed to flush a second time to get the baby down the toilet, so you arrive to a residence wondering what the horrid smell coming from the bathroom is. ah, can’t forget the sights of decapitation at mass casualty motor vehicle accident and the smell that is left after a face is scrapped on pavement for 50 yards going 55mph. those dreams you get of your family being the one youre pulling out of burning buildings and they dont make it. the times you do cpr and watch as liters and liters of pure blood spews from their mouth with each chest compression due to severe esophageal varices.. You don’t know, OK?! you just don’t.. tell me what the smell of burning flesh smells like as the person it is emitting from is saying “Help me!”. while your at it, tell me how you saved the 47 year old in cardiac arrest, 9 year old from a closet inside a burning building, a 17 year old from a car that looked like it went through a trash compacter, a 20 year old that had a sucking chest gun shut wound, or the pediatrics that suffered from respiratory distress leading to cardiac arrest and you find your self holding what was a potentially dead ped pt in your hands that is currently walking somewhere among this earth live and well. the times where babies have died in your hands and the times they have been saved.. Watch countless people die before your eyes or see a tear roll down somebodies eye as they grasp your hand while youre attempting to hold pressure on a major arterial bleed and suddenly the grasping stops. We can’t always save people, but we sure as hell sacrifice blood, sweat and tears every time the tones drop. don’t you dare disrespect what i go through every day to put money on the table! Imagine seeing your kids after work thanking god it wasn’t them that got their pounded in 3 inches by a bumper of a speeding pick-up truck or your brother or sister who fell asleep on the train tracks and you found their head 500 ft from the body and their hands 1 mile down the tracks or mom or dads face that is no longer present because the blew it off trying to light a heater to warm you up. This is our job.. you do you yours but don’t call 911 tho.. because when you fall off your roof, boat, tree or fall into a confined space or off a cliff or your kid is chocking or your having a heart attack or everything you ever owned catches fire and is burning to the ground, We sure as hell useless and overpaid and oh yeah.. any other bystander can do what we do! tell those bystanders not to miss placement on the ET tube and remind them when they are breathing for you via BVM after they pull you from a wreckage that they don’t hyperventilate you.. tension pneumos are no good!

    Reply this comment
  103. FF Wife
    FF Wife 19 October, 2014, 16:13

    Most of these comments are just SAD, from both sides. My husband is a Firefighter, but we, along with many of you, agree that those California salaries are outrageous. We do Not agree with what the unions have turned into and don’t agree with hardly anything they do. My husband has been a paid Firefighter for 15 years now and has finally worked up to $14.35 an hour and works 106 regular hours plus 6 OT hours every 2 weeks. (That’s $1650.29 PRE TAX, usually $1200 take home) Does that sound greedy and overpaid to you? Overall, I think the hardest thing on their health (we are a small department that sees more EMS calls than fires) is the lack of sleep, sleep/schedule disruption. Ex: daytime- adrenaline on calls, paperwork, downtime, repeat…until they hit the rack at 11 or 12 and get dispatched at 2a.m., back to bed at 4, dispatched again at 5 only to be up for the day. Don’t think they go home and go to bed. To support their family they have part time jobs to go to the next day.

    Please don’t lump them all into the overpaid, entitlement seekers category. Some have the job so that when their “neighbors” are in need, they are trained, prepared and available to help.

    Reply this comment
  104. FF Wife
    FF Wife 19 October, 2014, 16:30

    …but well described bill. Some of those scenarios sound all too familiar. The mental and emotional toll is very real, but something most people never consider. We couldn’t even consider purchasing a house on a certain road because my husband had responded to too many mva’s at the intersection that resulted in death. He’d have an ulcer if he increased the odds his kids drove that road.

    Reply this comment
  105. Redriderforlife
    Redriderforlife 26 October, 2014, 10:44

    So this is where all the little whiners go to post their opinions. I’m guessing here but I’ll bet your the little pukes that got their ass kick growing up? Its nice there is a place you can hide behind anonymity of the internet and bitch about what hard working men and women doing there job for a decent wage and retirement.
    Have a great life.

    Reply this comment
  106. kyle
    kyle 6 November, 2014, 21:50

    In most places fire fighters are also paramedics (these people can provide some pretty advanced care), or at least emts. This part their job is misunderstood or unknown to many. Even though it accounts for most of their calls.
    And fire/rescue is still needed. Even if one fire a year happend in xyz town firemen are needed.

    Reply this comment
  107. Stephen Boesch
    Stephen Boesch 22 November, 2014, 08:14

    Firefighters in Vallejo, CA were earning $400K / year (i am NOT kidding!) and big pensions on top of that at the time that the city of Vallejo went bankrupt. Thanks, people – so glad to see how you care about your community.

    Reply this comment
  108. Ann
    Ann 1 December, 2014, 12:20

    These massive salaries, pensions, and basically being paid to sit around, watch the big screen, play videos, have sex on the job, play with sparky and wash the tax payer truck is disgusting. What planet is CA on whereby 175,000$ is required for a “fireman” plus an amazing pension. How many jobs pay you not to do your fire fighting job? 2-3 days a week, massive OT, union protections/bartering, and brainwashing hero nonsense. That firefighting jobs is amongst the safest. Stop the BS PR nonsense.

    Reply this comment
  109. Ann
    Ann 1 December, 2014, 12:26

    moreover, most CA firemen are nothing more than massively overpaid govt bureuacrats that retire at 50 with massive benies. it is the unionite extortionists/corrupt politicians that loot tax payers with propaganda/PR sales techniques–, most firemen in the nation are volunteer not getting paid 6 figures, massive pensions like CA to sit around, test smoke alarms, and play with sparky the wonder dog in an elementary school to further the BS hero nonsense (firemen are a slight knotch above cashiers in terms of safety risk and below the national safety average–stop the PR hero nonsense. No wonder that state is going bankrupt.

    Reply this comment
  110. FireRyan
    FireRyan 17 December, 2014, 06:00

    This is just disgusting, some of what is being said here. I’m a firefighter. I make 39k a year and have been at it 5 years. That’s the same amount I was paid when I started. My helmet is black. It started out as yellow. That’s because I was in a trailer that flashed over 2-3 seconds after I exited. I was only in for a min or two but the insidious went from fair to deadly in seconds, and simply getting out the door was barley possible. Yes, the hazardous calls are less frequent then 50years ago and we are better trained with better equipment. But that is because we train continuously, learning new bail out techniques, going in burn buildings, etc. Our retirement has already been cut here in Florida, and more cuts are in store. We haven’t gone away yet. If you don’t like our “ridiculous” salaries, then fine. But DO NOT call us thieves or embezzlers. I’ve missed half of my kids Christmassy and birthdays. My wife sleeps half her life with me not there. Our families worry every time we go to work and every time the see a fire on the news. People treat us like a taxi service calling us to see if we can get them Gatorade. We have to see the most disgusting and horrific things you can imagine. Have you ever had to get 2 inches away from someone who shot themselves in the head? How about fight a guy who got shot on the street corner and is violently fighting your attempts to save him because of fight or flight? How about searching hands and knees through a house to come across a burned up 3year old, only to see them and think of your kids. How about digging around through a murky pool with a hook and pulling up a drowned child and then trying to resuscitate their cold slimy lifeless body. I’ve been on 5 years. I’ve seen horrible things that would give most people nightmares. Hell they have given me nightmares at time. But when the tones go off I get right back up and go out knowing it may be another one. I’m sure there are thieves and embezzlers out there as there are in all professions. But more then anything these days the damage is phsycological. Yet here we are doing it again. We don’t ask for fame or fortune. Just pay us what it would take you to do those things I stated on a daily basis. Also, to the volunteer side. We cannot staff FDs in major cities with volunteers anymore and that is why they are paid. It was one thing when the population density was lower but in my fairly large dept, we have 1100 firefighters. You see if you can get that many volunteers in this area alone and we will talk. As for you, you go ahead to your office. When you get that paper cut go ahead and give us a call and we will come put a band aid on it for you you precious wittle baby. Then we will go pull your wife out of that rolled over car and keep her alive long enough to get her to the hospital. Go ask anyone who has truly needed us before. They are the only ones who’s opinions matter as to wether we are “worth” it or not.

    Reply this comment
    • SDVeteran
      SDVeteran 11 May, 2015, 14:17

      This is your choice – to do this work. I was an ER Nurse and USAF Medic and saw 1000 times what you see. Not everyone is brought in to the ER by police or fire department. Stop, stop bragging about all the things you see, all the horrors of humanity, blah, blah, blah. A true hero is silent, earns their way, and doesn’t take from society in “retirement” or other circumstances. Most areas with union fire departments/employees are horrible representations of ego, privilege, and bragging. And yes, overpaid because of the lifetime pension and benefits. Real heroes would work to fix the corrupt union and ego-driven culture.

      Reply this comment
    • Richard Rider
      Richard Rider 28 May, 2015, 08:29

      72% of America’s firefighters are VOLUNTEERS (our REAL heroes). How much do THEY get paid? Did I mention VOLUNTEERS?

      BTW, you don’t live in CA and get that low a ff paycheck — especially if your wife sleeps half time alone with you at work (indicating a HUGE amount of overtime pay). Or you’re a liar — quite possible given your anonymity.

      Reply this comment
  111. Jack
    Jack 26 December, 2014, 10:40

    Some off you are restarted if you think this article to be true, and if you think fireman don’t die earlier than the average civilian. Sure maybe podunkville FD is,not exposed to much but big city FDs do a lot

    Reply this comment
  112. ryan
    ryan 27 January, 2015, 09:06

    I’m a roofer and a firefighter. Roofing is easy as [expletive] it is not dangerous. It does [expletive] I’m the summer. But it really so sent matter. Girls and children LOVE firefighters. Not sweaty old roofers 🙂 have a good day!

    Reply this comment
  113. jAC
    jAC 23 February, 2015, 15:57

    “Then that can do, them that can’t complain”

    Reply this comment
  114. manred
    manred 18 April, 2015, 08:19

    Fools, cops and firefighter are your insurance policy that keep your asses safe. When your lives are in danger, whether it be a fire, accident or police matters we respond. When we arrive at the scene , most of you are running away, while we put ourselves in harms way.

    Reply this comment
  115. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 24 May, 2015, 23:32

    Average California firefighter paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states. CA cops paid 56% more. But CA 2011 median household income (including gov’t workers) is only 13.4% above nat’l avg.

    Reply this comment
  116. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 24 May, 2015, 23:40

    U.S. on-the-job mortality rate per 100,000 full-time workers, by occupation

    Mortality National Average at Work, ALL Occupations 3.5

    Public Safety Mortality Risk
    U.S. Career Firefighters (not counting volunteers or part-timers) 11.1
    CA Police Officers & Sheriffs (not corrections officers & jailers) 4.9

    Other Occupations Mortality Risk
    Commercial Fishers 127.3
    Logging Workers 104.0
    Airline Pilots and Flight Engineers 56.1
    Refuse & Recyclable Material Workers 36.4
    Roofers 34.1
    Structural Iron and Steel Workers 30.3
    Recyclable Material Merchant Wholesalers 28.4
    Helpers, Construction Trades 26.8
    Farmers and Ranchers 26.1
    Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers 24.5
    Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs 19.7
    Electrical Powerline Workers 19.5
    Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 18.0
    Cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum product manufacturing 17.5
    Grounds Maintenance Workers 16.9
    Maintenance & Repair Workers, General 15.8
    Construction Laborers 15.7
    Landscaping Services 15.6
    Mining, Quarrying, and Oil & Gas Extraction 15.2
    Construction Equipment Operators 12.1
    Athletes, Coaches, Umpires 10.3
    Rail Transportation Workers 9.5

    For a more complete list of occupations and their respective mortality rates, go to this Bureau of Labor Statistics URL:

    Reply this comment
  117. Rescue
    Rescue 28 May, 2015, 19:23

    You people r dumb!! firefighting is dangerous! I’m a firefighter, lots of dangers, structural collapse, flash over, you have 0 visibility in the smoke, you know how easy it is to fall down stairs, through a hole in the floor, down an elevator shaft. And when we work car accidents, people speed past you know how many of my men were alomst hit!! and then water rescues!! You can’t see the under currents or the chemicals in the water your exposed to. Not to mention nut jobs out there shooting at us. Until you gear up and run into a strangers house fire to rescue their severely burned child or repel down a ravine to rescue a father of 4 from his car that lost control and went off the road. Until you have a victim die in our arms or you go into a fire and thought for sure there was no one in there but you go in for secondary search and find the dead burned body of a toddler shut up. When you respond to shooting and have people throw dog crap at you and have a roof almost collapse on you while your trying to save one of your brothers who fell through a floor then you can talk. How dare you say it isn’t dangerous unless you personally have geared up and jumped on that truck

    Reply this comment
  118. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 12 June, 2015, 08:12

    Where to find our REAL firefighting heroes — volunteer fire departments
    by Richard Rider

    California’s overpaid, overpensioned firefighters love to claim they merit their astronomical compensation packages because of the risks they take. They have no answer when I point out that the average California firefighter is paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states. Meanwhile the CA 2011 median household income (including government workers) is only 13.4% above the national average.

    I’ve dealt before with the fact that such firefighting risks are far less than the union firefighters claim, as there are quite a number of other occupations with as great (and sometimes FAR greater) risks than modern firefighting.

    But if you really want to unsettle the union firefighters, point out that about 72% of the nation’s firefighters are volunteers. They really don’t like volunteers, and have done all they can to make it difficult to have such an option in even the most rural parts of California.

    I’m not suggesting that all fire departments should be volunteers. There’s a case for an on-call fire department in urban areas, though it could be a contracted out service. My point about volunteers is that the “high pay for the risk” argument falls apart in the face of such widespread volunteer interest.

    I might add that while a paid urban fire department can make sense, it ALSO makes sense in such jurisdictions to have a volunteer reserve fire brigade — for the big emergencies (in California, that’s primarily the brush fires). But the all-powerful firefighters’ unions battle against this option every step of the way. They want “boots on the ground” — but only if they are UNION boots on the ground. They’d prefer your home burned down rather than having volunteer auxiliary firefighter support in times of need.

    I decided to learn a bit more about voluntary firefighting departments. So in January 2015 I spent 3 hours with a VERY professional VOLUNTEER fire department in Brookings, South Dakota (Did I mention JANUARY! — the high that day was minus-two degrees.). Five volunteers and the paid fire chief sat down with me for a long discussion. This helped me better understand how a quality volunteer fire department works. Check out what I found.

    Reply this comment
    • SDVeteran
      SDVeteran 12 June, 2015, 14:55

      Richard, I applaud your detailed response and attention to fact. Some will not be able to “handle the truth”. Thank you for your honesty and determination!

      Reply this comment
  119. God Bless America
    God Bless America 25 June, 2015, 13:47

    Just a side note.
    Where I come from firefighters are also EMT/Paramedics. So if you can call 911 for something they are the ones that show up. They work 56 hour work weeks compared to your 40. They start out at maybe $30,000 a year working more hours compared to your $??,???(guarentee it’s more than $30,000) I know guys that work 120 hour work weeks just to try to keep up to your salary. The one you make sitting behind a desk with no stress involved. So when you want to throw out facts, try throwing them all out, so you can see the whole picture.

    Reply this comment
  120. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 25 June, 2015, 14:53

    If you READ my piece about the Brookings Fire Department, you’d know that about 7 EMT’s show up at each call. How many EMT’s on YOUR truck?? Plus an two person ambulance with at least 1 paramedic shows up.

    You don’t WORK 56 hours a week — you’re ON CALL for 56 hours. Given YOUR standard of what constitutes “work,” guess how many hours a volunteer firefighter works per week?

    Most important, you can’t explain why you CA firefighters are worth 60% more than the PAID firefighters in the other 49 states. That’s because you’re not. Or why your 30 year pension should net you a bigger paycheck than the salary you worked for? Which you shouldn’t.

    I understand your frustration with my presentation of FACTS. Too bad for you.

    And BTW, I’m a retired volunteer. I don’t get a paycheck “sitting behind my desk.”

    Reply this comment
  121. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 25 June, 2015, 15:05

    Here’s a very interesting website about PRIVATE fire fighting companies in America.

    Private Firefighting In the U.S.
    Private firefighting is a rapidly growing industry. Yes, private firefighters make up just 4.3 percent of the nation’s total firefighters, but this is an industry on the verge of catching fire because of a growing trend toward privatization.

    According to a 2012 study conducted by market research firm IBISWorld, there are 256 private firefighting companies in the United States — a number that’s expected to grow to more than 320 by 2017. At the same time, the number of firefighters employed by private companies will increase from 16,880 to 27,206.

    There was been increased privatization of firefighting efforts by state and local governments as those institutions have struggled with the decline in tax revenue, stressed budgets and caused consolidation of publicly funded fire suppression resources. Between 2009 and 2011, the number of public sector firefighters and first-line supervisors — structural and wildland fire — decreased by 0.6 percent. Over that same period, private sector firefighters and supervisors grew 16.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Privatization of firefighting saves most state and municipal governments between 10 and 40 percent, according to a 2012 study by Ibis World, “Private Firefighting Studies In the U.S.”

    Reply this comment
  122. Vito
    Vito 25 June, 2015, 19:56

    Firefighters are a bunch of overpaid, arrogant, cocky, bastards. Fuck those cocksuckers. They aint shit. I fuck with those fucking pricks any chance I get.

    Reply this comment
  123. Teddy
    Teddy 29 October, 2015, 17:15

    OUCH the usual goofy suspects out here HATE this study– one of MANY proving firefighters have higher cancer rates!

    Hurry trolls!!!

    Reply this comment
  124. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 November, 2015, 11:52

    You blabbering moron, why does CWD allow your idiot comments???

    GEE, I wonder WHY they found higher cancer rates…oh wait, because they were BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY FIREWHINERS!

    “In 2010, NIOSH researchers, with funding assistance from the U.S. Fire Administration launched a multi-year study to examine whether fire fighters have a higher risk of cancer and other causes of death due to job exposures. Our study was designed to address limitations of previous fire fighter cancer research.”

    Reply this comment
  125. Firefight98
    Firefight98 29 April, 2016, 15:26

    Yes, I do agree that most of the time, firefighters do stay in the station most of the time on shift, but, with that being said, they are NOT sitting around doing nothing like you so blindly think they are. Their days consist of: training, going out on calls, and helping out with whatever is asked of them. Yes they do sleep, but I am going to go out on a limb and say you probably do as well. And yes, there are some of those firefighters that say they are “heroes”, but most of them don’t consider themselves heros. Also, look at the lives of firefighters a little deeper. A large percentage of firefighters have a second job, that they work the days they’re not on shift. And, you never know what can happen on a shift. Yes, most shifts are pretty laid-back, but there are those shifts where you don’t get a break, it is one call after the next, after the next. So, next time you pick up your phone and dial 911 because you need help, just think about what you would do if these firefighters that fight for us every day weren’t around, and there was no one to help you. If you’re not a firefighter, and you don’t do what firefighters do, it is completely arrogant to speak about what they do. Because yes, they don’t get a lot of fires, but they get a heck of a lot of medical calls, and lockouts. Just because those calls aren’t as fires, doesn’t mean that the fire department’s response to them isn’t still crucial to the community. So before you post another comment about how firefighters don’t work is hard, just keep in the back your mind that they’re prepared for anything, and they would do anything to help you when you need it.

    Reply this comment
  126. SDVeteran
    SDVeteran 29 April, 2016, 16:07

    I can appreciate people having different jobs, but the point of this article involved three things. 1) Unheard of early retirements (for no justified reason), 2) Taxpayer funded salaries that are probably too high for the time working (unions and employees that have bullied communities into these rates are responsible for this), and 3) that from a pure workplace death rate frequency rate, firefighters are not nearly in the highest rate. That’s mostly because there are vast and incredible safety features built into a firefighter’s job, including physical fitness levels required, equipment safety, and a host of other engineering and administrative safety controls. We’re not doubting that firefighters might work hard, and that they may risk their “lives” on occasion. The problem is early retirement costs, salaries, and as stated… unions pushing for more, more, more. As robotics become more entrenched in society and can take on these “jobs,” some firefighters will go the way of the buggy whip. That’s ok.

    Reply this comment
  127. Firefight98
    Firefight98 7 May, 2016, 17:54

    SDVeteran, i would like to comment on your response to FireRyan:

    He’s not bragging. He’s just stating what he sees on the job. It’s the only way to get through to some of these people. They need to know what firefighters go through everyday. He was by no means bragging. You were bragging by saying that you have seen much worse then him. This isn’t a competition on who has seen worse stuff. You tried to make it into that. That is just sick, and you of all people (if you really were in the USAF) should know that. Your response to his comment was rude, and you did not act the way a military veteran should act.

    Reply this comment
  128. bob
    bob 26 July, 2016, 17:53

    “I can not believe that voodoo has grown to the extend when you can use it to win lottery. ”

    It’s a new Democrat social program

    Reply this comment
  129. Stopper90004
    Stopper90004 10 August, 2016, 12:45

    Firefighter pay is insanely out of line with ANY other working-class job that involves such a low risk to life and such low level of education. Period. Stop lying just because you happen to be the one who benefits from a powerful union that milks your fellow citizens. Here are the facts.

    Reply this comment
  130. Alexandra
    Alexandra 10 December, 2016, 20:03

    My fiancé is going to school to be a firefighter. We live in wisconsin. Should i be worried?

    Reply this comment
  131. Conn
    Conn 24 February, 2017, 16:34

    What about all those firefighters and cops in new York that were prosecuted and went to prison for milking the 911 disaster for tax free medical retirements. Both of those occupations have highest Medical retirements in the country.

    Reply this comment
  132. MasterJack
    MasterJack 30 March, 2017, 06:34

    “A few days every couple of weeks” You already showed your ignorance… Try a 56 hour week Bozo for 30 years~

    Reply this comment
  133. MasterJack
    MasterJack 30 March, 2017, 06:38

    “A few days every couple of weeks” You already showed your ignorance. Try a 56 hour week Bozo for 30 years~

    Reply this comment
  134. tommy
    tommy 25 May, 2017, 18:48

    this article is a BS lie. we risk our lives every day and we work long shifts and if we are lucky we might get 2 hours of sleep in a 24 hour shift. we are under paid and demand is high and burn out is also high with some of the horrifying calls we go on the guy that made this article obviously has no idea what it is like being a firefighter. And the National average for line of duty deaths for the USA is about 100 killed a year.

    Reply this comment
  135. Moa Jots
    Moa Jots 16 August, 2017, 23:42

    As a career firefighter/paramedic, (now retired), in the suburbs of Chicago, (in the fourth largest industrial district in the state of Illinois), I can attest to the dangers of the job, however, the uninformed would dispute those dangers, so, why try to educate them? One indisputable fact which has not been mentioned, is, that, when responding to an emergency, we exert in eight minutes what the average worker exerts in eight hours. Now, think about what that statistic is showing. Absorb what that stat is, and, really try to comprehend its meaning. Race care drivers get paid the big bucks for what they do. And, there’s no way I would, or, could, do that job. Could those of you who oppose the wages and benefits apparently received by California’s firefighters do our job? If you did take on this job, would you be bitching about the wages and benefits? I started as a FF/PM on April 26, 1976; I earned $11,259.79 while the average tradesman earned $25,000.00. Second jobs were a necessity if you wanted to put food on the table. Sure, we slept at the fire station, that is, IF we’re weren’t responding to 20-30 calls per night at which time, we’d be unable to function the next day. We also sacrifice being away from our children, miss some of their activities, miss special family events, weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, and normal weekends with our non-firefighter friends because we’re sleeping, or, doing nothing but wasting tax payers money during those times. What would it be worth to you to miss all those things? What you also don’t realize, is, at least where I worked, the fact that we worked and trained EVERY day regardless if it was Saturday or Sunday. For us, there was no day of rest. When I would complain about my low wages, my buddies would tell me, “Hey, you knew what the job was when you took it”. Now that I’m retired, I’m trying to survive after losing my kidney to cancer seven years ago, (at age 58). My surgeon told me recently that he’s surprised to see me because everyone with a tumor half the size of mine, is dead by now. No, I never considered myself a hero, but, I’ll tell you this, the people who’s lives I’ve saved may think I was.

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    Pedro 25 December, 2017, 11:55

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Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is CalWatchdog’s contributing editor. Greenhut was deputy editor and columnist for The Orange County Register for 11 years. He is author of the new book, “Plunder! How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation.”

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