12 thoughts on “How Dare You Firefighters Make Money!

  1. Such a simple thing to solve. Create a database of the rich folks who piss and moan about civil servant wages and then have a few unexpected breakdowns on the way to save their home. I expect this to start happening here in Vegas this summer. There aren’t so many complaints about police (yet), but the overpaid firefighter chorus has reached full throated harmony on the radio and in the newspaper.
    Firefighters are a classic example of a need best left unused. But if you need them, you don’t have time to wait. I wonder how a privatized fire department would fare.
    “Hold please, while we check your account status…”

  2. My personal gripe: compare the salary of a CEO or star athlete to the salary of a Nobel Prize Laurette.
    Both are at the top of their field.

  3. You know, I don’t even get mad at athletes.
    They’re workers. They bargain for the best possible deal given the circumstances, and they still don’t get a fair value of what they make for the owners.
    If athlete salaries are out of line, who’s to blame? The workers? Hardly. The owners are always bigger assholes. I mean, Alex Rodriguez gets $25 million per year. You think he’s not making that (and more) for fucking Steinbrenner?
    Fuckin’ owners.

  4. I have firefighters in my family. I think the complaint they hear most often is they sit around the firehouse all day doing nothing. Which is partly true except when, you know, they are fighting deadly fires. People overestimate their own ability to fight a fire and underestimate the amount of work firefighters do when not fighting fires like equipment maintenance, studying up on the latest procedures, and shit like that. Too many people have a fucked up view of what people should and shouldn’t make. Most office workers have a glorified sense of how much value they add to the world and no clue how much value people who are busting their hump add to the world. The same well-to-do pricks who can’t change a toner cartridge in the office copier think they can fight a fire. Guess what middle manager man? Most guys in ties would end up a fucking s’more if they ever tried firefighting.

  5. After a bacon grease fire in an apartment in a subsidized housing project, one of the people involved could not see any reason to roll the entire fire department.
    I screamed at the freaking nitwit something like, “This is ******* apartment complex you damned idiot. I don’t want to live in any place that has this many people and not have the entire fire department roll everything for a fire alarm.”
    I want any fire department fully staffed at all times with professionals who are paid by the taxpayers no matter what is going on.
    I believe that there is documentation that shows that when Rome burned, the entire fire departments were “privately” owned. I think I read that they were negotiating prices as the whole freaking city burned.

  6. I’ve got mixed feelings on this, some government workers are paid excessively. Case in point, me, senior electronics tech w/35 years experience, the most I ever made in a year was $45K. Retirement? Hardeharharharhar… We have firefighters here making $60K after 3 years who can retire at age 50 w/full pay. Yes, I think these public service workers are important & these folks should be paid well but how much is enough and how much is too much? One can live well here on $45K/year if one is frugal.

  7. Not for nothing but there are four pages of people making between $100k – $200k. That is high – compared to other firefighters. to make it even more interesting there are six pages of cops in that range. Assuming they can retire after 20 years at 50% and have old fashioned medical and dental coverage for life, this is a very sweet deal, again compared with other firefighters.

  8. And then I read about prison guards in CA taking home over $150K a year –Prison Guards!!!. Even inColorado Springs (warning -pdf), a city that recently made the news due to massive budget cuts, pays their police, fire & managerial folks quite well. I’m a liberal & have been so for a very long time, but there is a case to be made that many public employees are a bit too generous in paying themselves out of the public till. My property taxes have increased over %100 in the last five years (Austin, TX) yet the services provided by the city & county have either decreased or deteriorated during that time.

  9. I think the complaint is mostly class-based. Not so much formal education for public-safety jobs. But in reality, this is precisely the market at work. Microeconomic 101 says that people are going to want more money to work the more dangerous, unpleasant jobs. Sometimes this is obscured by the fact that some workers don’t have enough power to actually demand that money. But public-safety people do.
    And if you look at private industry pay for actual security people and safety people (trained folks, not the flunkies who sit or stand around looking stern) their salaries typically make the public sector look sick.

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