Fullerton Fire Hero Goes Viral


Our famous firefighter video has become some sort of Internet sensation, bringing in tens of thousands of viewers and building some serious buzz. Oddly enough, the clip seems to be extra popular on computers within the halls of public agencies throughout the nation.

But just in case you missed it, here it is again:

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And a special thank you to our anonymous friend, Mr. Oliver Stone. The popularity of this clip has inspired other cinematic greats such as “Cop Gets Schooled” and ”Fire Chief Watches House Burn.” Keep ‘em coming, Mr. Stone.

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  1. #1 by Johnny Donut on October 15, 2010

    How embarassing. Those greedy fire bastards should have quietly taken the pay cut like everyone else.

  2. #2 by Joe Sipowicz on October 15, 2010

    A classic only improves with age!

    Like a ’61 Lafite.

    Speaking of Lafite, now watch the ambulance chasers show up to put their feet in their mouths.

  3. #3 by Oliver Stone on October 15, 2010

    Check out the discussion on the youtube page. This one clown is completely out of touch, thinks he is gods gift to world and we should all be beholden to him because he “risks his life” everyday. I am so sick of that line, using the same logic every soldier in Iraq/Afgan should be billionaires.

    At one point he proclaims to have stated many facts, but when you look at his old post there is nothing but personal attacks (all untrue assumptions) and BS. Classic union tactic of ignoring the facts and trying to deflect.

  4. #4 by Marcus Welby on October 15, 2010

    There is a very notorious story about a FD in Tennessee that watched as a house burned because the owner hadn’t paid his subscription fee.

    It is a VOLUNTEER FD in an area that has had this type of funding mechanism in place for decades. The residents have repeatedly voted down special taxes to fund a professional FD.

    If your second video is a commentary on that incident you’re way off base. The firefighters in that district are all volunteers doing the job for no compensation or benefits.

    From what I’ve read of your commentary, it’s your usual sloppy facts getting in the way of your visceral dislike of public servants.

  5. #5 by Who Cares on October 15, 2010

    It was my understanding that his neighbors offered to pay the firefighter the subscription fee, but they refused because the guy that didn’t pay needed to be taught a lesson.

  6. #6 by van get it da artiste on October 16, 2010

    meg whitman in exchange for police and fire unions support has promised to protect their super-comfy pensions and benefits, thanks whitman for being honest and losing my vote. i wont vote for brown the clown cuz he bein only in the greein and that aint money but protecting trees and fish over California’s jobs

  7. #7 by Dying Embers on October 16, 2010

    What’s the difference? They just stand around anyway dousing the fire with their hoses until there’s nothing left anyway.

  8. #8 by just a guy on October 16, 2010

    I just can’t get enough of this video.

  9. #9 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    Might be because that isn’t the way insurance works.

    Does your insurance company let you buy car insurance after you get into an accident.

    They were receiving their orders from their bosses, the city council.

    Lastly, the video makes reference to the chief getting a pension, in this case that is false. As I pointed out, they are all VOLUNTEERS.

    The type of FD many of your followers embrace on the “Stop The Madness” thread.

  10. #10 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    I bet you’re amused by bright shiny objects as well.

  11. #11 by Oliver Stone on October 16, 2010

    It appears you are correct that the FF’s were volunteers. It is a messed up situation, but I apologize to the volunteers and will take the video down.

    It was largely meant as a satire, but I do not want to offend people who volunteer to do what in CA we are extorted billions to pay for.

  12. #12 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    Extortion is a crime.

    Seems you are resorting to hyperbole.

    Though much of the content of this blog seems to revolve around that mindset.

  13. #13 by Johnny Donut on October 16, 2010

    Marcus Welby :Extortion is a crime.

    Except when committed using the force of government.

  14. #14 by Who Cares on October 16, 2010

    Insurance and Volunteer fire departments are 2 different things. You buy insurance. A fire department is either Volunteer or it is not. If you are required to buy a subscription, then it is not a volunteer fire department, it is one you buy. The fire fighters may volunteer, but if you are required to buy a subscription then it is not volunteer.

  15. #15 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    The citizens of that locale have chosen subscription fees to fund their fire service.

    The State of Tennessee only requires local government to provide law enforcement and trash pickup. Fire services are not required.

    The citizens of that area have continually voted against a tax to fund the fire department over the last 34 years. The homeowner pulling at everyone’s heartstrings knew the system under which he voluntarily has chosen. He chose to not pay the fee (claiming he “forgot”). As such the firefighters did what they were ordered to do by their city council (elected by the voters) and the city manager.

    The video doesn’t depict any of those details, instead only choosing to portray the incident as extortion. Which it is not.

  16. #16 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    Except when committed using the force of government.
    ———————-

    The government functions with the assent of the governed.

    Except for those who believe in conspiracies and never realized the X-Files was really a TV show. And others like libertarians who have wet dream fantasies of Ayn Rand and don’t realize Atlas Shrugged is really fiction and that John Galt is a fictional character.

  17. #17 by Oliver Stone on October 16, 2010

    It is hardly a conspiracy to claim that the unions run the state of CA.

    As for the Volunteer FD, I took the video down and agree with you on the idea of insurance and this instance in TN.

  18. #18 by Jennifer Flynn on October 16, 2010

    unbelievable! We put our lives on the line every day. If we do get hurt on the job we have to jump through ridicoulous hoops to get our pensions. I was hurt at a fire-neck and shoulder surgury and am still waiting for a disability pension 18 months later. And since I dont pay into social security, because I contribute 10% of my salary to my pension that is my only saftey net-which so far has failed to catch me. And before all you people jump on my shit I was a t therapy every day sometimes for 4-5 hours trying to recondition. I was a triathlete before and ran dogs for FEMA. We are there for the public yet they are not their for us.

  19. #19 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    The unions aren’t the government. If they were truly as powerful as you claim, why are they making concessions every time one reads the news?

    A great example is right there in Fullertion.

  20. #20 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    Don’t listen to the critics Jennifer. They have no clue about what you do.

    Get well soon.

  21. #21 by Marcus Welby on October 16, 2010

    You took the video. Big deal.

    You put it up in the first place using a slanted perspective that was totally at odds with reality.

    You’re no better than the so called liberal media you claim is biased.

  22. #22 by Oliver Stone on October 16, 2010

    While we do feel for you, just remember that your safety net is many multiples greater than anyone else’s who has to use SSDI. That is the disparity that we are talking about here.

  23. #23 by Oliver Stone on October 16, 2010

    Unions forgoing pay raises at a time of 10% unemployment and while many in the private sector are taking large pay cuts. Yep we really feel for them.

  24. #24 by Jennifer's Conscience on October 16, 2010

    Jenny, I don’t feel your pain.

    If I get hurt on the job I get nada.

  25. #25 by Joe Sipowicz on October 16, 2010

    The “concessions” are only made out of desperation. And last year the ambulance chaser tried to dodge the 5% cut everybody else took.

    Because, of course, they are heroes and deserve.

  26. #26 by Marcus Welby on October 17, 2010

    Joe Sipowicz :The “concessions” are only made out of desperation. And last year the ambulance chaser tried to dodge the 5% cut everybody else took.
    Because, of course, they are heroes and deserve.

    Then they aren’t all powerful and don’t run things. If they were as powerful as you claim they wouldn’t have had to make concessions.

    Your statement is a contradiction to your claims.

  27. #27 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    anyone who gets hurt on the job gets workers compensation. And I hardly think Jennifer post#25 that your job is anywhere near as dangerous as mine.-unless you are also a fire/medic/fema k9 handler

  28. #28 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    To address oliver stone. SS is 10xs easier than a pension. You need one Dr. to say you are diabled. I have to have 3 IMES despite the fact that 3 of my own Drs and 2 or WC have said no way can return to work. There is now way in the SS system/wc that this woud not be enough or that a completely torn labrum and rotaot cuff, 2 torn foot tendons and a herniated c-5/6 with spinal compression-all of which needed surgery can return to work. I have been a union fire/medic/dog handler for 13 years and was hurt fixing someone else’s stupidity. Is that part of the job-yes-is it also expected if I get hurt on the job that I collect a pension-yes-thats what I pay 10% of my salary for. I left the flight medic job for better benefits and security. YOu need to go through a civilian fire academy-the villages that have done this-see you tubes Palatine fire dept officials totally change their tune at a board meeting after being through it.

  29. #29 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    Jennifer, many dangerous jobs – much more dangerous than your – pay very little and have zero benefits. Quit trotting out that tired “danger” argument.

    Construction laborers have more dangerous jobs than you do.

  30. #30 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    By all means don’t listen to the critics, Instead keep living in your fantasy “I am hero and deserve.”

    It doesn’t matter. Budget constraints will finally do what decades of polluted electoral process has failed to do – pull back the reins on the unconscionable extortion payouts to “public safety” unions. From now on the young members will be paying for the excesses of the old. I’m anticipating lots of fun resentment.

  31. #31 by Marcus Welby on October 17, 2010

    How you know that Joe?

    Have you done either one?

    I remember a time when construction paid far better than firefighting and many white collar jobs.

    That was until construction firms found out they could hire labor that was of dubious immigration status and pay them minimum wage.

  32. #32 by Jefferson Thomas on October 17, 2010

    Ms. Flynn,

    I appreciate the sacrifice you made to the community while fighting a fire.

    Every job be it bagging groceries at the Supermarket or Garbage collector, or Business owner add to society. Every job also contains a certain amount of risk as well. Americans have a misconception that their must always be a safety net whenever a risk they have taken becomes a sufferable loss.

    You stated yourself that you took a risk changing from flight medic job to come to the fire line. Why take the risk? Was it better pay?

    With respect to paying 10% toward your pension, those are the rules the union paved for you. I believe your concern is with the Union leaders who forced the constraints upon your profession in the first place. (Recall they traded for the pension in an effort to spike the fire/police pay scale.) Your cause for bitterness toward the public is illogical. Please consider directing your attention to the Union who negotiated with the lawmakers in the first place.

    Thank you so kindly for intelligent discussion.

    Cheers.

  33. #33 by marcus welby on October 17, 2010

    The difference between being a supermarket clerk or garbage collector (which pays pretty good in some locales) and firefighters and police officers is that society has zero expectation the clerk and collector will take zero personal risk on the public’s behalf.

    There is that expectation of fire and police personnel.

    It’s one of the reasons that comparing injury statistics as a sole indicator of job dangers is misleading.

    When was the last time someone went gunning for a clerk because of the clothing the clerk was wearing? There are individuals in our society who view injuring or killing a cop as a badge of honor and are willing to do it to the next badge they see driving down the street.

    Are those individuals overcompensated? I don’t know. I do know there is a process that allows that issue to be addressed.

    I’m more worried about the executive who believes he should get a government bailout and then get a bonus because his (or her) talent is necessary to the functioning of the system he (or her) has helped demolish while personally enriching himself (or herself).

  34. #34 by Oliver Stone on October 17, 2010

    Don’t mistake our concern for union corruption as an excuse for corporate corruption. Many of us have been angry and vocal about all the corporate welfare, fraud, and corruption that has gone on. We need to see people in jail over the fraud from the bubble years. That being said it is easier for us to fight for issues on the local scale where your voice is more easily heard. Trust me I know all to well how little voice we have in Washington. It is just an macro example of how special interest have taken control of our government.

  35. #35 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    Congrats. That has been the stupidest thing you’ve said yet.

    Construction sites are many times more dangerous than fire stations – which is where “fire fighters” spend 98% of their time.

    And “fire fighting” is becoming safer and safer every year as fires decrease.

    Save the emotion for the mentally retarded.

  36. #36 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    Joe,
    When was the last time a construction worker ran into a fire wearing 70 lbs of gear, dragging tools and came out carrying all that plus a 150+ lb person in blinding smoke conditions, NO I dont think so. They do have the same hazard as us on the roadway, but not when it comes to the firefighting part of it.
    Oliver,
    My complaint with the public is that they expect us there for everything and everything in crisis and some not so critical stuff, but then don’t think we should be compensated for it. Yes, we work one out of every three days, however when I was working i was up for 24 hours running calls-I needed the whole next day to sleep it off. The public wants to have their cake and eat it too-they expect us to take extra risks yet not be compensated, work insane hours so they can feel safe 24/7 and not be compensated. I worked the private sector prior to getting on the union department, its a revovling door with people who don’t care because the people at Portillios make more than they do. You get what you pay for…

  37. #37 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    The convenience store clerk runs a much greater risk of physical danger than either cops or “fire fighters.” Let’s give them 3@50. There’s ALWAYS a convenience store clerk when you need one!

  38. #38 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    Snore. When did a “firefighter” work on a construction site with dozens of pieces of heavy equipment moving tons of material – EVERY SINGLE DAY!

    Go sleep it off. You have lots of opportunity.

  39. #39 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    If the store clerk wants to get a pension at 50 , he should go to medic school, fire academy and pass the physical, psych, written and polygraph that we all have to take. oh, and he/she will need to not be a felon-they do run an extensive check. If they can handle that- then yes maybe they should be entitled

  40. #40 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    I saw that movie. Fire Academy III. Lot’s of laughs.

  41. #41 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    We had at least 3 wrecks a day requiring extensive extrication with a hearse tool-100-150 psi above your head with cars whizzing by and glass and fuel everywhere and keeping your pt alive by starting an iv upside down in the car. No, i didn’t have chance to sleep it off because after that I ran bullshit calls and fires(sometimes just a dumpster, car fires, building fires) And with all this going on I also had drill and housework- construction workers often SIT to move these heavy pieces of material- we actually have to do it-without mechanical help

  42. #42 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    FIre academy is NOT like Backdraft or whatever the other fire movie with John Travolta is. It not like rescue me. Its hard work, every day 8 hours a day on your knees, carrying heavy equipment through blinding conditions-these are controlled conditions and people still get hurt. When you get out and do it for real, its even harder. Pensions are a part of the job, its a benefit we pay into and its part of our contract. If you are unhappy with your contract talk to your union about changing it.

  43. #43 by Marcus Welby on October 17, 2010

    Then why aren’t you making videos of those who committed corporate welfare fraud? You go after people who a.) aren’t doing anything illegal, and b.) had nothing to do with the current fiscal mess we as a nation are enduring.

    Where are your videos on those individuals who believe they are owed billions in bailouts because of a talent drain?

    Your self admitted hypocrisy shines like a klieg light in a dark room.

  44. #44 by Marcus Welby on October 17, 2010

    How do you know? Have you done either job?

    When was the last time someone ever said they were going to kill a store clerk because they were wearing a uniform?

    Your ignorance and bias are plainly obvious in your assertions that lack supporting facts.

  45. #45 by Marcus Welby on October 17, 2010

    What difference does that make? Are you saying that environment is more dangerous?

    Again, how would you know?

    And what difference does it make?

  46. #46 by Marcus Welby on October 17, 2010

    How quickly you dissolve into fantasy.

    No surprises.

  47. #47 by Oliver Stone on October 17, 2010

    Obviously you can never win an argument when arguing with someone who has a natural bias that any of us would have. Everyone thinks they are worth more, it is human nature.

    What we can do is educate the people and let them make a decision. If in the end the public agrees that they should cost each city 175k a year, than let them raise our taxes to pay for it. However I doubt that the majority of people working in the private sector making far less with no retirement benefits will agree. In the end we either fix this problem locally or every city will be bankrupt and CA will be a shell of it’s former self.

  48. #48 by Oliver Stone on October 17, 2010

    I know your union tells you that you are special and deserve all this special treatment, but there are great numbers of physically fit men and women with clean records who would do the job for half of what you make now. Sorry you are not that unique. If strength and physical ability are so important, than how come there are lower standards for women. I mean safety is safety.

  49. #49 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    This is not about winning and argument-its about expressing views in an open forum. And I passed the EXACT same combat challenge as the guys with the same time requirement. In fact prior to getting hurt I had the top scores in every consumption and maze drill. And I am not a big girl-just in good shape.

  50. #50 by Oliver Stone on October 17, 2010

    The statistics say so that is how.

  51. #51 by Jefferson Thomas on October 17, 2010

    Ms. Flynn,

    I noticed that my point of risk was never addressed.

    Please note, the requirements set forth by the union in order to perform the job title of either Police Officer or Fire Fighter does not imbue justification for largess amounts of pay.

    To address the concepts of “fear” by which many Fire Fighters and Police Officers display in order to justify their positions, please note.

    1. If Police Officers had not fought so hard to dissolve the rights of citizens to conceal firearms themselves there would be less risk toward officers.

    2. The risks involved with Fire Fighting have been known since ancient times, there is no new information here.

    3. The law does not force either Police or Fire to arrive on a given scene. It is truly by the agencies choice to attend to the call. Therefore no I don’t trust them to arrive, yet I have been deprived the the ability to defend myself? Sure….I’ll respect you when I get my rights back.

    Please feel free to address the points above with a logically clearly explained perspective, remove emotion and Union requirements…….My wallet hurts enough.

  52. #52 by Jennifer Flynn on October 17, 2010

    Sorry I did not mean to miss addressing something.
    Websters defines risk as peril-the possibity of loss, also the degree and probability of such loss.
    Even insurance companies place firefighters insurance policies in a higher monitary monthly contribution because their RISK is higher. Without direspect to other employees, fire and police officers are different . You risk your own life and safety for those you serve. Please see my comments about construction workers and convience storeworkers. No one is saying they dont assume an amount of risk it just does not arise to the level of our jobs-they are ordinary citizens as defined by law-see bottom of my writing citing the section within the code(state law code)
    1. I’m not a cop and am not really an authority to speak on the subject but ill give it a try. There is definatly no emation here-since I am not a cop and I dont play one on tv. The reason the cops don’t want your average John/Jane Doe carrying a concealed weapon was because not everyone is adept to defend themselves with the said firearms, thus giving more guns to the criminal element. Hello, New Mexico and Texas. Concealed states, right? Check out their crime. Especially along the border. Gee, all those concealed weapons permit’s are doing wonder’s there. Or how about the idiot who shot two robbers who were committing UNARMED burglary to his out of town neighbor’s house with his shot gun, was warned by the dispatcher to not do it, and to hear this moron gleefully executing two UNARMED men committing burglary. Where? In the great state of Texas. That’s why the cop’s don’t want idiot’s running around talking the talk but not walking the walk, and arming the enemy. Or murdering criminals who can be arrested through SOP’s instead of just executing them. Let the cops stick their necks on the line, get paid for it, and get pensioned/retired for it. How many people have you killed? Huh? How many faces do you see at night? How many sleepless nights do you have? You are just running your mouth. Join the military or the police force, pick up a weapon, and stand a check point, or just quit bitchin and be thankful for those who protect and serve.
    2.Ok, yes there are risks with firefighting, and there are benefits. People in civilian jobs change jobs all the time to obtain better benefits. Ie -bank clerks/eduction/hospital management. Even the military reconizes certain MOS’s have higher risk and rewards them with hazard pay. No ones saying that risk is a new thing..
    3. As to being “forced”-yes you are. In law as a public servant you have a duty to act. If you breach that duty you can be held negligent , be sued as well as possibly lose you license. We are there 24/7/365, and we will always have job security because people will always do stupid things and try to hurt one another.

    Below are excerpts from Supreme court decision and the Dept of Justice-both FEDERAL agencies. Hopefully this will further explain risk vs ordinary citizen as defined by public code and law. No union and no emotion here- as justice is blind. Everyone’s wallet is hurting nowadays and its unfair to blame it all on fire and police officers. Look to corporations who were bailed out and the huge salary bumps they gave themselves.
    On March 20, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its long- awaited decision in Krohe v. City of Bloomington, Case No. 94112 (March 20, 2003), in which the Court interpreted the term

  53. #53 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    Snore. Try live ammo and roadside bombs. Until you do you have nothing to say (to quote an earlier idiot).

  54. #54 by Joe Sipowicz on October 17, 2010

    Join the military? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Take your K9 and your ambulance chasing to Afghanistan.

  55. #55 by Oliver Stone on October 17, 2010

    Again, under your reasoning all combat troops in Iraq/Afgan should be billionaires, because the risk they face is 1000 times greater than yours. Please spare us, because the facts do not jive with your assertions.

  56. #56 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    who’s a billionare? I will be making 65% of my salary and will be lucky to be able to find a job that doesnt have lifting requirements.
    And most siolders who come back are in the median income bracket of 35-60.000, and those who come back injured should definatly be compensated.

  57. #57 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    What is your point? Yes most soldiers fall right into the median income bracket, unlike CA public safety officers. 65%, that is a lot more than a soldier gets from the VA if he lost a leg from an IED.

    My point is, you use risk to justify your pay and benefits. Therefore if you get a pension worth 1 million dollars, then a soldier who took 1000 times greater risk ought to be entitled to a 1 billion dollar pension.

    You cannot see past the propaganda that your union has programmed into your head.

  58. #58 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    Actually a soilder who is diasbled gets 100 pecent of his pay-my ex was disabled in the army. Do your research.

  59. #59 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    Let’s for the sake of discussion take risk out of the picture. They bottom line is this is the job and these are the benefits you get.-Just like any other job, don;t like those pay and benefits? Further your education, look for another job-but don’t begrudge others what they worked for. I could whine about how much an executive makes-but I don’t want their job nor did i work for that position-so I’m not entitled to it. I worked for what I have, went to the required school, did my time in the provate sector and tested to get on the department. If you are good enough you get on.If not you stay in the provate sector or go back to school.

  60. #60 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    No you need to provide a legitimate resource to cite your claim, because it is way off base. Either that or you are not telling us that he is collecting a 20 years pension and disability. I suggest you go to VA cite and read it. A soldier who was in for 4 years and did 2 years in Iraq and lost a leg is not getting 100%.

  61. #61 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    You don’t get it. You are paid with tax payer dollars. Your union then takes a percentage of those dollars and using it to bribe politician who then negotiate those same contracts. It is a glaring conflict of interest that would be illegal in any other form if it was not government. To think that your pay is legitimately “negotiated” is naive at best, and more likely disingenuous.

    For too long now the public has been ignorant and apathetic as to what goes on in government, especially local govts. The city of Bell was the game changer. Citizens are waking up, and I made this video in hopes of helping to wake people up. I want them to look into things themselves and make decisions themselves. If they decide what I said is wrong, than that is their decision. However I think most will think quite the opposite.

  62. #62 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    When you make a video you should have all the facts. Yes, we work, 2 days a week, but we are awake for most if not all of those 24 hours. We are doing jobs without holidays off(if your shift doesnt fall off it that year) we are there 24/7/365. We dont just “get” a disability pension because our” knee hurts” You have to actually have a disabling injury that will not allow you to meet the job requirements. You have to have medical objective evidence not just subjective complaints.People should be aware of what their officials are paid, however only showing you “percieved” side of the issue doesn’t show the truth wither, so in essence you are just as bad as the politicians and unions you speak out against. We are not making over 100 k a year on retirement or disability.(unless perhaps you are a chief)
    I did go on the DOD website and your vetran with a lost limb would get 100% pension + loss of limb extra pay(monthly)+ any medical benefits he needs taken care of.True, their pay is lower to start with than ours-and thats wrong, however its the job they chose, knowing their benefits. Just like we chose to test for public service, knowing the benefits.

  63. #63 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    When you make a video you should have all the facts. Yes, we work, 2 days a week, but we are awake for most if not all of those 24 hours. We are doing jobs without holidays off(if your shift doesnt fall off it that year) we are there 24/7/365. We dont just “get” a disability pension because our” knee hurts” You have to actually have a disabling injury that will not allow you to meet the job requirements. You have to have medical objective evidence not just subjective complaints.People should be aware of what their officials are paid, however only showing your “percieved” side of the issue doesn’t show the whole truth either, so in essence you are just as bad as the politicians and unions you speak out against. We are not making over 100 k a year on retirement or disability.(unless perhaps you are a chief)
    I did go on the DOD website and your vetran with a lost limb would get 100% pension + loss of limb extra pay(monthly)+ any medical benefits he needs taken care of.True, their pay is lower to start with than ours-and thats wrong, however its the job they chose, knowing their benefits. Just like we chose to test for public service, knowing the benefits.

  64. #64 by Joe Sipowicz on October 18, 2010

    My knee hurts, too…

  65. #65 by Joe Sipowicz on October 18, 2010

    “but don’t begrudge others what they worked for”

    Ha! You mean what they paid for in political contributions out of their inflated wage union dues!

  66. #66 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    Honestly I do not know where to start with your disinfomation. Where is your link to justify your statement. Here I will give a starting point to look:

    http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/disability.html

    http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/

    Obviously if you have seen on this site the many documented cases of 100k+ pensions, and they are all not chiefs. In fact it is the majority of newly retired public safety nowadays.

    Also you most certainly have heard of chiefs disease. For so many FF’s to magically becomes disabled in their fifties just as they max out retirement. Come on.

    If you want to have a discussion here, please at least be honest and have something to back up your assertions.

  67. #67 by Miranda on October 18, 2010

    Joe you are the biggest whiner out here……….puppet boy

  68. #68 by Jefferson Thomas on October 18, 2010

    Ms. Flynn,

    I am attempting to continue the conversation in order to allow the transfer of thought between multiple parties. Isn’t that the point of interaction?

    1. I could care less what the “cops” want with regard to my safety. First they ensure that I am unarmed here in California. Then they complain when people shoot at them and call it “risk” while asking for their pay to be increased.

    Honestly can you not see how that is VERY…..Fascist? Your now stating that there is an “us versus them” attitude. With the “us” being part of an organization earning their collective income from, “them” whom you are attempting to “protect” ………..on your terms.

    The argument follows Fire Fighters as well with respect to deciding which calls are important, which home to save etc. (I’m not impressed with any of the classes FF or PD take to become one, every “profession” has requirements)

    2. Risk…..the reason other posters are implying that soldiers would be wealthy is how PD,FF attempt to measure risk compared to the “them” or those citizens who pay their wages. Every profession has risk, choosing which profession to enter one should always consider the risk.

    The very fact that there are MANY more people applying for a risky position, than those needed for the position, points to the fact that the risk is not HIGH enough to deter many from accepting that risk. Therefore the correlating pay scale is too HIGH!

    3. PD is not required to perform, neither is FF. I’ve watched it, witnessed it and know it first hand. Check out case law that does not require them to attend to calls.

    Please consider these points without emotion. Honestly ask yourself and your fellow FF/PD……aside from classes what separates us? A badge? Those are authorized by the very people that desire those to be employed to serve them….the people, those that are paying your check…

  69. #69 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    Jefferson,
    1. As I prefaced before I know little about the cops, but was simply gonna make an attempt at answering it. As far as the firegihter part goes I can comment. We do not run into burning buildings when there is only property to be saved-property can be replaced-we keep it from spreading and try to salvage as much as possible without anyone getting hurt. When people are inside we make every attempt to go get them. If the house it to the point that you see active fire-unfortunatly people in there are dead anyway and we do not go in.If its just smoke and some fire we go in. Can I ask why you are not impressed with fire classes or paramedic classes? Have you been through either?

    2.No one again is denying there is a risk. And money talks-which makes the risk worth taking. There are some that do it for the adrenaline rush, but most want the salary. My husband works for a large international medical company. They pay for schooling(bachlors degrees) and large amounts of paid time off. Those are the benefits promised-LOTS of people apply and the job has very little risk. Their pay scale far outweighs mine. Our job carries risk due to the physical strain it puts o you and the elements you are exposed to and the effect it has on your heart and other body systems.
    They are finding that a lot of firefighters that die of heart attacks do so post a fire because of carbon monoxide exposure. Their are also some though that do die from being out of shape and overweight. If curious as to what it is you think a fire/medic should be paid. A Paramedic is a 2 year degree out here(IL) . Not sure what it is in CA, but I did attend CE for my National out at UCLA and they really expect you to know your stuff.

    3.You do have a duty to act and can and will be sued for negligence if you breach it. Tort law contains 4 things. Duty to act, breach of duty, causation and damages.
    If you are on duty you do have a duty to act. If you breech that duty(ie not responding) 3.your breach of duty must have caused the harm 4. there is actual damage to the pt. All 4 things must occur for it to be applicable.
    So, if they dont respond they are playing with fire(no pun intended)
    Could you clarify your last statement/question a little more?
    A Dr. makes what he makes because of his trainig and schooling, a nurse, ect… I have a 2 year Paramedic degree and can do more than a nurse-why should I not get the salary I am getting? I also run into burning buildings when others are running out. People pay the salary of Drs and nurses when they do to the hospital /dr. offices. They expect service. We provide a service. I have saved countless lives that would have never made it to the hospital without the iv and drugs I gave them. How is that any different than paying the drs. salary ? or when you buy a car you support the executives salaries,ect…
    Looking forward to discussing more with you:]

  70. #70 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    Oliver,
    Please don’t talk to me about being honest when you have a video only showing one side of the aurgument and it has some things that are just not correct in it. Also, along the lines of earlier discussion with where my pension money goes-it doesn’t go to the union. Union dues go to the union, pension money goes into the fund.
    I myself have never heard of chiefs disease, perhaps its because i’m in my 30s.

  71. #71 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    Clearly you do not understand how pension fund work. If you did you would be very concerned about your future.

    Also every post you make reeks of the entitlement mentality. For the schooling and training required of FF’s they are incredibly overpaid. Over course you have thrown the risk word out too, but we all know that argument is BS too. Please, as others have said when hundreds if not thousands apply for a job, the compensation is too much. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

  72. #72 by ok joe... on October 18, 2010

    Jennifer-

    Your efforts are appreciated, but you’re wasting your time with this crew of Oliver, Joe, et al.

    They are phenomenally out of touch with recruiting and compensation, most likely because they didn’t listen to their high school guidance counselor.

    We’ve already explained health care industry
    compensation to them and mentioned medic pay
    scales, and showed them how 25$/hr is actually reasonable market pay and is what these Fullerton FF/medics are getting, but they don’t care. They
    only pretend to apply logic to the situation.

    Meanwhile the president of the American Association of Community Colleges has already
    stated that a 2 year trade degree is actually more
    valuable than most 4 year degrees.

    Oliver and Joe are just upset because they likely
    drank and partied their way through a 4 year
    psychology degree and now think that society owes them a job. Their only recourse is to
    pretend to cartoon for a cause.

  73. #73 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    I very much understand how the pension works , ive been on the board. Hundreds of thousands apply to the military, yet you said their pay is adequate(and wth that I do agree) so by your own logic the hundreds of men and women that apply to the military are overpaid. What line of work are you in? Hundreds of people apply to many professions are they all overpaid. Risk aside-again its part of a contract-you agree to provide this service-we give you these benefits. No more than if I applied to a private company and negoiated a contract. When I run my dog training business I negoiate a price with the client and enter into an agreement for services rendered or about to be rendered. When I worked for FEMA I agreed to be on call certain times of the month and that is an unpaid job. Its a contract and I agreed to do it for those terms. Just like I left a lower paying, less benfits job as a flight medic, tested for the department using the same standards as the guys and was hired. As for entitilement-you are right I am entitled-it was in the contract I signed when I was hired.
    TO Ok Joe-thanks for the support. Sometimes its just fun to watch people run their mouths and not aswer or ignore things that are asked of them. Its also fun to see them bring in issues(ie women dont have the same standards) be told its untrue and then ignore the situation entirly.

  74. #74 by Marcus Welby on October 18, 2010

    I can name several trades that pay better than those with four year degrees.

    One of my neighbors works as a lineman for SDG&E. He made over $300K repairing all the damage done by the fires in SD county after the fires there several years back. Most of it in overtime. That position also has hundreds of applicants for every opening.

    Look up the position for Harbor Pilot for the City of Los Angeles and see what it pays. Same thing. Doesn’t require a four year degree. Same with being a longshoreman in one of the ports.

    The list goes on.

    Yet you aren’t making videos about any of those groups. Your wrath is focused on those you dislike because you perceive them as having an entitlement mentality.

  75. #75 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    Wow, your reasoning is seriously flawed. The only issue that deserves a response from that post is the men vs women. I don’t know about your department, but at least in CA there are two separate standards. That said I don’t doubt that there are many women who can meet the men’s standards.

  76. #76 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    I have agreat ideas for a new video. Lets have Oliver take the combat challenge in full gear on air in the required time and put that on the net along with a commentary by him, in his own voice explaining how easy it is, asnd how everyone can do this job yet he still couldn’t pass it in the required time. I’d even put part of my “highly overpaid”(dripping sarcasim) salary toward seeing it produced!
    As to the men vs women in Illinois its the same standard and you have to pass it every year.
    Instead of just telling me my reasoning is flawed I believe you should explain why it is not an employment contract. I would also love to know what you think I should be paid for my job.

  77. #77 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    I did explain the contract bit in a previous post. In your myopia you probably failed to read it.

  78. #78 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    Perhaps you could point to a non union job that is not government or a government sponsored monopoly.

  79. #79 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    In your myopia you have failed to address several issues before you…..

  80. #80 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    Please also cite where you specifically addressed the contract issue in the context I have put it in..

  81. #81 by Jennifer Flynn on October 18, 2010

    Quest diagonostics -non union, non government great benefits and high pay

  82. #82 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    Name them.

  83. #83 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    It;s there go back and read. I want supply a link, because it is on the same page you are reading right now.

  84. #84 by Oliver Stone on October 18, 2010

    Jennifer Flynn :
    Quest diagonostics -non union, non government great benefits and high pay

    OK, I try to keep these discussion civil, but you are an idiot. Show where Quest diagnostics pays 150K in total compensation to a person with a two year CC degree. You can’t. Also note that quest doesn’t have defined benefit 3@50 program. Also note that they don’t have a union contract where overtime can be gamed for maximum pay. I know you won’t show me. I suspect that you know the truth, you are just here to try and spread misinformation and antagonize with lies.

  85. #85 by Marcus Welby on October 18, 2010

    You’re moving the goal line.

    I know plumbers that make more than doctors.

    Does that help?

    None of which changes the fact that jobs exist that are superior to firefighters or police officers in pay or benefits. And you’re not making videos of them.

  86. #86 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    I am keeping them civil, you are the ones calling names.Actually my husband works for Quest-he does not have a degree and makes with benefits(including them paying for a BS degree) and insurance with bcbs just like mine about 140k. So , yes from personal intimate knowledge I do know.

  87. #87 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    I am keeping them civil, you are the ones calling names.Actually my husband works for Quest-he does not have a degree and makes with benefits(including them paying for a BS degree) and insurance with BCBS just like mine about 140k. So , yes from personal intimate knowledge I do know. They also match contributions made by employees to their benefit pans at 7% , so actually they are pretty close to the firefighters.

  88. #88 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbp9fKouwD4

    Since Oliver refuses to take me up on my challange, I’ve supplied a video link from Jay Leno that I imagine would be close to what would happen to him if he tried being a firefighter for a day.

  89. #89 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    see all previous comments. You duck and ignore-just like you claim the union does. As you said, they are on the page-go back and read them

  90. #90 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    In all seriousness here is the video from village officials who actually cared enough to try it out and what they had to say after they had their eyes opened. Minds are like parachutes just becasue yours is broken doesn’t mean you cannot borrow mine!( you may have to cut and paste as this is a local link)

    http://firedaily.com/2010/10/whoa-what-did-these-council-members-say/

  91. #91 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Look I can claim that my wife is Angelina Jolie, but it doesn’t make it true. I cannot find any info that supports your claim of your husband making 140k per year. What is his job? Is a a computer genius? Yes many guys are self taught computer geniuses and get paid well without an education. It is called a marketable skill, and not one that many can do. As for a 7% 401k, it is a pittance compared to 3@50 DB, get a clue.

  92. #92 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    I love how FF’s always talk about running into burning buildings as if it is an everyday occurrence. I remember reading that the city of Huntington Beach has something like 400 FF’s and had not had a structure fire in 3 years.

  93. #93 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Gee and how much money did the union bribe, oops I mean donate, to these schmucks campaigns. That video was a pure propaganda ploy. With the degree of corruption coming out of Illinois these days how can we believe anything out of a politicians mouth. You people think you are superheroes, it is kind of funny.

  94. #94 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    Depends on the city. We get a least 2 a week. Lower socioeconomic area.

  95. #95 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    YOU were talking about the overall value of pension, not overall salary.(0verall pension value includes health insurance, ect..) and your numbers keep changing. And you cannot be a fire/medic without a Paramedic license , also a marketable skill. And the 7% extra can be a lot =its all in HOW you invest it.
    I’ll be glad to tell you what he does when you reveal what it is you do.

  96. #96 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    most council members around here are volunteers, others make a very small stipend

  97. #97 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    That is not what I said, I said campaign donations. Quit trying to deflect.

  98. #98 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Why is that I get the feeling that Jennifer is a national union member tasked with spreading propaganda on blogs. Otherwise why would she be hear on a blog specifically related to Fullerton, California when she lives in Illinois.

  99. #99 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    Once again wrong. Just bored,while waiting for pension to be finished so I can go back to work. I do have an intrest in CA though ,since I have property there.(no, its not something I bought with my union ff “ill gotten” money-it was left to me in an inheritance by my parents)

  100. #100 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    They don’t campaign, at least not in Illinois.

  101. #101 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    And if they do campaign in CA, union $ is money we put in, not the taxpayers. Union mone and pension money are 2 separate things

  102. #102 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Pay is generally based on the amount of training, the difficulty of the training/subject matter, and supply/demand. Doctors make good money because, their training is long and rigorous. The subject matter is difficult and not everyone has the aptitude to understand it. Supply demand is often regulated by the schools.

    How about a computer programmers job. This is a job that takes a lot of training and lots of aptitude. You have to be really good at math, not something everyone can do. However with a billion people in India they found enough people there to do the job, thus creating a negative supply demand equation for American programmers.

    Let’s face it, paramedic training is not that difficult. Perhaps you might thinks so ,Jennifer, but maybe your aptitude was low to begin with.

    So please spare us the union propaganda. 150k a year is only possible when you are demanding it from the taxpayer at the end of a barrel. Why do you think your flight medic job paid less. Come on use your brain, or are you not supposed to get of the union line.

  103. #103 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Well prepare for the unions to demand you pay more property taxes on that property.

  104. #104 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    I dont make 150k a year. The pay is slightly better than flight medic , but the benefits make it much better.
    Have you been to Paramedic school? Do you even know what a Paramedic can do? It is difficult and I see many students fail whom are very smart. We do a lot of stuff that Drs do and things that nurses can’t. Lots of Math is nvolved when calculating drug doses and drip rates. I hold a 2 year degree in paramedicine and also have a BS in science, so no my aptitude is not low.

  105. #105 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    I am all for paying property taxes to support those that will be there when I need it. I want trained Paramedics whom , despite your claims are very capable and do save lives. They carry lifesaving drugs and have to use MATH to administer the correct dose. They have to use biology and and chemistry-knowing how things work and what the drug will do and interact with. Wow-sounds a little like medicine…

  106. #106 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    I don’t think that you are stupid Jennifer just disingenuous, you know the 150k is total compensation. And you also know that we are talking about CA here. I could give a rat a$$ about Illinois, you guys dug your own grave.

  107. #107 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    if any one is diingenous its you-itmeans giving false appearance.
    I’ve been upfront about what i do, my education ect… You have not. You claim to know what a Paramedic school is like-have you been to one, did you flunk out? You refuse to answer the simplest of questions as to what entitles you to makes such ridicoulous claims that Paramedic school is not hard.
    Of course all the benefits(insurance ect.. are worth that)
    You dont get insurance paid if it is not in the line of duty, you have to pay for it. While you are employed , yes benefits come to that, but so do most companies that take care of their employees. Anyone with a good blue cross plan and decent days off and those who are lucky to have college paid for will be close to or above that.-Please.

  108. #108 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    You once again show your complete disconnect with reality.

    If your logic were valid pro athletes, actors, and musicians would be some of the lowest paid individuals in our society.

    And that isn’t the case.

  109. #109 by Johnny Donut on October 19, 2010

    Scarcity. Look it up. There is only one top athlete in each sport. There are millions who are capable of fighting fires.

  110. #110 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    And there are literally hundreds of thousands who vie for for those positions. Meaning their pay should be significantly lower.

    According to you.

  111. #111 by Johnny Donut on October 19, 2010

    Try to keep up. Despite how many try, there is only one man who meets the minimum requirements for “BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE NFL.”

    There are million of Americans who could meet the minimum requirements for firefighter.

  112. #112 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    Well no kidding captain Obvious.

    He claims compensation should be adjusted downward because there are so many who are capable of doing the job.

    Yet you now justify high compensation because we are paying for the top in those sports.

    I could now just as easliy state we are paying for those top candidates who apply out of the thousands who posssess minimum qualifications.

    Maybe there are millions who are capable of fighting fires. But millions don’t apply and because so many apply, the profession is able to be selective and take the best of the best. All those who are capable doesn’t necessarily translate into being good at their profession or would be good employees.

    You’ve apparently never had to hire anyone.

  113. #113 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    So which is it? Do we pay for the best, or should we pay according to the number of applicants.

    It’s your logic, not mine.

  114. #114 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Your logic is so twisted I cannot believe what I am reading. If your IQ is represenative of all FF’s then we are all in some serious trouble.

  115. #115 by Johnny Donut on October 19, 2010

    Marcus Welby :So which is it? Do we pay for the best, or should we pay according to the number of applicants.

    Apples and oranges. Are firefighters competing against another team with artificial rules that limit the number of players who can be on the field at once? No.

    I could hire 3 or 4 decent firefighters for the price of one union tool, and I would always come out on top.

  116. #116 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    Nobody is saying you shouldn’t get health benefits and others, all we are saying is that in the past decade your pay has gotten completely out of line with reality. If this were 15 years ago, no one would be having these conversations.

  117. #117 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    What an athlete makes is none of my business. It is my choice if I wish to contribute to that athlete making that kind of money. For whatever reason, the free market has determined that many professional athletes makes millions. You cannot compare them with public sector unions who use the government’s monopoly power of force to extract money from taxpayers.

  118. #118 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    on what basis would you base your hiring? what qualifications would you look for? What would be your physical ability test? What are you basing decent on?
    Most private ambulance companies give no more than a dr. physical and most just look to see if you have a medic liscense. Most don’t do fingerprint background checks or psych checks either.

  119. #119 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    You still haven’t said what you think is acceptable pay, You just keep saying its out of line. I’d like you to give a figure and justify it.

  120. #120 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    It is pretty easy to assess that paramedic school cannot be that hard based on what they do and the ones who I have met. We are not talking about rocket science here. These are average people, they were not exactly all valedictorians. Your union has programmed you to believe that you are all superheroes, you are no different than everybody else.

  121. #121 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    What and intresting point, a society that gives not a second thought to paying million dollar salary for entertainment, but doesn’t want to pay a living wage to someone who protects them and their family!

  122. #122 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    You obviously have no idea what paramedics do, or you wouldn’t make such an uninformed comment. my union doesn’t program anything. Please answer the question and tell me what paramedics do, what skills they can perform and how you do them(ie, explain a surgical cric to me)

  123. #123 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    once you get through looking it up on the internet-do it in a car, with glass everywhere and the pt bleeding to death in front of you, get him extricated and to the hospital in 12 minutes(which is critical within the “Golden Hour”(its a medical term for Drs and Paramedics)and while enroute start 2 ivs and decompress bilat while in a moving ambulance.

  124. #124 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    Just one problem. It’s your logic. Not mine.

    Where have I ever stated I was a firefighter? Your syllogistic/conspiratorial mindset reveals itself.

    You claim unions extract money from the taxpayer. How so? Is there not a process for them to follow to negotiate their compensation? Or do you not believe in representative government? I know you might find this difficult to believe. But there are other voters besides you who elect officials. It’s why there are elections every two years. Do you believe the public should vote on employee contracts? What about all contracts with individuals that do business before the city as well? It’s pretty funny watching your ideals burying you.

  125. #125 by Oliver Stone on October 19, 2010

    I will tell you how to do. First you go back 15, 20, I’ll be generous and give you 10 years. From there you take the pay and adjusted based on the wage growth of the rest of the country’s workers. Then you roll back all the ridiculous pensions to something more sustainable like they were 20 years ago. You can even keep your DB, you just get a smaller multiplier off of a lower salary. That will go along way to ensure the pension funds are solvent so that you do get one when you retire.

    When you are done, you will find that the number is significantly lower than it is now, and the funny thing is that there were plenty of qualified people to do the job back then.

    The current pay is simple a example of out of control unions with bought and paid for politicians. You ought to be ashamed of your unions tactics. Threatening the public when funds are low, real classy and professional.

  126. #126 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    10 years ago -paramedics did not do as much as they do now-i know I’ve been one 13 years. When i went to school it was 7 month program-now its 2 years. I had an alloted amount of time to take classes to be up to standard and had to learn as job was expanded. You cannot compare any job to what it is 10 years ago. Computer tech get more now because the job is more advanced. With more responsibility comes more pay.

  127. #127 by Jennifer Flynn on October 19, 2010

    If you privatize , its just the ambulance companies that get the money-either way the tax payer pay it. In the town I live in(not work in)they have a private paramedic company run the dept. They pay the company 5 milllion a year to run it. The medics only see $36,000 of that a year-these medics fall into 2 classes.Those who are testing to get on fire department and those who cannot pass the tests(be it physical or psych) These are not the people I want taking care of me, I would rather pay the higher taxes for someone who is committed and dedicated to the town they work in. This was my feeling before I EVER became involved with the fire department-so the union mentality does not apply.

  128. #128 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    All done via the law with the consent of officials elected by the people.

    Do you now have a problem with democracy?

    I don’t want decent firefighters. I want great ones.

    Do you settle for mediocrity in your life? That doesn’t apply to me.

  129. #129 by Marcus Welby on October 19, 2010

    How do you know paramedic school isn’t that hard? Have you ever attended the program?

    I know rocket scientists as well. It can’t be that difficult given the number of failures in the space program over the years.

    That’s the type of logic you’re applying.

  130. #130 by ok joe... on October 20, 2010

    Oliver understands nothing at all about health care
    compensation. It fundamentally bothers him
    that people not required to have a 4 year degree
    can make 100k+. Next thing you now, he’ll be
    making fun of nurses at nearby St. Jude’s who
    make far more than Fullerton firemedic’s avg. 25$/hr, and also only have a two year degree.

    Let it go, Oliver. You got the wrong major.

  131. #131 by Oliver Stone on October 20, 2010

    OK let’s see some twisted logic as you guys justify this:

    http://www.laweekly.com/2010-10-14/news/a-stink-in-el-segundo-over-cadillac-salaries/

  132. #132 by ok joe... on October 20, 2010

    O.S.-

    logic?

    Let’s stick to the issue at hand.
    I thought your pretend blog was concerned
    with Fullerton, not some “Mayberry by the
    sea” town.

    Nice straw man you set up there.

    You clearly didn’t study philosophy or logic in
    your 4 year taxpayer funded party you call
    a degree.

    What was it? Poly sci? Film studies?

    Again, you got the wrong major.
    Stop playing on the computer,
    go back to school and study EMS
    or nursing and stop cartooning.

  133. #133 by Marcus Welby on October 20, 2010

    Isn’t that between the firefighters of El Segundo and the people who live there?

    How does that affect Fullerton?

  134. #134 by Jennifer Flynn on October 20, 2010

    Even i’ll agree this is out of hand-however I would like to see what part of the $220 is” benefits” vs the salary itself. It is though something that is between the citizens of that town and those fireman and their contract.
    Our village voted in a referendum for Paramedics 10 years ago and agreed to the tax hike that would be required for what we would be paid. Everything was above board. The residents agreed they get what they pay for.
    Again, in this case it seems to be out of bounds, but as usual I would like the other side of the story.

  135. #135 by Oliver Stone on October 20, 2010

    Nice try at deflection. You know the point was that this is just another example of corruption in a CA city. It is not the first and won’t be the last, this kind of corruption is happening up and down CA and it is killing cities, counties, and the state. That is why the video was made.

  136. #136 by Oliver Stone on October 20, 2010

    It is happening everywhere. It is called an example.

  137. #137 by 4SD Observer on October 20, 2010

    What corruption? You mean when a group supports a candidate for public office because they share the same values. Doesn’t the Chamber of Commerce do the same thing? As does any other number of groups?

    Oliver Stone :It is happening everywhere. It is called an example.

    You’re correct. It’s a great example of representative democracy. Apparently it’s something you don’t like.

  138. #138 by Joe Sipowicz on October 20, 2010

    Yes and the unions are over-represented.

  139. #139 by Joe Sipowicz on October 20, 2010

    Oops, I forgot: I am Hero and deserve.

  140. #140 by Jennifer Flynn on October 20, 2010

    Our village voted in a referendum for Paramedics 10 years ago and agreed to the tax hike that would be required for what we would be paid. Everything was above board. The residents agreed they get what they pay for. Democracy at its best!

  141. #141 by Joe Sipowicz on October 20, 2010

    Oliver thanks for sharing that. Lest anybody think that sense of entitlement is an isolated case, they would be wrong. 1000% wrong.

  142. #142 by Jefferson Thomas on October 20, 2010

    You mean Republic right?

  143. #143 by English Major on October 21, 2010

    Why do you keep writing in free verse.

    Are you really trying to write a poem?

  144. #144 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    No , I mean democracy. Rule by majority(50% +1)

  145. #145 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    Jennifer we live in a Republic, and I suggest you look up the difference.

  146. #146 by 4SD Observer on October 21, 2010

    So you believe there should be restrictions?

    Based on what? Numbers of members?

    This is great how someone who purports to believe in liberty wants to limit the liberty of a group with whom they disagree.

    The needle is pegged on the ironometer on this one.

    Not that anyone should be surprised.

  147. #147 by Marcus Welby on October 21, 2010

    In this particular case she is correct. It would be democracy. Direct democracy actually since the entire electorate voted on the issue.

    You’re correct in that we live in a republic at the statewide and federal level. In CA we do engage in direct democracy via the initiative process.

    Your attempt at faux intellectualism fails miserably.

  148. #148 by Robert Young on October 21, 2010

    Was senile long before he died.

  149. #149 by Marcus Welby on October 21, 2010

    I’ll have to take your word for it. However, your post is not even close to being relevant to the topic.

    Much like many of the others. I’m surprised no one has brought up Pam Keller.

  150. #150 by admin on October 21, 2010

    Marcus Welby :

    I’ll have to take your word for it. However, your post is not even close to being relevant to the topic.

    Much like many of the others. I’m surprised no one has brought up Pam Keller.

    We can if you want.

  151. #151 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    You just showed how stupid you really are. Using your logic, if I decided I wanted your house all I need to do is get a proposition on the ballot that says: vote yes to give Oliver Welby’s house. Then I just need to campaign to get 50%+1 of the vote and your house is mine. GMAFB. Using that same logic I guess if I can get a proposition on the ballot to take away your pension too. I don’t need to, because what is unsustainable always fails on its own.

  152. #152 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    While we are at let’s just get rid of the courts too. All we need to do is have people vote. Study some history you moron.

  153. #153 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    Yes we live in a republic, i know that.An school child could tell you that-its in the pledge of allegiance. It is important to keep in mind the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, as dissimilar forms of government. Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved.applicable only to a small community or few.
    A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution–adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment–with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term “the people” means, of course, the electorate.

  154. #154 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    Besides demonstrating that you can cut and paste from wikipedia did you have anything to add?

  155. #155 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    Can you ever discuss something without calling names? Most everyone else here on both sides of the issue has managed to keep a civil tongue. Seriously it reminds me of my kids arguing. You can disagree with someone without resorting to name calling. You can even make witty remarks/shots

  156. #156 by just a guy on October 21, 2010

    Jennifer Flynn :Can you ever discuss something without calling names?

    Civility is for douchebags.

  157. #157 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    Jennifer I tried being civil with him. He is a moron and I stand by that comment.

  158. #158 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    Oliver Stone :
    Jennifer I tried being civil with him. He is a moron and I stand by that comment.

    Just because he doesn’t share your point of view does not make him a moron

  159. #159 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    yes actually, its not Wikipedia. Its from the book American ideal of 1776 by Long

  160. #160 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    Jennifer:

    Read his comments, it does. You at least brought thoughtful arguments, even though I disagree them.

  161. #161 by Marcus Welby on October 21, 2010

    Such anger from misdirected nonsenscal rambling.

    You might very well be allowed to do all that you state were it not for the fact there are laws to protect society from idiots such as yourself who tend to dissolve complex issues into simplicity.

    I stated that direct democracy is very much a part of our society. Do you not believe that? Or do you not understand?

    Have you ever seen an initiative get approved by the voters only to have it overturned as being unconstitutional? If not you must be a child. It happens just about every election cycle.

    And if you are a child, it explains a lot.

    As far as your remarks about pensions. Once again you throw out a deflection because your earlier point is incoherent.

  162. #162 by Marcus Welby on October 21, 2010

    Please do. I like reading your unfounded claims of why she decided to not run for a second term.

    Especially since you’re the only one who cares.

  163. #163 by Marcus Welby on October 21, 2010

    Jennifer Flynn :Can you ever discuss something without calling names? Most everyone else here on both sides of the issue has managed to keep a civil tongue. Seriously it reminds me of my kids arguing. You can disagree with someone without resorting to name calling. You can even make witty remarks/shots

    It’s okay Jennifer. When the argument is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

  164. #164 by admin on October 21, 2010

    Oliver, my advice is to ignore these folks. Your brilliant art film speaks for itself. And for all of us, too.

  165. #165 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    my advice to the firefighter/medics of Fullerton:
    Have citizens fire academy-let them go through what it’s actually like. Show what Paramedics do, what schooling is involved and go around door to door and explain it to the people you serve. This is what we did and we had a 96% vote Yes to ALS (kinda silly slogan, but it got the point across) it ended up raising each residents property tax$10 per month-when they saw why, it was totoally worth it to them.

    To the citizens of Fullerton(and that would include me, as I own propery there and CAN vote)
    Take time to go by the firehouse, meet the men and women that serve your community. Take time to talk to them, ask questions about their schooling and what they do. Ride along for a shift. Look up what goes into Paramedic school and what tools these people carry with them to save your live. The ambulance is called MICU for a reason!(Mobile Intensive Care Unit) Always look at both sides of the issues before you leap.

  166. #166 by Colony Drivell on October 21, 2010

    Jennifer,

    I have a better idea. Why not ask the citizens of Fullerton if they would like to have the same talented people work until they are 55 instead of 50 and offer them a cap on their pension of 60% of BASE salary.

    You can not get your head around the fact that it is not lack of info or lack of appreciation. The world is in a financial mess and we cant afford the lavish benefit package that has only existed in California for 10 years.

  167. #167 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    While you are campaigning door to door, do you also inform the public of the salary earned and benefits of the people who need more tax money. It one thing to show people what you do and tell them you need more money to do it, it is quite another to fully educate them. Half truths about hourly wages and base salary are BS and everyone knows it. Show me the payroll, like they did in the article about El Segundo, then ask the people if they want to pay more taxes for it.

  168. #168 by Oliver Stone on October 21, 2010

    Marcus Welby :
    I stated that direct democracy is very much a part of our society. Do you not believe that? Or do you not understand?
    Have you ever seen an initiative get approved by the voters only to have it overturned as being unconstitutional? If not you must be a child. It happens just about every election cycle.

    Those two contradictory statements are enough for people to realize that you truly are a moron.

  169. #169 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    Colony Drivell :
    Jennifer,
    I have a better idea. Why not ask the citizens of Fullerton if they would like to have the same talented people work until they are 55 instead of 50 and offer them a cap on their pension of 60% of BASE salary.
    You can not get your head around the fact that it is not lack of info or lack of appreciation. The world is in a financial mess and we cant afford the lavish benefit package that has only existed in California for 10 years.

    You could probably ask for new hires to have it. You will have people leave for other towns-talented people if you take away existing benefits. It happened in a town near us in Il and it took them years to undo the mess-hence look before you leap.
    As far as exsisting saleries go, both sides should sit down and agree on things ie(like taking a 0% raise this year and only 1% next year)typically its 3-5%
    It seems to be working in Illinois-new hires are getting less and those already on are not losing benefits, just not gaining at a high rate.

  170. #170 by Jennifer Flynn on October 21, 2010

    Oliver Stone :
    While you are campaigning door to door, do you also inform the public of the salary earned and benefits of the people who need more tax money. It one thing to show people what you do and tell them you need more money to do it, it is quite another to fully educate them. Half truths about hourly wages and base salary are BS and everyone knows it. Show me the payroll, like they did in the article about El Segundo, then ask the people if they want to pay more taxes for it.

    Our saleries earned are published every year and our overtime last year was ridicoulous. So we also explained to the public-and showed them numbers it was cheaper to pay out the ot than hire someone with the benefit package-that yes they know what we get(down to the pension)
    We would have liked more personel, people were gettting forced back every day-no one wanted the ot cause it was every shift. When you are up for 24 hours you dont want to do 48 too often!
    I do think the info should be public and I also think that as long as you can explain and show why and what the benefits are for people are generally open to the idea-but you have to be upfront with them

  171. #171 by Marcus Welby on October 21, 2010

    So you admit you’re a child. The initiative process allows any group to take an issue directly to the people. The people vote (direct democracy) on the issue. If it is approved an individual or group has the right to challenge the issue based upon the constitutionality of the issue. The courts then decide.

    This also happens at the representative level. Laws are passed by the legislature. They are signed into law by the chief executive or they are vetoed. If they are vetoed, the legislature has the ability to override. Then if a law survives that process, it can still be challenged as unconstitutional by an individual or group. The courts then decided based upon the constitution.

    Here’s a great video to help you better understand the legislative process:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TI8xqLl_-w

  172. #172 by Charles Sainte Claire on October 25, 2010

    “As for entitilement-you are right I am entitled-it was in the contract I signed when I was hired.”

    I have made this point many times. The word “entitlement” is used to imply something you get as a gift. No. It is a contractual agreement you and the employer, meaning the taxpayer through their elected representatives have agreed to.

    If you make an agreement with any worker, private or public to provide a service for compensation, that is not a gift.

  173. #173 by Oliver Stone on October 25, 2010

    I had a break through. I was watching 20/20 and had sympathy for a FIre Fighter. It was a strange story about death benefits for a Fire Fighter who died in the line of duty. The reason I had sympathy was that he was not a union member, in fact he was a volunteer.

    Volunteers are the true heroes and they do deserve.

  174. #174 by FIREMAN on October 29, 2010

    Johnn doughnt, before you start spewing shit out of your mouth like the rest of these pencil pushing jerkoffs, get your facts straight. Try looking at the major sacrifices the Stockton Ca Firefighters made to save other firefighters jobs and help their city THEY WORK ONE DAY A MONTH FOR FREE AND TOOK A 10% PAY CUT!. I hope to god none of you assholes that are attacking us firemen EVER have to call 911! We work hard for everything we have, you people chose your path in life and obviously dont have what the passion nor would you go out your way to put your own little selfish life on the line to make sure somebody else lives…

  175. #175 by Johnny Donut on October 29, 2010

    I’m confused. Is Stockton part of Fullerton?

    I hope I never have to call 911 either. You sound like an over-entitled blowhard. I wouldn’t let you near my house with a hose or an axe.

  176. #176 by Burn Baby Burn on October 29, 2010

    “I hope to god none of you assholes that are attacking us firemen EVER have to call 911! ”

    And there you have it. Question our alleged self-sacrifice and herohood and we’ll threaten you.

  177. #177 by Captain on October 30, 2010

    This video is an excellent illumination of the facts of most of the fire service in Southern CA. 3% at 50 is bankrupting this state. Over 5000 people have asked for applications for 12 openings and yet with that kind of demand for the job they pay ridiculous salaries. The video mentions dozing for dollars, I have heard that at the station! Keep in mind a large portion of fire stations get less then 5 calls a shift. I have seen some stations get 1 call a shift on average. Most calls are medical so don’t give me the b.s. about being like a soldier in a war. That is just not true. Keep up the great work! The people need to be informed.

  178. #178 by brucepall on November 2, 2010

    Military Disability Compensation – loss of one foot, or one hand, or loss or loss of use of a creative organ = 10% disability rating. Now 10% does not equate to 10% of one’s pre-discharge pay. It is a fixed amount that the VA determines, in this case 10% gets you $117.00 per month. Which is non-taxable. Don’t know a single combat vet who would not rather have their body parts back instead of the money. However, if you talk to these veterans they will tell you that they are glad to be alive and thankful for the support they receive from their families, community, and country.

    Semper Fidelis

  179. #179 by ronh on November 3, 2010

    Bullshit to you union thugs. How can anyone be so stupid as to vote for Jerry Brown. He has failed at everything he has ever done. Look at Oakland schools in toilet, crime rampant. He was the laughing stock of the nation in the 70′s. He started the mess the state is in. Only reason he got elected is to bend over for the unions. I say privatize everything go back to a volunteer fire department. You entitlement asses couldn’t perform in the private sector.

  180. #180 by ronh on November 3, 2010

    Let em go! see ya!

  181. #181 by nipsey on November 3, 2010

    Well you have to admit, Whitman already bought off the public safety unions and had them in her pocket. In fact they’re some of the only major contributors to Whitman’s campaign aside from Whitman herself.

  182. #182 by boy cried wolf on November 3, 2010

    Looks like all this back and forth boils down to one sentence. “I am hero and deserve”.

    It’s just that simple. Some have been hypnotized in to believing it and the rest of the world is tired of it.

  183. #183 by Jennifer Flynn on November 4, 2010

    You guys are really kidding yourself if you think volunteer is the way to go. We have a volunteer fire dept right next to us, it’s not uncommon for them to tone out multiple times over a15 min period-that’s 15 min waiting for an ambulance-if you are without oxygen-you’re dead(4-6 min). They then call us since no one showed up and we end up working a person who possibley could have made it if their ambulance arrived on time.
    So we decideided to be proactive if no one called in service in 5 min we jumped their calls-they got pissed, however survival rates went up.Just something to think about.
    This same dept lacks training -I actually had a fireman from the volunteer dept sit on a airbag during my extrication, he said”im holding it it for you” not only will that not work he is now a potential projectile for myself who is treating the pt and the other crew. While im sure this is not ALL volunteer department, it is many. I’ve worked on one and ended up quitting in favor of going full time. The shotty care that I witnessed was unbelievable(ie not being able to tell the difference between and allergic reaction and an asthma attack-again very basic stuff)

  184. #184 by Jennifer Flynn on November 4, 2010

    You guys are really kidding yourself if you think volunteer is the way to go. We have a volunteer fire dept right next to us, it’s not uncommon for them to tone out multiple times over a15 min period-that’s 15 min waiting for an ambulance-if you are without oxygen-you’re dead(4-6 min). They then call us since no one showed up and we end up working a person who possibley could have made it if their ambulance arrived on time.
    So we decideided to be proactive if no one called in service in 5 min we jumped their calls-they got pissed, however survival rates went up.Just something to think about.
    This same dept lacks training -I actually had a fireman from the volunteer dept sit on a airbag during my extrication, he said”im holding it it for you” not only will that not work he is now a potential projectile for myself who is treating the pt and the other crew. While im sure this is not ALL volunteer department, it is many. I’ve worked on one and ended up quitting in favor of going full time. The shotty care that I witnessed was unbelievable(ie not being able to tell the difference between and allergic reaction and an asthma attack-again very basic stuff)
    Volunteers have other jobs-they are not required to pass a physical(in most places) they are also not required to show up for calls.
    Just some things to consider, since I’ve been volunteer, worked the private sector and the union side. Don’t get me wrong-unions are not perfect, however in my experience the quality of care and the dedication is far superior than what I witnessed in both the other jobs ( did volunteer for 6 years, private for 4 and Union currently now for 10)

  185. #185 by boy cried wolf on November 4, 2010

    Jennifer,

    Someone already said what needed to be said above so I will just repeat it here: “I have a better idea. Why not ask the citizens of Fullerton if they would like to have the same talented people work until they are 55 instead of 50 and offer them a cap on their pension of 60% of BASE salary.

    You can not get your head around the fact that it is not lack of info or lack of appreciation. The world is in a financial mess and we cant afford the lavish benefit package that has only existed in California for 10 years.”

    Feel free to respond as you didnt earlier.

  186. #186 by Jennifer Flynn on November 4, 2010

    GO back and see my previous posts about going out and asking the citizens-yes, in those posts it is answered go back and look

  187. #187 by Britt on November 5, 2010

    Anyone that believes this is how it goes… well you’re an ignorant dumb ass! They don’t get paid for what they do, they get paid for what they are willing to do. Not but some Firemen are medics and I know for a fact they are all getting hit with pay cuts! I would be willing to bet the ones that are crying and bitching about these brave Fire men, have tried to or wanted to be a Firefighter themselves and more than likely failed. HAters! Get over it. Worry about what you should be doing and quit energizing your time with jealous bullshit talk and cartoons! These guys out there on the line risking their own developing cancer and the list continues to save your pathetic envious life and your home I think what they do get is well deserved. Thanks to all of you Heroes out there!

  188. #188 by Britt on November 5, 2010

    Marcus Dorkus Welby and Johnny Numbnuts, you two are the biggest Jack asses. Military in IraQ AND AFGHAN, all Soldiers where ever they may be.. public safety Fire and Police. They are Heroes! What exactly are you retards doing to help out in the world? I wish you wold be Brave enough to show your despicable faces. Just so these TRUE BRAVE men out there would know, not to waist there time to help you out when in need. Your fire wouldn’t even deserve to be pissed on to put it out. Assholes like you shouldnt be allowed Freedom of Speech.

  189. #189 by Greg Public on November 5, 2010

    It is very difficult to become a fireman. You need a high school diploma, and you need to be able to point a hose. That is such a speciallised skill set that it warrants 125K / yr.

    Brain surgeon starting salary is 90K / Yr. That’s because they never learned how to aim a hose.

  190. #190 by Jennifer Flynn on November 5, 2010

    Actually its a little harder. Fire Academy is ver physical and you have to understand properties of smoke and fire. You cannot just shoot water at it. Certain patterns are used, ventilation has to be done in specific ways depending on fire behavior or you can spread it. If you engineer you must learn water pressures and calculations and friction loss formulas. Those of us whom are also Paramedics had a Lot of school to go through-we can do more than nurses. Firefighting is physically taxing on your body, not only your spine but your sleep. So is being a paramedic.I’m retiring at 38 and feel like 50-so its not all its cracked up to be. They do earn their pay.

  191. #191 by Jennifer Flynn on November 5, 2010

    Plus add vehicle extrication-you can’t just cut the car apart any way you want, there is a special way to do it-it changes based on the accident and car. The HAMATRO books cannot even keep up. There is also rope rescue and confines space, k9 search and rescue-all components of the fire service that take a lot of training

  192. #192 by jack nelly on November 6, 2010

    23 years on the job. new york city firefighter,present at w.t.c. remember that oliver? I only hope for you and sipowicx(whatever) and others that you never have a fire in your home that endangers your family and you need one of us. It’s the most terrifying feeling in the world if one of your children are trapped and you can’t get to them. But when one of us comes out with that child how will you feel? I know,you don’t have to answer I’ve been there. I’ve also seen way too many of my brothers die on the job and not just on 911. We have a burn center here in new York that if you saw some the guys that were burned up close and personal maybe just maybe you might change your tune a bit. It is an extremely dangerous job and if you don’t believe me come to New york and I’ll drag your sorry butt down that hot smokey hallway with me towards that inferno thats roaring out the door that someone left open and has people trapped. You guy’s would bail out in about ten feet.You have no idea. I applaud you jennifer for trying but your wasting your time. They don’t get it.When the private sector was rockin and rolling in the dough they looked down on us like the public servants we are with our low salaries. But now it’s a different story and they want to take away what we earn everyday.Why? Because we have a secure job with a pension? They could have taken the same test and had the same job, sounds like jealousy to me. By the way Six guy’s from my firehouse have some form of cancer , four are retired recently two have died in the past year. Jimmy Ryan and Kevin Cassidy. R.I.P. I support our military guy’s 110 percent. We have quite a few fdny and nypd guy’s serving now, God bless them I donate to the disabled American veterans all the time and so should all of you. I have had a rich and rewarding career and I am honored to work with the people that I have around me. I will not reply to any negative response as I said before you just don’t get it.. Funny thing I’m listening to sirens and air horns now of responding fdny rigs. Stay safe brothers!

  193. #193 by Joe Sipowicz on November 6, 2010

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………

    Uh, oh. Hello there. Come to Fullerton, CA. Your brothers here shoot hoops and stand around at accidents and medical calls. They call it dozing for dollars.

  194. #194 by Oliver Stone on November 7, 2010

    There is no reason we cannot appreciate what you do and at the same time feel like the compensation the taxpayers are providing you is excessive. When is it enough, do we owe you a ten million?

    As for the private sector rolling in it. That is a very common misconception that your types have. It was only people related to the real estate bubble that were rolling in it, and many of them are crooks and belong in jail anyway.

  195. #195 by Jennifer Flynn on November 7, 2010

    This is something my paramedic teacher said my first day of class, I use it with my students on their first day. I’m not sure who wrote the original. I think it bears repeating. DISCLAIMER-this does not apply to CHIEFS-it applies to line personel
    Welcome to the profession whose entry-level practitioners — you, in a few months — rank 4th from the bottom in the Bureau of Labor Statistics salary rankings. The only people paid less than you are pre-school teachers, dishwashers and meatpackers. The guy riding on the back of the garbage truck, or holding a sign at a highway construction zone, makes more money than your EMT instructor. Likely, a lot more.
    And none of those people are required to make life-or-death decisions. You will.
    It is a profession where the line-of-duty death rate is comparable to firefighters and police officers. For those of you who aspire to flight paramedic status, that particular niche is by far the most dangerous profession in America — ahead of loggers, miners, and Alaska crab fisherman.
    It is a profession whose divorce, suicide and substance abuse rates soar far higher than the general population. The average career expectancy of an EMT is five years.
    Five years.
    Some of you will go on to jobs in nursing or other healthcare fields. Those of you that don’t move on to nursing or PA school will leave EMS with a career-ending back injury, or leave EMS healthy but not whole; jaded and cynical, your idealism burned away in the furnace-like reality of our profession, your faith in the innate goodness of man gone like so much ash and smoke up the chimney.
    You’ll be disrespected
    You will be disrespected by patients and bystanders who don’t know any better, and belittled by doctors and nurses who should. And many of you will endure the abuse for free labor, donating your services as volunteers.
    So why do I tell you this? Well, they call it informed consent, a concept you’ll learn about in the first few chapters of that EMT textbook you’re carrying. Before you agree to the abuse you’re about to suffer, it’s only fair that you know what you’re getting into.
    And it’s not what you think.
    You will sift through broken glass and twisted metal, wade through urine and feces and vomit, weather heaping torrents of verbal abuse from the people you’re trying to help, all for the prospect of a few dollars on payday, and perhaps…just perhaps…a show of gratitude now and again.
    I’m here to tell you that what you’ve been promised is a lie, if only a little white one. When you’re green and idealistic, the romance and thrill of EMS is powerful. All of us were adrenaline junkies at some point. Plus, there’s a decent chance it might even get you laid. What’s not to like?
    You won’t save that many lives
    But you will soon discover the hidden truth, the one that drives most people out of our profession:
    We don’t save that many lives.
    Lifesaving may be what we train for, but the opportunity to actually save someone comes all too rarely, and when it does present itself, the outcome depends more upon luck and timing than our skills. In my career, I’ve had my share of code saves. Some of them even made it out of the hospital alive. Others hung on just long enough for their families to tell them goodbye. I’ve made the critical diagnosis, gotten the tough airway, turned around the crashing asthmatic, and stabilized the shocky gangbanger with multiple unnatural holes in his person. I’ve needled chests, paced, defibrillated, and cardioverted, and given countless drugs.
    But, other than a handful of exceptions, I can’t state with any certainty that my actions were the difference between life and death. In that handful of exceptions, all but one or two were saved simply by applying the techniques that any John Q. Citizen with a basic first aid course could have done. Ask your instructor if you don’t believe it’s true. They’ll tell you the same thing.
    The reality of the profession
    The reality of your profession isn’t exciting rescues and cardiac arrest resuscitations twice a shift. Your reality will be dialysis transfers and people who can’t poop. It will be toothaches at 3:00 am, and you’ll have to maneuver your stretcher around five parked cars to get to the front door, and weave your way through five able-bodied drivers to get to the patient with a complaint so minor you can’t believe they called 911 for it.
    So why, if you’re not going to save all that many lives, should you even bother?
    You should bother because EMS is a calling. Even when you leave EMS, it never really leaves you. It’s what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said, “Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.”
    You should bother because, even if we’re not saving lives, what we do matters. It matters in ways unnoticed by us, to people you may not even remember tomorrow.
    You should bother, because EMTs are privileged to play in life’s great game. Too many unlucky people watch the action thunder by, stuck at a desk, or watching it on television at home.
    You should bother, because it’s the little things that matter. Most of your patients are ignorant of your skills. Few of them understand the technology you wielded so expertly. But they’ll remember the smile you gave them, or the way you tucked the blanket in to ward away winter’s chill, or the way you stood in the rain, getting drenched as you held the umbrella over them as your partner loaded them in the rig. They’ll remember calm competence, and gentle speech.
    They’ll remember the joke you made to lighten the tension. They’ll remember those things and more, and they’ll remember your face long after you’ve forgotten theirs.
    You’ll be remembered
    They’ll remember you because, even though they were just another call to you, you were a major player in a defining event in their lives. They’ll come up to you, years after the fact, and say, “I remember you. You take care of me when I had my heart attack.”
    And likely all you did was apply oxygen and take them to the hospital. Maybe you helped them with another dose of nitro or encouraged them to take an aspirin — really nothing they couldn’t have done themselves. But you’re the one they remembered, and you’re the one they thanked.
    You should bother, because in the tapestry of human existence, you get to contribute your own unique stitch. You get to make your mark in ways that cannot be quantified on a spreadsheet or a profit and loss statement. Not everyone gets to touch the life of another, but EMTs do.
    You should bother, because when people are at their most vulnerable, they will invite you into their homes and tell you things they won’t even tell their priest. And they’ll expect you to make it better somehow. I’m not sure you understand now how profound an honor that is, but hopefully one day you will.
    The question is, can you be worthy of that honor?

  196. #196 by Thurman on November 8, 2010

    I hope we never have all Volunteer FD in NYC. My cousin lives on long island and it takes them 10-15-20 minutes to show up to an emergency, while it takes the average city fd 3-4 minutes. My family and home will be destroyed by then. I understand their importants on long island but my families safety is my priority.

  197. #197 by FDNYTRUCKY on November 8, 2010

    First off to Jack Nelly, well said. Joe public will never understand what we do on a day to day basis. And Joe, how do you think the mothers, wife’s and children of my dead brothers feel about your disrespect to the same people that may die saving your life one day? I can’t help but wonder where you were a few years ago when life was good and us social servants were just underpaid jerkoffs. I have to assume you were making good money playing solitaire sitting at some corporate desk laughing all the way to the bank. How many split second life and death decisions have you made at work? How many times did you pray to what ever it is you believe in to help you get home safe to your family? Try to step out of your jealous rant for just a moment and put yourself in our boots. Would you risk it all to save someone you don’t know, have never met, and didn’t even know existed until they needed you? According to what your saying there is a price to be put on human life. So what price do you put on your life? Is it the same price you put on your neighbors life? Face it your a jealous hypocrite who has nothing better to do than bash the people he wished he had the integrity to be. Good luck with that.

  198. #198 by red devil on November 9, 2010

    i’ve already been to your house! i don’t care about you, but your wife loved my hose. its ironic you mentioned BLOWHARD, because it was quite the opposite. good luck you miserable hump. you must be so happy with your dead end job. get in shape and take the test, its open to the PUBLIC

  199. #199 by red devil on November 9, 2010

    I’M GLAD I DON’T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. YOU’RE ATTACKING PAID FIREFIGHTERS FOR DOING A JOB THAT IS OPEN TO ANYBODY WHO PASSES A TEST. YET YOU LIBERAL ASSHOLES SHUT YOUR MOUTH ABOUT ALL THE ILLEGALS WHO HAVE BANKRUPTED YOUR STATE. KEEP PAYING THIER WELFARE , MEDICAL,FOOD STAMPS AND SCHOOL BILLS. ATTACK HARD WORKING AMERICANS! YOU DESERVE PELOSI BACK YOU IDIOTS

  200. #200 by John Galt on November 10, 2010

    The public employees are taking the tax payers for a ride. Why? Because the other clowns like them vote for the benefits package. Like congress voting to give congress a raise! The pensions are over the top. I know a probation officer that retired at 90% her highest pay and was able to trump up the pay by including sick leave etc. to the final year. What crap! The public employees could never run a car wash let alone a real business. Anyone that thinks giving money to these rip offs with no way out is warped. All the public employee pensions need to be reviewed, not just new hires. Many of these Union Workers are just plain and simple crooks. Have you heard the one about four people getting paid with one doing the real job? Yep, the retirement age is so low that many are living off the job, but only one is working. All this crap has to stop or there will be a tax revolt that will shake the entire country.

  201. #201 by Gypsy on November 10, 2010

    This is to that pompous punk Greg Public. Your sarcastic comment about how difficult it is to become a fireman, stating all you need is a high school education to point a hose. Hey moron I’m assuming you’re a college graduate, you mispelled specialized. Gee whiz Einstein I could spell that in high school.

  202. #202 by Gilligan on November 11, 2010

    So if he was a union member it would make you not have sympathy if he died in the line of duty?

  203. #203 by Really? on November 11, 2010

    Oh boy, do I have A LOT to say on this, perhaps I should start with the cliche “if you cant beat em, join em.” Firefighters are not the only ones who can make killing working three days a week. So too do nurses. Does this mean that these people do not deserve such an income. No…Like I said, can’t beat em, so I joined them.
    Anyone ever wonder why public school is going to hell in a handbasket? Well a teacher, or a professor as is my case who works five days a week, and COUNTLESS hours at home UNPAID, hours of commuting on SHITTY LA freeways, oh and the constant fear that my Graduate degree means I will only earn 28,000 dollars a year until I retire. that is collect social security – if it even exists then….

    So I jumped ship. And now am in a Nursing program. In 15 months i will finally be able to get that Mommy makerover I want. Oh and only work 3 days a week.

    I dont fault the firefighters in the slightest – please they were smart enough to get into a career that pays well, maybe too well….and while I have lived in burn zones and have had to be evacuated more than a few times (Yeah California! egh) I have to be honest…..i would rather have a highly paid and highly trained work force than an underpaid and apathetic one.

  204. #204 by Joe Sipowicz on November 11, 2010

    Good for you. Bad for everyone else.

    If you put your own greed ahead of the public good we can pull you plug without the slightest remorse.

  205. #205 by Jennifer Flynn on November 11, 2010

    are we using that reasoning for all the sports stars-Micheal Vic ect… and the president(with all his book deals and vacations) I guarantee they are living better than the fireman!

  206. #206 by Joe Sipowicz on November 11, 2010

    Michael Vic (sic) is not making book on the public’s dime.

  207. #207 by Jennifer Flynn on November 11, 2010

    Sure he is, as are any of the sports stars. People pay obscene amounts of money for tickets, jerseys, whatever. The public is supporting his lifestyle. If the public can support this for “entertainment” how screwed up are there priorities that they don’t want to give people who RISK their lives a decent wage.The double dipping though does need to stop(ie Chief’s retiring on pension and getting hired on as Chief at another dept and getting a second pension-that is getting greedy) your regular fireman or paramedic does not belong lumped in that category.

  208. #208 by LS on November 12, 2010

    REDUCE ALL THE PERKS THAT POLITIANS GET, AGENCY HEADS AND PORT AUTHORITY POLICE RECEIVE. THERE ARE MANY MORE AREAS TO CUT,ALSO MTA BOARD AND THE LIST GETS BIGGER. LEAVE THE FIREMAN ALONE. SOME OF YOU COULD NOT EVEN PASS THE TEST.

  209. #209 by JTJ on November 13, 2010

    She’s not asking you to feel her pain…….In fact she’s not asking for your sympathy, apathy or any other feelings. She’s simply trying to explain reality. Public sector jobs were never in the spotlight nor were they desirable jobs for millions of americans…..especially when the economy was good. No one cares about lowly govt jobs when the economy is thriving and private sector jobs are giving xmas bonuses some of which I’ve seen to be obscene. No one was bashing them years ago. But, low and behold, the private sector including Wall st types are now struggling and looking to blame someone…..It’s easy to go after the blue collar govt jobs……the jobs that people have taken because of there security and benifits….not to get rich. You chose your profession. And I won’t bash you for your choice. It’s YOUR CHOICE. Different jobs have different benifits. Thats reality. As for the video. There’s two sides to every story….If you can’t see that this is one sided propaganda you need to open up your mind just a little more. I’ve never heard a fireman or any other emergency worker call themselves a hero and claim that they deserve any sort of special treatment or praise. I hope you GET IT.

  210. #210 by john brenan on November 15, 2010

    Your about the dumbest Jew on this planet. Do a ride a long with the police or fire dept. in south central LA and see how safe it is you dipshit. Just last week a young Riverside cop was murdered by some Felon who should have been put to death years ago if it wasn’t for all the bleeding heart liberals in this pathetic state of CA. The illegal aliens in this state are whats banckrupting us not the unions. What exactly do you do for work Sipowitz? Your probably an Actor

  211. #211 by john brenan on November 15, 2010

    Our Military men and women should get paid a hell of alot more than all these so called Actors who play make believe!!!!!

  212. #212 by Not Much Sympathy Here on November 17, 2010

    ‘Tis a tale told by an idiot; full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
    You all could keep this string going forever. The firefighter contingent is not listening to valid points and concerns raised by others. (Kudos to ‘Thomas Jefferson’ for his attempts to keep this grounded in reason.)
    Jennifer, you accepted a job as a fire fighter. Good for you, you passed a test and were accepted and served. You were injured. That’s sad. It happens to the best of us. Sh*t happens. Ask any military man or woman, they’ll tell you. Oh, and by the way…a bit of advice: Try to keep your posts pithy. They do drone on so.
    Wake up everybody. We all need to face reality. The surreal era of the dotcom boom is over. Now it’s time to pay the bill for that party… and that includes you public safety folks. (Your negotiated pay raises were going up at a steady rate during that time.)
    The rest of us have taken our salary and benefit cuts. It’s time for public safety to follow suit.

  213. #213 by Jennifer Flynn on November 18, 2010

    Macbeth-I think..
    I do rather enjoy my chats with Jefferson.
    Yes, I was injured, and part of my benefit for risking my life and health and saving someone elses life is a pension for the rest of my life. I’ve been on every side of the fire dept-volunteer, private and paid. Volunteers are wonderful but they are not whom I want taking care of my family-you get what you pay for. Volunteers do it as a hobby. My father is still a volunteer firefighter-hes a teacher by day and does it for “fun” Career firefighters and paramedics are not doing it for fun, Do you really want someone hoping your house burns or someone gets in a great car wreck so they can have their fun and excitement for the week? Response times will increase and the service will decrease.
    As far as the private sector not all jobs have taken cuts-you just have to market yourself better. Just because one business is doing it does not mean everyone has to..

  214. #214 by Hollis Dugan on November 18, 2010

    Jennifer, it isnt all or nothing. Some of us would be happy to try private paramedics. Yes we have heard and read all your arguments and yes we would still gladly give it a go.

    My son’s platoon in Afganistan has one corpsman for the 32 of them and certainly they are all threatened on a daily basis. Here, if a medical call goes out we have 4 people show up in a fire engine, three stand around while one does most the work and then, if necessary, they let the two other guys that rolled up in the ambulance wheel the person out of the house and actually make the transport.

    The bottom line is in our community the overwhelming number of calls for service (over 90%) have nothing to do with fires. No one’s life is at risk during the medical aid calls short of maybe the person that is awaiting a trip to the hospital.

    If “Firemen” were used for fighting fires and urban rescue only we could still proudly call then heroes, we would just need alot fewer of them and we could actually afford to keep our library open and our park and rec department from folding up.

  215. #215 by tom on November 19, 2010

    32 hours of OT for working an extra day, I thought there were only 24 hrs in a day. There are people like mayor bloomberg that want to destroy FF reutations so they have no public support for the jobs they do. I made $$$ on wall st and now I had to adjust my spending because I lost 20% of my income or around 120K a year,but I still survive.

  216. #216 by Wild on November 23, 2010

    This is a great video..Fireman do save lives but thats their job and way over paid !!

  217. #217 by Vol FF on November 24, 2010

    You California people are crazy! I am an insurance agent during the day and a volunteer firefighter by night in a large community outside of Houston, TX. I risk my life nightly for a tiny pension after 10 years of service. Again, I volunteer for this and can walk away anytime. I can also decide I don’t want to wake up at 3 a.m. to put out your house or cut you out of your wrecked car. Every call could be the one that I don’t come home from.
    Your firefighters everywhere deserve a pension because they make the choice to risk their life to protect yours. In most paid positions they commit to that job for 20 years or more for that pension. Do you people know how much toxic crap is in the smoke firefighters breathe going into fires? Do you think firefighter life expectancy is the same as yours from sitting in your office? Do you think life insurance is cheap for a firefighter? And yes, the fire academy is very difficult. Not every idiot that applies gets through the school. It’s not just pointing a hose and spraying water.
    Be very grateful you cities with paid firefighters! The average commitment of a volunteer is 3-5 years because we don’t get paid to risk our lives or wake up in the middle of the night to fix your problems. If you disagree with providing for your firefighters, live without them! Start a campaign to move your city to full volunteer with no pensions and make sure you’re the first one to volunteer your every day, night and weekend for free!!! Let me know how it worked out for you in 20 years!

  218. #218 by Vol FF on November 24, 2010

    Hollis…Do you think we like going on BS calls to babysit someone who has no emergency??? Hell no!!! But it is not our choice. Your elected Emergency Service District reps or City Council or whoever is in charge of your 911 system determines who and how many to send to every call. They don’t want a law suit because enough help didn’t show up. If idiots didn’t abuse the 911 system firefighters wouldn’t have to run so many calls. If humans weren’t so sue happy firefighters wouldn’t have to run so many calls. If you stand up at your City Council or ESD meetings for change firefighters wouldn’t have to run so many calls!

  219. #219 by Jennifer Flynn on November 24, 2010

    My life’s not at risk during medical aide calls? The psych pt, the drug overdose,the car crash(not just from the metal and the undeployed airbags ) but the idiots still driving that don’t think the flashing lights mean stop. I have been stabbed, kicked and bitten on medical aide calls.Please-if anything my life was at higher risk on those.

  220. #220 by Anonymous on November 29, 2010

    sipowicz is a schmuck…
    the truth is that the average firefighter in the US makes a little over $41,000/year. They die, on average 6-8 years after retirement, many times due to cancer-related issues (smoke inhalation and contact with other carcinogens, etc.)… And no, I am not a firefighter…
    you’re a schmuck…

  221. #221 by Hollis Dugan on November 29, 2010

    This is about California unions Mr. Schmuck. Failing to quickly figure this out says a lot about you and none of it is good. Take up the crusade of the Kentucky fireman’s association some where else. We are all filled up here thanks.

  222. #222 by Joe Sipowicz on November 29, 2010

    Who cares if you’re a “fire fighter.”

    The average fire fighter in our humble little town of Fullerton California makes twice that that with dozens in six-figures. Who cares what they make in BFE?

    Those mortality figures have already been debunked so I won’t even bother addressing that anymore.

    But I suspect you are a “fire fighter.”

    P.S. we call you guys ESPs: emergency service providers to describe the paramedic nature of you jobs, although emergency service accompanyists might be a more apt description.

  223. #223 by Curious on November 29, 2010

    #41, source your facts about ff’rs dying 6-8 years after retirement or go pound sand.

  224. #224 by BINTHERDUNTHAT on November 30, 2010

    Hey Joe. I couldn’t help but read with utter amazement all the comments you and Mr. Stone had to defend on your own. I thank you and Mr.Stone for voicing the glaringly obvious to these close-minded individuals who defend their ridiculously high pay. Though I do note that they should receive decent , honest pay and benefits, there is no way on earth they can convince me that they are worth so much. I can say this with a clear conscience…I am a merchant marine. In my line of work, we, as sailors, need to be self -sufficient in so many areas it’s staggering. As a deckhand, it’s my responsibility to fight fires where losing is not an option. We must learn to use an AED ( an automatic defibullator ) learn basic cpr and 1st aid skills, in an enviroment where help will rarely reach you in time to matter. We must police ourselves, and protect one another with little or no means available to us. The job now wants us to pass strenuous physicals, obtain licensing and certifications of all sorts, remain drug free, and may GOD have mercy on you if you make a mistake…ALL of my skills were passed down to me from competant men and women, not from some stuffy college. ( No offense to those with a degree…) I spend weeks away from home. I have my name on the dotted line should the nation decide it needs its merchant navy. I do it not so much for the pay, which isn’t all bad, but because I still love my job. Risks, pitfalls, and all the aggravation the government can ladle out to me. I’m not saying that I’m man enough to turn down a $ 150,000.00 paycheck, but I am man enough to say that I can’t justify it. I do it all for less than 1/3 of that amount you see. And I simply do not agree with their greedy , self -serving, completely blind to the facts, mindset. Talk about killing golden geese…these people couldn’t give a sh#t about the taxpayer today, anymore than they give a sh#t about their kids who are going to pick up the tab later on. To Mrs. Flynn ; THERE IS NO WAY YOU OR ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR SELFISH – ASSED POSSE CAN CONVINCE ME THAT THE AVERAGE FF OR COP IS WORTH THE AMOUNT OF RAW CASH YOU SUCK OUT OF THE CITIES YOU WORK IN. I was a trained MP for the army, and I am a well picked, disciplined sailor in the marine industry. For HALF of that $ 150,000.00 I’m betting that I can keep up with your ” top pickins ” average FF or cop.Thanks again Joe.

  225. #225 by Damn on November 30, 2010

    And to think, the 10 years I served as a volunteer for free because I lived in this community was a waste of time. I could have been a union firefighter and done the same amount of work and retired 10 years ago.

  226. #226 by Smart video guy on December 5, 2010

    To all the public servant and union haters if I believed everything someone said or made a video of I would be a angry non taxpaying drain on society also and hopefully wouldn’t have the courage to even try to save another persons life. I am not a cop or firefighter but a close of mine is and almost lost his life saving 2 people from a fire. He doesn’t make nearly 40,000 a year and 2 people are alive today because of him. Say what you want but dial 911 and see who show up when you are in danger of losing your precious life, I know save yourself cause that is what is going To happen if people like Oliver Stone become a firefighter or police officer. Shame on you people disgusting

  227. #227 by WTF??? on December 5, 2010

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL FOR AN EMERGENCY WE ARE ALL OVERPAID IDIOTS BRAINWASHED BY UNION PROPAGANDA. Thankyou you bunch of mental midgets we now know why people dial 911, it is because of morons like you. Please stop voting and surrender your citizenship and move to Russia.

  228. #228 by Courage under fire on December 5, 2010

    Any firefighter or police officer that you so quickly judge as greedy would save you or your family if it needed to be just hope that day never comes. To all fire and police thank you for being there when cowards hide behind a computer.

  229. #229 by The Fullerton Harpoon on December 5, 2010

    Um, would they save me and my family for 2.5 @ 55?

    Just wonderin’ out loud.

  230. #230 by Courage under fire on December 6, 2010

    Yes harpoon I’m sure they would. But thanks for making my point and showing everyone that the mighty dollar is worth more than your family

  231. #231 by Joe Sipowicz on December 6, 2010

    Would they save me and my family for 2.0 @ 60?

  232. #232 by Mighty Dollar on December 6, 2010

    Mighty Dollar sure seems to be first and foremost on the minds of “public safety” union negotiators.

    Isn’t being Hero its own reward. I mean, Christ, saving all those families every day and having all those little kids look up to you ‘n all. You’d think that would be enough for anybody.

  233. #233 by The Fullerton Harpoon on December 6, 2010

    Joe – you beat me to it!

  234. #234 by Jennifer Flynn on December 6, 2010

    You cant feed your family or pay your bills on hero worship alone!

  235. #235 by Joe Sipowicz on December 6, 2010

    How about retirement at 55, 100% employee share toward pension, if it’s not too much trouble?

  236. #236 by Hollis Dugan on December 6, 2010

    Jennifer, you prove the point for the critics. You can not engage in a discussion that is anything but all or nothing. Basically, in your world, if the tax payers do not fork over everything, followed by no questions or critisizm, they do not appreciate the work of public saftey.

    Wake up Jennifer! This is a discussion of degree and fiscal limitations, not do we kill public safety or not.

  237. #237 by Jennifer Flynn on December 6, 2010

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. If you follow my earlier thread, I have said many times that both sides should fet together and figure things out.We sat down with our village officials and hammered out a deal everyone could live with- and it never had to go to arbitration. We took a 0% raise and then a 1.% and the a 3% over the next three years of our contract.

  238. #238 by Jennifer Flynn on December 6, 2010

    I have also said I don’t believe people should be collecting double pensions, or retiring from one postion , collecting pension and then being rehired to do another. This is not an all or nothing fork it over mentality…

  239. #239 by Courage under fire on December 6, 2010

    I quit you council members suit up in turnout gear and put your own firs out obviusly fire and police protection means nothing to you have fun fullerton

  240. #240 by Johnny Donut on December 6, 2010

    “I quit”

    Liar.

  241. #241 by Hollis Dugan on December 7, 2010

    Well Jennifer, so as not to put words in your mouth how about I just quote you: “Do you really want someone hoping your house burns or someone gets in a great car wreck so they can have their fun and excitement for the week? Response times will increase and the service will decrease.
    As far as the private sector not all jobs have taken cuts-you just have to market yourself better. Just because one business is doing it does not mean everyone has to..”

    We are talking about getting the same service from the same people and cutting their pension back to the level it was WHEN THEY ACTUALLY HIRED ON IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    You meanwhile are changing the subject or ranting about totally unrelated issues.

    We can not afford the cureent benefit. The public saftey folks in our town think that is not their problem. They dont want to talk and work it out unless it works out that they take and we pay. You getting the picture or are you just here to defend at all cost with some analogy the the job is real hard and in other places unrelated to the situation in California the two sidea have worked it out?

  242. #242 by Jennifer Flynn on December 7, 2010

    Not everyone is talking about not bringing in the private sector, if you follow the thread it has been talked about a lot. California does affect me as I have a house there, and will soon be retiring there-so yes, I do care.
    When you talk about cutting the pension, are you talking about rate of pay, or time in service. Adding time to service is not a good idea as the older you get and with the physical demands of this job will be a disservice to the public. We had a couple of guys who didn’t want to retire and they were a hinderence on fires. You are saying that they don’t want to work it out-one side of the argument, I’d like to hear their side to-from their mouths, not yours

  243. #243 by Dusty Bickle on December 7, 2010

    A house in Californy? You done okay fer yerseff. I ain’t even got a house and I live here!

  244. #244 by Jennifer Flynn on December 7, 2010

    Easy there-It was my parents who passed away

  245. #245 by Public Safety Project on December 12, 2010

    This video, Fullerton Fire Hero Goes Viral, describes exactly what has been going on in El Segundo, California, except that El Segundo firefighters are paid MUCH, MUCH MORE than the Fullerton Fire Hero, and they work 48 hours (two 24-hour shifts) and then are off-duty for FOUR DAYS to work another job or run a business.

    See the Public Safety Project web site, El Segundo city employee payroll web page, at:

    http://www.publicsafetyproject.org/elsegundo/elsegundo_payroll.html

    The Fullerton Fire Hero makes $125,000 per year.

    Out of 57 full-time sworn El Segundo firefighters in 2009:

    The maximum, average, and median total earnings, for El Segundo firefighters, EXCLUDING benefits and CalPERS pension contributions, were:

    $270,052; $161,704; and $157,682.

    6 (11%) earned more than $250,000;
    13 (23%) earned more than $200,000;
    32 (56%) earned more than $150,000;
    53 (93%) earned more than $100,000.

    Out of 64 full-time sworn police officers in 2009:

    The maximum, average, and median total earnings, for El Segundo firefighters, EXCLUDING benefits and CalPERS pension contributions, were:

    $425,775; $139,121; and $131,868.

    1 (2%) earned more than $400,000
    ($425,775 for 41 weeks, more under contract for next 11 weeks while double-dipping on his $210,213 per year CalPERS pension);

    2 (3%) earned more than $300,000
    ($327,076 and the above);

    8 (13%) earned more than $200,000;
    21 (33%) earned more than $150,000;
    51 (80%) earned more than $100,000;
    53 (83%) earned more than $90,000;
    57 (89%) earned more than $80,000.

  246. #246 by Public Safety Project on December 12, 2010

    See the Public Safety Project (PublicSafetyProject.org) web site, El Segundo City Employee Payroll web page, to see how this Fullerton Fire Hero video is so very true to reality, but an under-statement for the City of El Segundo, California.

    El Segundo taxpayers are paying about three million dollars per year in “special compensation” for firefighter and police union members (averages 28% of regular earnings) – mostly for things that are unrelated to the job, or are already requirements of the job or to get promoted.

    The CalPERS pension contributions for El Segundo firefighters and police officers average 77% of their regular earnings, costing El Segundo taxpayers more than eight million dollars per year.

    This amount includes the “Employee Contribution” paid by the City – 9% of regular earnings and special compensation – as well as the much larger “Employer Contribution” percentage paid by the City for regular earnings and special compensation, INCLUDING for the 9% Employee Contribution, resulting in compounding!

    In 2009, the El Segundo firefighters and police officers DID NOT PAY A SINGLE DOLLAR in contributions to their CalPERS pensions – the El Segundo taxpayers paid EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR.

    Many firefighters and police officers are compensated more than $250,000 per year.

    The pension contribution percentages will be going UP over the coming years.

    These CalPERS pensions provide El Segundo police officers the 3% @ 50 pension benefit formula – they can retire at age 50 with up to 90% of their SINGLE HIGHEST YEAR PAY as their annual pension benefit (3% per year of service).

    Similarly, these CalPERS pensions provide El Segundo firefighters the 3% @ 55 pension benefit formula – they can retire at age 55 with up to 90% of their SINGLE HIGHEST YEAR PAY as their annual pension benefit (3% per year of service).

    Both firefighter and police officer CalPERS pensions include free medical insurance for the retired employee and one dependent. And the surviving spouse can take over the entire pension as her own upon the employee’s death, for the rest of her life. And when she dies, any minor children can get pension benefits.

    CalPERS actuarial data shows that retired firefighters and police officers live just as long as miscellaneous employees (everybody else). Most of their pensions will be paid out for more years than they worked.

    In El Segundo, over the last ten years, about half of all firefighters and police officers have retired on “disability retirements” that make half of their pension income tax-free. Clearly, most of these disability retirements are at best, playing and abusing the system, and at worst, outright fraud.

    The El Segundo firefighter and police officer salaries, benefits, and pensions are unaffordable and unsustainable. They were obtained through dishonest political campaigns in City Council elections, to hire their own bosses with whom they would “negotiate” the pay raises and benefits and pension increases in their union contracts.

    The residents rightly feel they pay more than enough taxes, and the City Council majority is only trying to raise taxes and fees to find more money to enrich the City employee unions that supported their election campaigns.

    El Segundo has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, due to corrupt City employee labor unions – especially the firefighter and police unions.

    PublicSafetyProject.org

  247. #247 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    maybe you can jump ahead of those people in front of you. just like you did on the entrance list. they do not make women like men

  248. #248 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    I would love to see you put on 70 lbs of gear and watch you perform in a real situation. not a hollywood setting. Maybe you should go back to the private sector. You are already getting paid, do your job, quit whinning.

  249. #249 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    wow, are you wonder women? You did all that by youself?Then there is that bullshit run. You know the more you talk about how good you think you are, the more you believe it. Sounds like you know bullshit when you hear it.

  250. #250 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    they lowered the requirements many years ago. sounds like you may be brittle

  251. #251 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    wow you are both disabled. what a pair

  252. #252 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    if you knew the benefits before you joined, hours, time off, etc.why are you complaining about working 24 hrs, no sleep( which I doubt), working holidays. It is all bullshit. they don’t make them like they used to.

  253. #253 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    When I run my dog training business. I am so tired of running calls, but I have time to run a business. I can’t do my firefighting job but, I can run my business. And Jenn, women do not have the same standards. If the standards were never lowered, you would not reach the top.

  254. #254 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    I thought you husband was disabled. He has a job also. Now you are trying to get a DP pension, so you can run your dog business. mmmm

  255. #255 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    why would the city pay the company. the company should pay the city for the oppertunity. that way they save money

  256. #256 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    I didn’t jump ahead of anyone, there were 3 guys before me on the list who all got hired before I did. I took the exact same physical they did in the exact same time limit. There were lots of guys and girls who did not pass the test. I have to pass the same testing every year as the guys and -your right women are not the same as men-Ive out scored them everytime

  257. #257 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    Anonymous :
    maybe you can jump ahead of those people in front of you. just like you did on the entrance list. they do not make women like men

    I didn’t jump ahead of anyone, there were 3 guys before me on the list who all got hired before I did. I took the exact same physical they did in the exact same time limit. There were lots of guys and girls who did not pass the test. I have to pass the same testing every year as the guys and -your right women are not the same as men-Ive out scored them everytime

  258. #258 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    Because the city pays the company flat fee for a year. The company then has to pay uniforms ect.. out of that. The company’s goal is to make money. So benefits and pay are not good and its a revolving door of people testing to get on other departments or those who didn’t make the cut.

  259. #259 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    No, It was a team effort, however not as a team everyone must pass the same test every year with the same time limit. You guys may have different standards for men and women out there-and that’s wrong-it should be the same. Don’t begrudge me the fact that I can hang with the boys because I keep myself in shape. I highly doubt you could pass a combat challenge in the standard 5 minutes. And if you can kudos to you, go take a test and get on a list like everyone else.

  260. #260 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    My EX husband is on disability. my current husband has a job.

  261. #261 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    Author:
    Comment:
    I thought you husband was disabled. He has a job also. Now you are trying to get
    a DP pension, so you can run your dog business. mmmm

    I am entitled to a pension-perhaps you and my neurosurgeon, and the village’s neurosurgeon and the boards three neurosurgeons should talk . Perhaps the EMG and the MRi are wrong too. My hearing is in Jan-perhaps you’d like to come and give your “expert ” medical testimony to refute all the medical tests and Drs that have been through years of school and are from some of the best hospitals in the country.
    The fact that I have a business actually saves the village money because they don’t have to pay to retrain me in something else. I would much rather be a fire/medic. Its not a choice its mandatory retirement because I cannot meet the standards and its a oji so I get disability.
    My EX is the disabled vet.

  262. #262 by TheRealJohnHolmes on December 12, 2010

    Jennifer, for some reason you seem consumed with responding to this blog from a place that refers to their city as a “village”. Generally behavior like this is evidence of a guilty conscience.

    This is California Jennifer and we couldn’t care less about how your “village” does things. We have our own problems and they dont involve you so go apologize for union largesse some where else.

  263. #263 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    I have a house in Fullerton so technically it does involve me,so I can participate as much as I like. Perhaps learning from another village, city, town( whatever you want to call it) might help things. I will respond to whatever i feel like responding to- you are not the boss of me.

  264. #264 by Hollis Dugan on December 12, 2010

    Jennifer, you are not listed as the owner of any real estate in Fullerton California according to the tax assessor

  265. #265 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    Not that its any of your business, but it is still in my parents name until all the probate and stuff gets done

  266. #266 by Anonymous on December 12, 2010

    i have 30 years. when you get there, talk to me

  267. #267 by Joe Sipowicz on December 12, 2010

    I’m so sick of hearing about “the list.”

    There are hundreds of thousands, no millions who could be on that list. The ability required isn’t rare. And the pay and benefits shouldn’t be bank breakingly rarified.

    You need to be in shape and you need to have graduated high school. Big fucking deal.

  268. #268 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    No wonder you are on here as anonymous then-wouldn’t your fellow firefighters be proud of you

  269. #269 by Jennifer Flynn on December 12, 2010

    Joe,
    This particular comment had nothing to do with the pay issue it was about standards for men and women.

  270. #270 by Anonymous on December 13, 2010

    they are proud of me. it’s people like you that they are ashamed of.

  271. #271 by Public Safety Project on December 15, 2010

    By the way, to put the greatly excessive and unsustainable El Segundo, California firefighter and police union compensation given previously into proper perspective, El Segundo is a SMALL city along the coast just south of Los Angeles, with about 16,000 population and about 5.5 square miles of land area.

    The City of Vallejo, California up north, in or near the San Francisco Bay area, already had to file for bankruptcy due to the excessive and unsustainable firefighter and police union compensation in the union contracts, and the related corruption and refusal of the firefighter and police unions to be reasonable and do what was best for the community they allegedly served.

    The public safety unions are so corrupt that they lobbied the California legislature for a law to effectively prohibit cities from filing for bankruptcy to save their residents and property owners from the excessive and unsustainable firefighter and police union contracts obtained through corrupt means. A bill for such a law was introduced in the legislature.

    Many more California cities and counties may be following in the footsteps of Vallejo. Cities in other states are also having similar problems due to their corrupt firefighter and police unions.

    A California state law was passed in 1999 and became effective in 2000, as a result of union lobbying, giving city councils and county boards of supervisors the ability to give firefighters and police the 3% @ 50 pension formulas.

    This formula provides an annual pension benefit of up to 90% of the single highest year pay (3% per year of service) for the rest of the employee’s life, as early as age 50. The surviving spouse assumes the full pension as her own , for the rest of her life, upon the employee’s death. And upon the spouse’s death, any minor children receive pension benefits. Where in private industry or in the military are there such outlandish pensions?

    And in private industry, the government is not using its police power to coerce and force citizens to pay for the employee pensions. If a private company pays unaffordable and unsustainable pensions, it can go bankrupt (unless it is bailed out by President Barack Hussein Obama, to rescue the labor union contributed large amounts of campaign money to him and his political party).

    After the state law was passed to increase the maximum public employee pension benefit formulas, the firefighter and police unions campaigned dishonestly and corruptly to elect city council members to give them the new maximum and unsustainable pension benefit formulas. This law must be repealed or re-written to give 2% @ 55 or less.

    Also, the laws creating a legal pesumption that any of many common health ailments caused by heredity or poor health habits are job related must be repealed or rewritten to stop the massive disability retirement and pension fraud and abuse. This widespread disability fraud and abuse has been one of the dirty secrets within the firefighter and police unions, and also among the firefighter and police managers — up to and including fire and police chiefs.

    Also, the laws allowing public employees to unionize, engage in collective bargaining, and have a “closed shop” requiring all employees to join the union or pay union dues must be repealed or rewritten to prohibit these things. Public employee unions have created unavoidable conflicts of interest that have caused massive political corruption, and undermined our system of freedom and representative self-government.

    Paying more money, benefits, and pensions does not improve the quality of service, but makes it worse. If more money did make service better, then why not pay the entire city budget to the firefighter and police union members — which appears to be their ultimate goal since they are never satisfied — and have no other city services? That would mean no libraries, no parks, no street paving/re-paving, etc.

    Does anyone (other than firefighter and police union members) really believe that paying every firefighter and police officer half a million or a million dollars per year would lead to better service?

    Paying less money than the current excessive and unsustainable amounts will lead to better service, because we will get real public servants who are committed to the job to serve the community, rather than union employees who are only committed to self-enrichment by effectively looting the public treasury of the city they are sworn to protect.

    Also, there would be more money for training and equipment, although the city spends plenty of money there as well.

    El Segundo has had between one and two thousand job applications per firefighter job opening. There were clearly many more well-qualified applicants than available job positions.

    It should be clear to everyone that in a free market without all the union corruption and dishonest political campaigning, the taxpayers could pay much less than the current compensation for just as good or even better quality firefighters and police officers.

    There are many veterans returning from military service in Iraq and Afghanistan, who VOLUNTEERED to take much greater risk for much less pay and benefits – TRUE PUBLIC SERVANTS – who are less demanding and more deserving than the current firefighter and police union members.

    They are returning during a major economic recession with few or no job prospects. They have good discipline, experience in the face of greater danger, and many have useful training. Many of them them would be happy to get the taxpayer provided on-the-job training to be a firefighter or police officer for half the pay.

    The California cities and counties can help avoid bankruptcy by reducing the firefighter and police salaries, benefits, and pension formulas and contributions, and offering the firefighter and police jobs to these veterans.

    This would be a fair and reasonable solution to the cities’ financial problems, which in the case of El Segundo, have been caused primarily if not entirely by the obscenely excessive firefighter and police union compensation, and only made more obvious by the recession. The City would have no problem weathering the recession if the firefighter and police union compensation were at reasonable levels.

    PublicSafetyProject.org

  272. #272 by Jennifer Flynn on December 15, 2010

    Wow-should have become a CA firefighter!lol
    Ok all joking aside, IF this is reallythe benefit they are getting, I would have to agree , its exsessive. 90 percent is absurd and even as a fire/medic i cannot condone that. They should as I have said before agree to non raises as our union did, and many unions around the country have.
    I personally did not vote for Obama and do not agree with his bailout policies.
    I also agree that people should not have to join the union, and that the unions do have too much of a lobby influence-so does Tobacco and the NRA and several other groups
    That being said please don’t blame all firefighters as a group for causing bankrupkcy-corrupt officials and mismanagment of funds have a lot to do with it. Look at the governments bailout of the corporations instead of giving each citizen a portion of that money and allowing the economy to stimulate itself. Government waste is big from Washington on down., its not just the fire and police. Privitization is not the answer, they tried it out here, it failed miserably and they went back to full time.
    Salaries should be frozen and personel cut to reasonable numbers(by that I mean safe for both firefighter and citizens)

    i think you make some very excellent points and some that are a little misguided

  273. #273 by Hollis Dugan on December 16, 2010

    Jennifer, first of all they actually get 98% due to the fact they get 90% of the city paid portion toward their pension (its called PERS on PERS).

    Second, no one is blaming ALL FIREFIGHTERS. We are blaming the unions so please for the umpteenth time stop creating a paper tiger to defend. You repeatedly come to the defense of those who have not been attacked as if you can not tell the difference.

  274. #274 by Jennifer Flynn on December 16, 2010

    Dude-relax. I agreed with a lot of what he said. And the firefighters are part of the union. Unions have gotten out of control as I said above. And yes I agree 90% or 98% is way too much. it does need to be reduced. I would think 50 % at 20 years or 65% Oji(tax free) is fair-I’m simply trying to give you guys some comparables from out west , its is generally easier to further your cause with comparables to other departments-if anything I’m giving you the tools that you need to help defend your position

  275. #275 by Hollis Dugan on December 16, 2010

    Jennifer,

    Of the first 100 comments on this post YOU account for 23 of them. All of it rhetoric aimed at defending what you now agree is indefensible.

  276. #276 by Jennifer Flynn on December 16, 2010

    Hollis,
    I did not understand that they were getting such a high payout in pension. No one out this way gets that. Why would you be upset that someone sees your point of view? Isn’t that the whole point of a discussion?

  277. #277 by Hollis Dugan on December 16, 2010

    Uh, Jennifer, this post is a video. The comments are about the post. Any chance you actually watched the video before firing off your first 23 comments let alone the next 50 or so?

    At 1:57 of the video you can re-listen to the part about making 90% (he is actually 8% shy) of his final wage ($125k per year). It’s ready, AIM, fire Jennifer not ready, fire aim.

    The entire point of the post is the 90% you numbskull! What the hell did you think this was about? You immediately leapt in to the discussion before ever learning what the issue was. You falsely assumed it was just about firemen.

    We all appreciate that your little village does not have the same problems we do but this post does not involve your little village. Our problems are specific and that is what folks have been trying to point out to you over the last 276 comments on this string alone.

  278. #278 by Jennifer Flynn on December 16, 2010

    Yes, I heard the video. Seriously talking with you is like talking with my ex- even when someone concedes a point you just cannot let it go . I think it bothers you most that it was not you that was able to explain the point in a clear, concise manner. You have been screaming up and down about your point of view and it’s still not good enough when someone agrees with you.

  279. #279 by Hollis Dugan on December 16, 2010

    “Yes I heard the video”. Jennifer, I’ll accept that you are now making my point. Let me guess, the correct answers for the high school history final exam just popped in to your head in the middle of that following summer?

    This issue is one that has created extraordinary problems in California. Most of the frustration among those of us with some basic fiscal common sense is that although the majority have “heard” about it they pay no attention to the facts and largely go about their lives thinking there is no problem. You are typical of why this problem is out of hand. Constantly arguing and defending facts that are not related to the subject at hand.

    This post was made on October 15th and you have responded constantly since in defense of something that you never heard in the first place.

    Maybe your ex was on to something and it wasnt that he couldnt move on from an issue. It was likely that it took 60 days of constant pounding on an issue to get you to look objectively at something that could have been done in the first 90 seconds.

  280. #280 by Jennifer Flynn on December 16, 2010

    There have been many other points made by other people on this forum as well(that have nothing to do with the issue), and talk about other cities and you don’t seem to jump on them. In fact the guy who helped with your point talked about many places in California. The point is to have a discussion and learn from each other. Things are not always explained correctly the first time around, sometimes they need to be explained another way. The people that will actually get listened to like
    Public safety project, don’t scream and yell and call names, they present their ideas in a logical format and people will listen. Try it sometime..

  281. #281 by Colony Drivell on December 17, 2010

    Wow Ms. Flynn, what a whiner you are! Just like the over compensated “heroes” you shill for.

  282. #282 by Public Safety Project on December 21, 2010

    Jennifer -

    I am sorry that you experienced medical problems, and I wish you well and a full recovery if that is possible. If that is not possible, then I wish you the best that is possible.

    In El Segundo, California, about half of all the firefighter and police retirements over the last nine or ten years have been disability retirements. This is not due to what most people would consider job related disabilities, but due to gaming the system and taking advantage of the taxpayers.

    In fact, in El Segundo, we have very few fires – either zero, one, or two major structure fires with more than $100,000 damage per year. Almost all of our calls are paramedic calls. El Segundo is a very low crime city as well, and the biggest problem the police officers face is boredom and lack of “action”.

    Claiming a disability upon retirement makes half of the CalPERS pension income tax-free. Also, per the union contracts, there are other financial benefits. For example, the El Segundo Police Managers Association (the police union for the lieutenants and captains) contract MOU states: “Upon separation from service because of a disability retirement, affected employees with five (5) years of City service will be compensated for one-hundred percent (100%) of the affected employee’s accumulated unused sick leave at the affected employee’s regular rate of pay at separation.” (ARTICLE 14 SICK LEAVE, Section 14.05 Payment of Sick Leave Accrual — Disability Retirement, Agenda Packet page 83, MOU page 11)

    This is significant because police officers can accumulate 1,056 hours (132 days) of sick leave at lower ranks and pay rates, and cash it out later at their highest rank and pay rate. In the private sector, many companies only let you roll-over and accumulate 40 hours from year to year (e.g., Raytheon Company).

    Former El Segundo Police Chief David Cummings cashed out his accumulated vacation and sick leave in 2009, the year he retired, for a cool $199,668. Cummings was paid nearly $600,000 in all in 2009. I will be adding more details about this to the PublicSafetyProject.org web site in the near future.

    The City of Bell, California is not unique. Cities throughout California have had their public treasuries effectively looted by their public officials and/or the public employee unions – especially the firefighter and police unions and their managers.

    The El Segundo Firefighters Association (union) is so corrupt that they sent out a political campaign mailer to senior citizens in the city threatening them with “the possibility of our paramedics not being available when you need them” unless the three City Council candidates they endorsed were elected. In fact, the three candidates they endorsed had the WORST public safety records but would support the biggest salary, benefits, and pension increases.

    Take a look at the El Segundo firefighters union “Senior Scare Letter” on the PublicSafetyProject.org web site at:

    http://www.PublicSafetyProject.org/elsegundo/elsegundo_payroll.html#es_fire_union_senior_scare_letter

    and at:

    http://www.PublicSafetyProject.org/elsegundo/senior_scare_letter_scan.html

    and at:

    http://www.PublicSafetyProject.org/elsegundo/docs/senior_scare_letter_v.html

    Jennifer, thank you for recognizing and agreeing that California as extreme problems due to excessive and unsustainable firefighter and police compensation – salaries, benefits, and pensions.

    Most of the firefighter and police pensions will be paid out for more years than the employees worked during their career, at 90% of their single highest (spiked) year of pay, with annual COLAs. These pensions are defined benefit plans, meaning their annual income is guaranteed against poor investment performance or losses by the taxpayers.

    Furthermore, the firefighter and police union members and their managers did not pay a single dollar into their CalPERS retirement plans – the City (taxpayers) paid both the 9% of Regular Earnings PLUS Special Compensation per year “Employee Contribution”, and the much larger “Employer Contribution”.

    Special Compensation averages 28% of Regular Earnings for El Segundo Firefighters and Police Officers. They get paid Special Compensation mostly for things that are not a requirement of their job or assigned duties, or that are already a requirement of their job for which they are being paid or for promotion to the next higher rank.

    For example, the El Segundo firefighters union contract requires that firefighters get paid extra Special Compensation each month if they get a Political Science college degree. This degree does not help them put out fires or perform paramedic duties. But it does help them be more effective during City Council election campaigns to effectively hire their own bosses with whom they will “negotiate” their salary, benefits, and pension increases behind closed doors.

    In 2009, the maximum, average, and median Special Compensation paid to individual El Segundo firefighters were $71,717; $25,117; and $25,961.

    In 2009, the maximum, average, and median Special Compensation paid to individual El Segundo police officers were $51,171; $23,925; and $27,475.

    Per the union contracts, the 9% “Employee Contribution” paid by the City is treated as income, and the City must pay the much larger “Employer Contribution” on the amount of money equal to the 9% “Employee Contribution”, resulting in compounding that drives the benefit amount and the cost up even higher.

    In addition to their CalPERS solid gold pension plan, from what I have been able to determine, El Segundo firefighter and police employees get a 401(a) Deferred Compensation Plan where the City contributes money without the employees having to contribute any money.

    The firefighter and police employees demand that they get paid these ridiculously high salaries, claiming that they are “professionals”. Yet they also demand that they get paid for every hour of overtime they work, at time and a half their regular pay rate. In private industry, “professional” often or usually means you are expected to work anywhere from 8 to 20 hours of unpaid overtime per week.

    The firefighters can and do manipulate their work schedules and when they call in sick or take vacation to give each other large amounts of overtime pay at time and a half. They also try to get clauses in their contracts that help them game the system even further to maximize their overtime pay. Such clauses include artificially high minimum staffing levels, and rank-for-rank rehiring of off-duty firefighters when a shift has one or more vacancies due to vacation or sick leave.

    In 2009, the maximum, average, and median Overtime paid to individual El Segundo firefighters were $78,197 (equal to 100% of the firefighter’s Regular Earnings); $31,992; and $32,790.

    Jennifer, I suspect you did not understand all of this and what was depicted in the video initially because the extreme abuses in California must be totally foreign to you in your part of the country. But here in California, duty and public service have for the most part been replaced with extreme union greed, abuse, and corruption that threatens to bankrupt more cities throughout the state.

    Debate and discussion should be kept civil and free of ad hominem attacks, no matter how frustrating it becomes. It is both civil and appropriate to welcome another person’s acknowledgment and agreement with the facts and reasoning supporting one’s own position during a debate.

    Jennifer, I welcome your acknowledgment and agreement. Perhaps you can help spread the word to your friends and colleagues about what has been happening in California, to help prevent it from happening elsewhere.

    The firefighter and police unions have been destroying the public safety professions, and they will push cities and counties into bankruptcy just as the United Auto Workers pushed General Motors into bankruptcy.

    Very many firefighter and police union members and managers in California actually BELIEVE they are ENTITLED to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in compensation, and retirement at age 50 with pensions guaranteeing them $125,000 to $200,000 plus per year with COLAs and free medical insurance for themselves and a dependent for the rest of their lives. But this does not mean that every firefighter and police officer throughout the country has this same entitlement mentality. Some probably have a sense of duty and public service if their unions have not drummed it out of them.

    The firefighter and police union political activism and corruption is going on in other states, but California is one of the worst cases.

    Public Safety Project

  283. #283 by Public Safety Project on December 21, 2010

    I want to clarify my earlier statement – “In the private sector, many companies only let you roll-over and accumulate 40 hours from year to year (e.g., Raytheon Company).” This is 40 hours maximum of Paid Time Off (PTO) that can be carried over from one year to the next.

    Back in the 1980’s, many private sector employers combined vacation and sick leave hours together and called the new hours “Paid Time Off”. Employees were given less PTO hours per year than their previous total of vacation and sick leave hours.

    Thus, if you don’t get sick, you are better off under the PTO system, and you have more PTO hours for vacation time. But if you do get sick, you are worse off, and have less hours than you had under the old system from the 1980′s and earlier.

    The employers had all the statistical data they needed to know be adopting the new PTO system whether it would save them money and how much money it would save.

    I believe the days of accumulating large numbers of vacation and sick leave hours, carrying them over from year to year, and eventually cashing them out, have gone the way of the dinosaur in much or most of the private sector, at least for non-union employees. And this is not an argument for unions – it is an argument against unions because they destroy competition and the free market.

    Labor unions engage in price-fixing for the cost of labor and usually reduce the quality of products and services. There are laws prohibiting businesses from engaging in price-fixing, but there are laws allowing and encouraging labor unions to engage in price-fixing. In many cases, labor unions sabotage their employers and customers, and see nothing wrong with that morally or ethically.

    Public Safety Project

  284. #284 by Public Safety Project on December 21, 2010

    As I was reading through the firefighter and police union contracts, I saw clause after clause of compensation items, benefits, and pension contributions that are so far out of line compared to the private sector that it became obvious why El Segundo and other cities in California and elsewhere have been going broke.

    The firefighter and police unions had ratcheted up their salaries, benefits, and pensions over the years, in what is euphemistically called “contract improvements”, without any reality or sanity checks and necessary and appropriate readjustments back downward. No matter how high and excessive their compensation, they always come back for more – without any regard for the private sector employees who earn much less in salaries, benefits, and pensions (typically measly 401(k) and IRA accounts), but have to pay higher taxes to support the firefighter and police compensation packages.

    And the worst is yet to come. Upon retirement, CalPERS actuarial data shows that firefighters and police officers live just as long as miscellaneous employees (everybody else). As I mentioned earlier, upon the employee’s death, the surviving spouse takes over the full employee’s pension as if the spouse were the employee – for the rest of the spouse’s life. Most of these firefighter and police CalPERS pensions will be paid out as a defined benefit plan, based on the single highest year pay, for more years than the employees worked.

    As more firefighter and police employees retire with the new 3% @ 50 / Single Highest Year CalPERS pension benefit formula, the City has to keep increasing the amount it pays into the CalPERS pension system each year. These increases are already happening.

    Since the higher pension formula is relatively new, this problem will get much worse as more employees retire under the higher formula. The California law increasing the maximum CalPERS pension benefit formulas for all public employees – but more for safety employees than miscellaneous employees – became effective in 2000. Various California cities adopted the new maximum formulas in the years following 2000.

    Over time, there will be more retired firefighters and police officers collecting their pensions under the new higher formulas than there will be firefighters and police working for the City. The City’s pension contributions per employee will continue to rise each year for the foreseeable future.

    This problem exists for many if not most cities in California.

    Freezing salaries is not enough in California. We need to roll back salaries, benefits, and the CalPERS pension formulas or more California cities and also counties will go bankrupt.

    In the worst case, if the firefighter and police unions’ bill in the state legislature to prevent cities from filing for bankruptcy (or another one like it) becomes law, some cities may ultimately have to unincorporate and cease to exist. They would be absorbed back into the county as unincorporated county areas with their local government and services provided by the county – if the county has not also become insolvent.

    Public Safety Project

  285. #285 by Anonymous on December 24, 2010

    California still has higher amounts than us here, but hopefully this will give you a staring place. Hope this helps-its what illinois did to reduce benefits -it would cost the tax payers even more money to try to undo current benefits(unions will fight it) so in Illinois they inacted the following changes:I. Creation of Two Tier System for Firefighters and Police Officers
    A. The benefits for current police officers and firefighters have not changed.
    B. Changes apply to police officers and firefighters hired after December 31, 2010.
    C. Minimum retirement age – 55 years.
    D. Minimum of 10 years service as police officer or firefighter.
    E. Retirement pension based upon 2.5% of „final average salary‟ for a max. of 75%.
    F. Can retire after age 50 with minimum of 10 years service, but penalty of 1⁄2 % for each month police officer/firefighter age is under 55.
    G. Final average salary is defined as:
    “The average monthly salary obtained by dividing the total salary of the police officer/firefighter during the 96 consecutive months of service within the last 120 months of service in which the total salary was the highest by the number of months of service in that period.”
    Meaning, the officer or firefighter‟s pension will be based upon his/her best eight consecutive years out of the last ten years of his/her service.
    H. Salary Cap – police officers‟/firefighters‟ salary for pension purposes is capped at $106,800 plus the lesser of 1⁄2 of the annual CPI-U or 3% (compounded).
    I. Cost of Living Increases – Payable at age 60 either on the January 1st after police officer/firefighter retires or the first anniversary of pension starting date, whichever is later. Non-compounding increases will occur annually, each January thereafter. The increase will be the lesser of 3% or 1⁄2 of CPI-U for proceeding calendar year. Meaning, if CPI-U is 0%, the retiree will receive no increase. However, there will never be a reduction in benefits.
    J. Surviving spouse benefits – Initial benefit is 66 2/3% of police officer‟s/firefighter‟s earned pension at date of death. However, surviving spouses will receive cost of living increases in the same manner described above.

  286. #286 by just a guy on December 27, 2010

    You need a reality check. I am a certified firefighter instructor, firefighter, paramedic and work in the private sector. There has always been a divide between the union firefighters and the rest of the working class person. The perks do not outweigh the fiscal responsibility, seems to me you fit right in the mold of you are the hero whether you go to work and actually do something or not. When the job is done right, like most jobs out there, the risk is managed and no firefighter should get hurt much less lose his or her life. Try pulling over a car in the middle of a dark highway with a dangerous criminal you don’t know who will kill you in an instant just because. That is a herot, or ANY military person who is there to protect me and even you, not you selfish firemen. Get yourself a reality check.

  287. #287 by was-once on January 10, 2011

    I was once a firefighter. There were a couple of jokes we had. 1). an old-time word for a firefighter is a “tick”… as in blood sucking leach. 2). there are only 2 professions that get paid to lay on their back & screw the public, and one of them does it while sleeping. — One solution to UNACCEPTABLY high firefighting costs is to pass universal fire sprinkler legislation. Takes about 20 years to thin the FD ranks through normal retirements. Those sprinklers don’t ask for pensions, sick-leave, vacations, pay increases. Plus, in water-scarce areas or in wild-land fires (yes they do protect houses against much of the hazards [but not all] from wildland fires), fire sprinklers use ORDERS of magnitude less water to control a fire than firefighters do. With fire sprinklers, it is a almost sure bet you won’t need firefighters (test & maintain your systems…they are life saving equipment, afterall); we still will need EMT’s, and a few firefighters for unique emergencies.

  288. #288 by Public Safety Project on January 16, 2011

    Reply to: #286 by Anonymous on December 24, 2010

    Thank you for all the great suggestions.

    In California, there are CalPERS pension options that are negotiable. One of these options is whether the employer (City/taxpayers) pay none, part, or all of the CalPERS pension “Employee Contribution” in addition to the CalPERS pension “Employer Contribution”.

    In El Segundo, California, the City (taxpayers) has been paying the entire CalPERS pension “Employee Contribution” (9% of regular earnings and “special compensation”, which averages 28% of regular earnings for firefighters and police officers, plus the CalPERS pension “Employer Contribution” for that 9% paid by the City as well as for all regular earnings and “special compensation”).

    The City should drive a hard and necessary bargain to rescind most or all of these optional benefits for existing and new sworn firefighter and sworn police employees, and create a new second tier for all new firefighters and police officers that will have a reduced pension formula such as 2% @ 55 instead of 3% @ 50.

    Furthermore, most or all “special compensation” should be eliminated; work scheduling, minimum staffing requirements, and overtime rules need to be reformed to reduce wasteful, excessive, and abusive overtime pay; and regular earnings (base pay) must be reduced for both tiers, and reduced even more for the first tier of existing firefighter and police employees if they retain their wildly excessive and unsustainable 3% @ 50 (police) and 2% @ 55 (firefighters) pension benefit formulas. Reducing the salaries amounts (including “special compensation”) will reduce the amount of income that determines and spikes the pension benefits to astronomical levels.

    Also, instead of using the single highest year of (spiked) income to determine the annual CalPERS pension benefit amount, an average of many more consecutive years should be used as suggested.

    Also, it will be necessary to stop the disability retirement and pension abuse by reforming the laws that create a legal presumption that many common ailments including heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and other common ailments resulting from genetics and poor health habits are presumed to be job related disabilities.

    Ultimately, the California state laws that allow public employees to unionize and engage in collective bargaining should be repealed, because they have created an unavoidable conflict of interest and massive political corruption that is bankrupting city, county, and state governments.

    - PublicSafetyProject.org

  289. #289 by Charles on February 10, 2011

    You actually resurrected this thing again?

  290. #290 by admin on February 10, 2011

    No, not yet. Come back at noon.

  291. #291 by Steve on February 10, 2011

    Was September 11 really that long ago? It was firefighters who rushed into those buildings that day, putting their own lives at risk to save others, while the rest of us watched it on TV. I’m happy to pay pensions for firefighters and cops.

  292. #292 by Public Safety Project on February 10, 2011

    Steve said on February 10, 2011:

    “Was September 11 really that long ago? It was firefighters who rushed into those buildings that day, putting their own lives at risk to save others, while the rest of us watched it on TV. I’m happy to pay pensions for firefighters and cops.”

    You can’t be serious.

    Are you really happy to bankrupt cities, counties, and the state of California by paying wildly excessive and unsustainable firefighter and police salaries, benefits, and pensions that are two to four times higher than what real professionals get in the private sector after getting Bachelors, Masters, and even Doctors degrees from competitive, expensive, big-name universities?

    Do you really want to eliminate funding for the libraries, parks, schools, street maintenance, and everything else just so we can enrich the firefighter and police union members who behave like a royal family that is entitled to everything they demand, no matter how extreme and unreasonable, and who treat the rest of us as peasants to pay for it all?

    You have got to be kidding.

    Or, perhaps you are one of those dishonest firefighter or police union members that are effective looting the public treasury of the city they are sworn to protect?

    Which is it?

    Take a look at the Public Safety Project web site, El Segundo city employee payroll web page to see how the greedy and dishonest firefighter and police union members have been pushing cities towards bankruptcy. They already bankrupted the City of Vallejo, California, and they need to be stopped before they bankrupt more cities, counties, and the state.

    Do a little research, and then think rationally, and I am sure you will see the light. Unless, of course, you are being enriched through the ill-gotten gains of the corrupt firefighter and police union contracts approved by politicians whose campaigns they supported.

    - PublicSafetyProject.org

  293. #293 by Joe Sipowicz on February 10, 2011

    “who rushed into those buildings”

    Right. And who clogged the stairwells keeping more people from getting out.

  294. #294 by Common Sense on February 24, 2011

    When it was 2% 30, there was a line out the door to become a firefighter.

    The only reason pay should ever go up, is to encourage more people to look for that line of work if it’s hard to fill the slots necessary to have a full department.

    Pay should be decreased dramatically, and pensions should be removed entirely. Have a 401k like the rest of the private world, where Uncle Sam matches up to 3% of contributions to your own 401k.

    If you feel I’m wrong about the pay, think about this:
    If your pay was decreased to $60,000/year, do you think the departments would be fully staffed? The answer is yes, they would. The problem with government and unions, is that pay is artificially increased, whereas a private institution only increases pay in order to retain good people or attract additional good people. It is not necessary to supply the huge benefits package to those jobs to fill the slots.

  295. #295 by Anonymous on February 24, 2011

    You are right about the pay .We make around $65,000 in Illinois and there are still people lined up to take the jobs. However you are wrong about the pensions to a degree. You shouldn’t take them entirely away.You have to leave them in place for people seriously injured on the job(by that I do not mean ow my knee hurts- I mean serious ,cannot do another job injuries) I dont what the answer is for the other pension aspects. I do think contributing more of your pay more is definatly something governments should address. I know Illinois has started addressing it but I agree they need to do more. I am a retired Union firefighter and am in the process of moving to California. One of the guys previously had some real good thoughts on how to reduce the load on CA- I think it was publlc safety project

  296. #296 by Common Sense on February 24, 2011

    I agree, disability is something that should be compensated. My reference to pulling pensions is for the healthy ones. Healthy being normal wear and tear on a body.

  297. #297 by Anonymous on February 24, 2011

    I agree that something needs to be done in CA if they are pulling that much for regular retirement pensions especially double dippers who retire from one position collect a pension and go back to work at the same department in another capacity. It very hard to take away already given pensions but they should stop the new one that are coming on. The new hires should go into a 401 k like everyone else, the poepl who are already on get to stay under current system. Then you revamp within current, making it harder to go off on disability. Illinois requires 3 dr certificates from top specialists and no co morbid prexisting consitions(i know all this because I just went through the process-mine was easy broken nick, shoulder, ankle-walking and moving , but will never do much gainful employment in any type of heavy duty work-school here I come at 38!:}
    Anyway, back to the subject-they should put a freeze on raises to begin with. Most departments out here did it without a fuss-however you always have a few that just cannot make concessions

  298. #298 by Anonymous on February 24, 2011

    I meant to mention along the lines of wear and tear some departments haven even given pensions for alcoholics cause its a disease-are u kidding me?

  299. #299 by Hollis Dugan on February 24, 2011

    Let us not forget two words: Hero………..Deserve

    Nothing more needs to be said

  300. #300 by Common Sense on February 25, 2011

    Hollis Dugan :
    Let us not forget two words: Hero………..Deserve
    Nothing more needs to be said

    Hollis, that is not even an argument. Do we give every vet the same benefits? I’m a vet myself, and I couldn’t think about raping the tax payers via benefits like the CA firefighters are.

    A hero is someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty. A firefighter’s JOB is to fight the fires. Am I appreciative? Of course. But not every fire fighter is a hero, just like not every vet who was in combat is a hero. If we use your blanket description of every fire fighter as “hero”, then that can be applied to every vet as well. In which case, hell, we should give em all a couple million dollars as well.

    Sound silly? It should.

    As a vet myself who served in lovely Iraq, I did my duty. It is what I signed up for, and I did the job. We don’t deserve a couple million bucks, and neither should the firefighters.

  301. #301 by 4SD Observer on February 26, 2011

    If we are going to use the military comparison, then one should be willing to do the same things for fire and police as they do for military personnel. Are local governments prepared to start housing, feeding, and providing 100% health care? Are they prepared to pay a pension that is collectible after 20 years regardless of age with the lifetime healthcare that goes with that?

    I doubt it.

  302. #302 by I Eta Pi on February 26, 2011

    Snore.

  303. #303 by Well Said on February 26, 2011

    Some folks probably support an US Service Personnel Union. Collective bargaining in time of war!

  304. #304 by 4SD Observer on February 26, 2011

    Does this mean you didn’t like my factual comparison of what it means to provide for military personnel?

  305. #305 by I Eta Pi on February 26, 2011

    Snoooore.

  306. #306 by Hollis Dugan on February 26, 2011

    4SD, You are a completely dishonest participant in this (and every other) discussion.

    Of course we would be wiling to consider treating public safety like the military. Unlike your half truth filled examples, however, we will have to include ALL the comparisons, not just the ones you take out of context. Your idea is so good I think we should put it on the ballot.

    I cant wait. No overtime or bitching about your treatment by way of some union thug. Work 6 days a week if called in and, again, no overtime. Pay them equal to a new private and after 4 years of service we will consider raising their pay to $30,000 per year. They can retire after 20 years alright but they get 50% of their BASE PAY only and most will be paid in the $40-50k range.

    Sure, you get housing alright. We will have a nice barracks for the single guys and a trailer park for the families or some on campus bungalows. No ownership privileges but certainly a good deal for a roof over ones head.

    As for health we will gladly provide lifetime care after 20 years and it will look and feel just like the VA. Benefits galore for sure except the availability will be just like the VA too. Long waits to get any kind of appointment and the most painful beuracracy you can imagine. We will provide locations about every 50 miles in SoCal just like the VA. Need to see a cardiologist? We have a guy for you in Westwood three months from now. Please have a seat. Oh, ya, and the best doctors too. Imbeciles like Dick Jones will be the standard fair and no choice to pick someone else of course.

    Yes, 4SD we would be happy to go to a military model. Problem is the public safety guys would burn the city down if we proposed it and no doubt you would scream foul too. Be careful what you wish for.

  307. #307 by Anonymous on February 26, 2011

    As much as I usually disagree with this person on other points-he really does hit it right on the head here. I’ve been in the military system before i was a fire medic and health care and on base housing does suck!!

  308. #308 by Remove it. Now. on February 26, 2011

    4SD Observer please remove your head from your ass. I can barely hear you. Loser.

  309. #309 by Hollis Dugan on February 26, 2011

    Just to further illustrate what an idiot 4SD is, consider that an E-8 Master Seargent or Senior Chief Petty Officer with 20 years in makes $56k base pay in 2011. There is no firefighter in Southern California with 20 years service that has a highest year pay under $100k. Many are above $150k for their highest 12 month period.

  310. #310 by 4SD Observer on February 26, 2011

    Remove it. Now. :
    4SD Observer please remove your head from your ass. I can barely hear you. Loser.

    I Eta Pi :
    Snoooore.

    You guys are funny.

    Given that’s it become obvious both of you worship the ground I walk on, it isn’t about me.

    You retorted against facts with personal attacks.

    It’s all you have left.

  311. #311 by I Eta Pi on February 27, 2011

    Idiot. Loser. Live in your mother’s basement.

  312. #312 by Anonymous on March 10, 2011

    you could use that hole last paragraph for politicians being in office was voluntary now whos the fuckin extortionist THE POLITICIANS ARE WHO EVER MADE THIS IS AN ASSWHOLE

  313. #313 by Firefrauders on March 26, 2011

    You guys think you have it bad? In Vegas our fire scum is averaging 180k per year with many of them making well over 200k. One chief made 353k. They do it by calling in sick and covering each other? I wish we could fire them all.

  314. #314 by LegalAssist on May 11, 2011

    I’m not exactly sure where everyone is getting the inflated salary figures you are. Most union contracts are online for the public. I just went out to Fullerton, CA website and found the current contract. Eff. 3/16/11. 1st year FFs make $51,684 (if hired after 1997). At 6 years its still less than $70k. Battalion Chiefs and other management make over $100k. These types of unions cannot strike either (there is a clause in the contract). They also work 40-56 hours per week.

    Yes, they have paid or 95% paid medical. I’m not completely positive what Fullerton pays because I haven’t read the entire contract. I’m not a firefighter or other city employee or union worker and my medical is paid.

    Here is the link to the contracts. Just look up the Fire Fighters Association not the management. http://www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/depts/pers_serv/labor_agreements.asp

    Also, not sure where Firefrauders got its information either. According to Human Resources for Las Vegas Firefighters are only paid between $47k and $60k per year. I think it depends on length of service. Here’s the website for that too. http://www3.lasvegasnevada.gov/HRJobDescriptions/Default.aspx

  315. #315 by just a guy on May 11, 2011

    You must think we’re really stupid. This blog already published exactly what Fullerton firefighters are making. It’s about double your figures. http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2010/firefighters-lose-how-much-do-they-make-anyway/

  316. #316 by Sick of the overpaid GEDs on March 8, 2012

    GED Fireman, the party is coming to an end. A volunteer with 80 hours of training and an IQ of 80 can do a better job. Enjoy your 100% pay cut loser. PS. You cowards hid during the LA riots….. “Life on the line” LOL

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