A Fullerton Staffing Question

Hero Pay

The Fullerton Firefighters are pushing a narrative that they’re understaffed and underpaid on social media, so let’s talk about it.

We constantly hear about how underfunded, unpaid, underappreciated, undereverything our Police and Fire Depts are from the “Hero Deserve” crowd and the opposite side likes to point to pay rates, pension spiking, double dipping, medical presumptive, lies about early death, OT abuse, CalPERS costs and other fiscal rebuttals.

But what we almost never talk about is how we actually implement service and if we do things in a smart, fiscally sound or even common sense way in our departments. Our City Council won’t touch these issues because they’re petrified of the unions spending campaign money against them or they’re colluding with the unions in order to get those sweet, sweet endorsements.

Since council won’t discuss these things openly I figured we can do it ourselves before dropping numerous records requests.

Therefore for the sake of starting discussions I’ll drop two topics;

  1. If our fire engines, with a crew of 4, have a max of 2 Paramedics on board and 85% (per their statements) of their calls are medical then what do the other 2+ crew members do during the majority of these calls? Are they glorified Uber just taxiing the paramedics around? What do they do at the hospital? How much time do these non-paramedics spend doing crowd control and the like?
  2. Every time I see a police stop or call where the police department is at a scene I see multiple vehicles on scene. To the casual observer it seems that there are multiple units at every stop seen. I understand the premise of needing or wanting backup but why not drive around in pairs so you have backup with you at all times instead of needing to wait for it and waste the resources (gas, etc) on another vehicle?

Does anybody have stats on these things? How many calls for FFD are actually medical? How many calls does each crew actually respond to and what do they do on scene? How much OT is accumulated for passive activities?

How many calls does FPD respond to and how many of those calls require backup? How much backup typically responds? What’s the response time for this backup? How is this different for traffic stops versus calls for service?

I think as the city prepares for budget meetings with so much of our budget going towards salaries and pensions these numbers should be discussed and be as transparent as possible. If we need to pay people more to retain them we need to make sure we’re getting the most bang for our buck and the best, most logical and fiscally sound, service possible.

Anybody want to dive into these questions?

No News Is Bad News Small Stuff Adds Up The Cost of Defeat Transparency Watch Your Wallet

27 thoughts on “A Fullerton Staffing Question

  1. When was the last time you went on a ride-along with a police officer and tried to pulled over a lifted crew cab truck who’s driver wouldn’t stop and then decides to stop on the 5fwy on-ramp. Mind you, this truck had six gang bangers in it. Five males and one female, all were more than twice my size. Oh, and did I mention that their windows were so darkly tinted, you couldn’t see who or what was inside. You think that I want my Police Department Officers trying to handle this situation with two officers in one car or would I rather have them call for additional units whether single or paired up to help. Do you even know the steps that are taken during this stop or any stop? Doesn’t sound like it. Wants and warrants, updating physical descriptions of tattoos/piercings of gang members, suspended licenses, no registrations, towing vehicles, etc. I would much rather have single officer vehicles covering a bigger area and showing force in numbers when needed then to have officers paired up with less coverage and less show of force. That will make others possibly think twice about starting problems. It is more important that our Officers are protected at all times while they are out there protecting you.

    1. Way to miss the point of the intellectual exercise.

      If they’re not paired up and always responding in pairs but arriving separately than does it make sense to not just drive in pairs?

      I’ve OFTEN seen three or more cop cars with one person on the curb so your example is a total outlier.

      1. The Hero Worshippers are ALWAYS whipping out the one in a million scenario.

        The REAL point may be that we need FEWER “firefighters” and MORE paramedics – and privatize the latter joined to an ambulance company. Let the Heroes fight fire – a couple times a years.

      2. They way this went down for the police, was this.. originally 2 man units patrolling the city. Always 2 officers on scene. Then budgets got tight and some bureaucrat came up up with the idea to have solo units. It looks like more police in the city without increasing headcount. Cars are cheaper than officers. But for safety you still need 2 officers to go into a domestic violence call or a fight. Then you see all of the cars. The only time you seen 2 man units now is an officer with a trainee…

      1. Good one. So fid Ponch and Jon but on motorcycles, so not really the same, To the point most times when I drive by 2-3-4-8-10 cop cars are pulled over there’s 1 maybe 2 or 3 people on the curb sometimes in cuffs or it’s an accident but to the point most of the cops are standing around chatting with each other. Nobody really doing anything except maybe one or two. Even if backup was needed as soon as the situation is resolved get those extras back on duty not standing around on a two hour break.

  2. Why backseat drive and Monday morning quarterback our great police? Staffing is not an issue. What is an issue is what we would do without that thin blue line watching us while we sleep with their laser sharp focus on criminal opportunities – it would be a far different world.

    1. “will be undertaking a competitive process to solicit proposals from qualified service providers for fire protection services and emergency medical services to ensure the City can maintain AND enhance rapid emergency response programs well into the future, when considering our population and community’s needs”.

      Wake up Foolerton!

    2. They are also inviting bids that will separate firefighting from medical. Fire will not go to medical aids any longer, so if there is a cardiac arrest you will have two instead of four or five needed and there will be a likely delay getting more help.

      Since medics will not be part of the fire service, when Placentia crews are unavailable they will have no expectation or agreement for outside resources to help out since mutual aid is a two-way street.

      Being that Placentia will not be first-responders and will be BLS level (lower than a paramedic) that is two reasons they will not help out Fullerton, so Placentia will get no help there.

      Mutual aid will likely be for fires only.

      Placentia is not a model to be hailed. They are broke because of the way the city was planned, without a good source of property or sales tax revenue. The two separate RFP’s are an embarassing decline in coverage.

      One of the results of this will be taxpayers paying for a less qualified fire department that will have personnel responding from two station to two calls a day in the city, and fewer people to medicals regardless of severity.

  3. NB – This *not* denigrating FD/PD. That said – from personal observation, many FD/PD have little objection to O/T (whether paid/comp). O/T is often paid to cover others’ vacation time off.

    1. Doing the best we can with what we have. What a fucking joke.

      Willful non-compliance with life safety laws, so they dramatically overall the law instead of enforcing the law.

      That’s the definition of malfeasance.

  4. Firefighters can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. The city is already toasted from decades of financial neglect and mismanagement. Insolvency is here. The city council doesn’t have any choices or autonomy anymore.

    All they can do is raise taxes and get recalled. Will they? (they will.)

    1. Fullerton has the worst roads around. There are parts of Rosecrans that look like it has never been repaved since Day 1.

  5. Hire more firefighters and pay a competitive salary….I want quality and quantity arriving at my home, schools, business etc. here in Fullerton. I want them to know they are valued. They have dealt with years of BS from our city officials treating them like they are LOWEST priorty BECAUSE they are the least vocal. LISTEN TO THEM!!!! HIRE THEM & PAY THEM ON TIME!!!

    1. “I want them to know they are valued.”

      Giving them evermore doesn’t establish value, it establishes bankruptcy.

      1. I like to report link you sent. Take a look at the full figures.
        You have:
        *Regular Pay (also based on promotions and annual increases).
        *Total Pay (this is actually regular pay plus any and all overtime that they work).
        *Benefits (Benefit packages for full-time employees)
        *Total Pay and Benefits.
        Maybe, if we had more officers, there wouldn’t be so much overtime that the rest of the Officers have to work to make up for the shifts that are short personnel. Ask your employer how much your benefit package costs each year.

        1. Yup, the cost of the benefits, I.e. pensions, is now equal to the cost of base salary. And for the simple minded GED firewhiners who don’t understand basic arithmetic , that means the city is basically paying for two employees but only getting one.

      2. Starting at almost 400k a year you have to go to almost 8 pages before ANYONE makes under 100k. Talk about grossly overpaid, do they actually work or is that what the job pays? If I’d had half a brain when I was a kid I’d have gone to work for Fullerton and I’d be a millionaire today too. Who knew?

          1. I can’t even begin to think what all these local agencies were thinking when the bumped public safety up to 3% at 50 retirements back in the late 80’s, 90’s.

            It’s suffocating local budgets while the retirement amounts are ridiculous.

            I don’t care how hard or hazardous a job was. I will never buy into the idea that a retired firefighter or officer should make over $100K. Your houses should be paid off by now, unless you were an adulterer and got caught.

            1. A lot of cops have ex-wives lined up for alimony.

              As for what they were thinking, you don’t have to wonder. Jan Flory was an enthusiastic supporter of that. Go to a council meeting and ask her.

    2. how about the 100 to 1 applicants that want to be heroized but got turned down because he was white? there has got to be at least 1 that could do the job just as well (if only a relative worked there) and would do it for half the price, or for free as a volunteer in uniform just to get phone numbers from women while shopping at Ralphs. STEAK!

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