Home Discovery Bay & Byron Discovery Bay Woman Not Pleased Fire Chief Purchases Lunch for Firefighters

Discovery Bay Woman Not Pleased Fire Chief Purchases Lunch for Firefighters

by ECT

On October 28, a resident of Discovery Bay did not appreciate East Contra Costa Fire Protection District Chief Hugh Henderson purchasing lunch while firefighters were on scene of a structure fire.

Henderson confirmed the incident occurred in the parking lot but did not want to get into details after he purchased 30 firefighters lunch which included turkey sandwiches, Gatorade, chips and chocolate chip cookies.

IMG_7344Henderson stated he tried to remain polite in explaining they had been working 4-hours on a structure fire and no one had eaten. The female still did not like that he was purchasing lunch for them while on duty.

“It’s not like we can pack up and say we will be back in an hour because we are going to take our lunch break. They had been working for 4-hours,” said Henderson who further explained they cannot leave a fire and go back to a station to eat and come back.

In total, Henderson said the meal came in at a cost of around $250.

In total, fire crews remained on scene for 7-hours and 23-minutes  Henderson said the home is a complete loss with preliminary damages at more than $500,000. No firefighters or occupants were injured in the incident.

ECCFPD LunchThe next day, Nazanin Fazli, an owner in Chaman Kabob in Brentwood on Lone Tree Way provided meals to all East Contra Costa Fire stations in Brentwood, Disovery Bay and Oakley saying she was upset that someone would question a fire chief over providing lunch and cookies.

She wanted to showcase her appreciation for trying to keep the public safe with limited resources saying these guys put their lives on the line for us each day while calling them heroes.

Editors Notes:

By now, most people have seen a video out of Orville where a man was upset at firefighters grocery shopping at a local store.

This information originally showed up on our social media sites on October 28, 2015

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Meo Nov 9, 2015 - 5:48 pm

There will always be a few petty, small minded people who share the planet with the rest of us. They don’t know any better. The firefighters and fire chief should take the high road and forgive the woman for her ignorance.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 2:49 am

She wasn’t being ignorant. She is a tax a payer. She has the right to question how the thousands of dollars she pays on taxes are being misused. If every fire fighter at the seen is costing her city and county 175 to 275 k per year , they can put their big boys pants and hold it. They were starving because they hadn’t eaten for 4 hours because they were actually doing what they are being paid to do? jajajajaajajaja

Jerome Nov 9, 2015 - 10:46 pm

What a very petty individual…!!!! I bet if it were her house on fire, she’d appreciate that they could eat while still fighting her house fire…!!! She should be ashamed of herself..!!!!

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 2:42 am

“In total, fire crews remained on scene for 7-hours and 23-minutes Henderson said the home is a complete loss with preliminary damages at more than $500,000. No firefighters or occupants were injured in the incident.” Tell that to the home owner and the insurance company x)

Dan Nov 10, 2015 - 6:22 am

People are looking for reasons to be the miserable whiners they have become.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 10:42 am

I whine twice a year when i have to open my check book to write 6 k in property taxes plus supplemental stuff that we are mandated to pay. Now you want to hear some whining? 😀

wildhorseguy Nov 10, 2015 - 6:44 am

One of the reasons I moved to Nevada when I retired – to escape that pervasive feeling of entitlement rather than appreciation. Over here the locals and/or local businesses will often drop off pizzas and take-out sandwiches when the crews are tied up on a big job before the chief can call in an order. The area out here is relatively poor compared to the Bay Area (the 6th most financially stressed county in the country during the financial collapse) but the locals still had their priorities straight. I just call Sheriff’s dispatch and have disruptive citizens removed. I guess I’ve just become less tolerant of fools as I got older. Props to Henderson on this one for keeping his cool. It takes all kinds of nuts to make a world.

Dave M Nov 10, 2015 - 9:07 pm

Amen to that. Keep it on the down low about Nevada, too many snotty Californians moving here. I retired from the Bay Area, for the reason I moved here. The cops and firemen are welcome. The idiots can stay in the Bay Area!

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 3:05 am

dude , educate yourself. goggle Mercury news civil servant salary and see how much money they make in the city where this incident took place Discovery Bay CA. They shouldn’t be taking a full fire engine to buy food for themselves. they should do their food shopping in their own time before they come to work. I’m not saying they are bad people or dishonest, But as a community we need to understand that these are well pay professionals. These are people that chosen to take risk in their field of work. No body forced them. We as a community compensate them by being protected by unions and labor laws and salaries that make them taking the risk they take enticing otherwise they wouldn’t do it. I’m a social worker, I have to sit in hospitals w psychotic children w for as long as 8 hours at a time and then maybe get some over time, Till we can find some foster care or placement for this kid to be safe. I get pay to do my freaking job. I got kidney stones from holding my piss, comes w the territory so Don’t cry me a river!!!!!

John Byrne Nov 10, 2015 - 2:45 pm

Some California folks think they pay for every with that sad tax contribution they make each year. That’s like telling the owner of a store what u want them to stock in your store because you spend money there. These idiots just need a ride off a cliff somewhere.

Tom McClusky Nov 10, 2015 - 5:33 pm

Bet the lady didn’t miss her lunch! Ya can”t fix stupid!

Lurline Moore Nov 10, 2015 - 5:34 pm

It’s nice knowing that someone has taken the time to make sure that my husband and the band of brothers and sisters have been fed. THANK YOU.

Dim F Nov 10, 2015 - 6:46 pm

Thank you Chief for being professional to someone that wasn’t smart enough to understand the situation. She is the epitome of what is wrong with people these days. I am truly sorry that a citizen such as this showed so little respect. The crime is that she is apparently too stupid to understand what she did was wrong so she basically gets away with it.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 10:51 pm

Oh Dim you already thanked him enough, his annual compensation package is $323,173 . Cheer

Linda Vaughan Nov 10, 2015 - 7:14 pm

Actually, the Fire Chief didn’t owe anyone an explanation for buying lunch for his crew!

Candace Nov 11, 2015 - 10:26 am

Linda, actually if he used district funds he does. If he used his own money he doesn’t. That was not specified in the story or if it was I didn’t see it.

To be clear I support what he did but remember, he and his actions are always accountable to the public when he is on duty and under our employment. Besides, he did a great job explaining.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 3:14 am

well the fire chief who makes around $200,000 per year felt as it was more of a priority for him to go and be a good guy by going himself and getting lunch for his staff instead of staying behind coordinating operation? Some may argue his judgment. Should he had sent a less senior staff member to get his staff lunch? Do they really MUST had lunch just cause they had been doing THEIR WORK for more than 4 hours? If i were the home owner who lost my 500k home or the insurance company i would be asking those questions. cheers

Jim Nov 11, 2015 - 12:01 am

Next is this lady complaining that the Fireman are sleeping at the station….. C’mon man !! good job Chief A Firemans, Fireman….

Kevin McKeon Nov 11, 2015 - 3:54 pm

Actually… we used to get that complaint all the time!!!!! People hated the fact that there were bunks in the firehouse. The best way to answer back when told that we shouldn’t sleep at the station is….” We work 24,36 and 48 hour shifts at our stations, sometimes double those consecutive hours on order-backs and disasters. Do you expect us to stay AWAKE for 36, 48 and 72 hours straight ?????” Common sense everyone !!!!!!!!!

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 3:20 am

Yes but you are no victim here. Your base salary is close to 100k per year plus benefits and then if you stay extra time you get mega over time. You can’t be A VICTIM , A HERO AND SOMEONE THAT ULTIMATE MAKES A FAIRLY WELL LIVING W THE WORK YOU DO. We want you to respect us as tax payers, That we pay thousands upon thousands of dollars in the form of property taxes and all sort of taxes that we all have to pay including you. And we having higher standards of accountability from people like your as civil servants. . cheers

WalkersPlanet Nov 11, 2015 - 12:16 pm

Well, the one positive thing about this story is that I just got my second recommendation for Chaman Kabob and I’ll be eating there real soon. The first recommendation for their restaurant came from a native Afghani I recently met in Concord with him stating that it has to be one the best Afghan restaurants in the East Bay. The fact that the owners would take the action they did lets me know that besides the good food, there are great people working there.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 1:40 am

The problem with the fire chief argument is that fire fighters are not doing volunteer work.
They are compensated very well for their work which include the risk they take . Firefighters and other entry level police officers for the city of Discovery Bay in the fiscal year of 2013 base salaries were of $93,032 plus over time of $8,573 plus additional pay time of $15,520, vacation and sick leave of $24,203 insurance $31,154 other $1,580 including all benefits each position cost tax payers $174,061 per year. As you move up in the rank it’s not unlikely to see salaries close to 200,000 to $250,000 per year plus benefits. I welcome you to go to the San Jose Mercury times County Salaries and see how much your local police officers and fighter fighters actually make per year. I’m not doing police or firefighter bashing but for you to understand that your salaries command for you to go w/o lunch when you have to step to the plate. And remember that we have been fighting to raise the minimal wages in most counties in the bay area from $9.00 per hour ($18,000) per year and this is w/o benefits . Many families lost their homes during the housing crises because they were unable to pay back up property taxes which fund all sort of emergency response positions. Cheers.

Safety FIrst Nov 13, 2015 - 5:41 pm

Look again, the average firefighter makes about 54,000 (Base Salary) per year in East Contra Costa Fire. Many are FORCED to work overtime to cover shifts. The BANG has a bad habit of posting benefit costs and passing them off as salary to the naive reader. ANY JOB announcement, public or private does not post what health/retirement benefit costs are in the job announcement. It is purely inflammatory.

Gustavo En Español Nov 14, 2015 - 11:35 pm

Hi! Safety First, keep the drama to yourself. No body is “FORCING” anything on anyone. Slavery is over. They stay behind because the salary is good and they are able to then get pay time and half or earn vacation time at such rate. So your argument is rejected. I hope you are having a blessed weekend (rme) smh.

Fred Smith Nov 17, 2015 - 3:50 pm

Your post should really say that you are upset that you do not make as much money as a fireman. Every one of your “awesome” posts revolved around how much you pay in property taxes and how much they make. What a tool

Perception va Reality Nov 17, 2015 - 5:07 pm

He doesn’t, and we don’t have to make home cook mails for him either. I agree with this about privatizing the services. We could get more work done for 1/3 of the money.

Local Nov 13, 2015 - 10:33 am

Gustavo, nice response. Yes fire suppression is expensive. The public has allowed it to go out of control since 911. It is now bitting us back for being too generous. We have conditioned the trade to be overcompensated. However, this has nothing to do with the chief making sure the crew is fed while in the field. Remember, they can’t pack up and go back to the station to make lunch then return to the fire thinking it will wait for them. This entire complaint regarding food for a working fire crew is rediculous. Common sense should show that.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 5:02 pm

Hi Local: You just gave me so much double talk that my head is spinning. A fire or any form of emergency is not going to happen in the firehouse, so yes they have to be prepared to be out in the field to do their work. They went to school and they have supplemental state training to physically and psychological being able to manage that (so we are not talking about civilians like you and I). This is not about Fire Suppression issue and how expensive it is. It is however about how we must have higher expectation from or local government, 1st respondents, emergency personnel and other forms of civil servants. “Henderson stated he tried to remain polite in explaining they had been working 4-hours on a structure fire and no one had eaten” SO???? Doctors/ Nurses/ Social workers attending to emergencies out in the field or in the ER kind of settings go w/ out brakes or eating for much much longer than 4 freaking hours… Common sense will show that having Henderson go and get lunch is as ridiculous as; A surgeon performing surgery for 6 hours and he stepping out to get food for them. I could justify this being done if for instance these were volunteer based positions, someone needing to get these people something to eat, expecting the community to make sure these people are taken care of. BUT WE ARE ALREADY DOING THAT, WE PAY THEM 100K ++++A YEAR PLUS OVER TIME AND VERY GENEROUS BENEFITS.

After working for 4 plus hours doing something that they are very well trained to endure, You want Henderson whose salary range is likely between $200,000 and $250,000 PER YEAR spending his time in a middle of a fire to go and buy lunch for his staff? This is what’s wrong with government! As I said, just think about that when you sit down to write your property tax check, which i have to do twice a year and it really hurts me.

PS. Watching this video of that gentleman arguing his case about resources being wasted and miss manage by having all these firefighters buying food for themselves was personally a rude awaking for me. I always see Firetrucks outside my local supermarket with firefighter personnel w baskets of food doing shopping. I assumed that they were buying food to deliver to people that may be home bound or some other community outreach during their down time. NOW I”m finding out that they are out buying food that they are going to consume while they are at work. Shame on you people. Cheers!

Safety FIrst Nov 13, 2015 - 7:29 pm

Gustavo, You sound like sour grapes! Sorry that you hate your job as a social worker. Working a shift in a hospital is tough work, but hardly comparable to the physical intensity that firefighters endure when fighting a fire. It is not uncommon to hear about firefighters hospitalized due to heat stress, dehydration, etc. So per your suggestion, should we let these men and women develop hypoglycemia or dehydration because YOU think that is what is appropriate? Thank god you don’t make the rules. You are throwing some big rocks for a person that works in an industry that has had exponential increases every year. Recession or not, healthcare costs and pay for healthcare workers has skyrocketed beyond control. BTW, Henderson makes about $129,310 per year according to the website. Do us all a favor, go away, you have overstated your opinion here!

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 10:48 pm

Really? does what he makes? This is public information !

Entity Name Title Base OT Other Insurance ER EE DC Misc.

East Contra Costa Fire Protection Dist. Henderson, Hugh E. FIRE CHIEF-EAST CCFPD
$129,310 $0 $13,531 $19,401 $156,969 $0 $0 $3,962 $323,173

Oh NOOOOO! We are chunking $156,969 just in to his year retirement That’s more than double his salary, He cost us $323,173. YOU IDIOT! That’s what you are paying him for to look good to his stuff and reconcile that he cost us that much. EDUCATE YOURSELF!

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 11:13 pm

LOL go away? hahahahaaha great way to address an issue, sticking your head in the sand then get it out and clap hahahahaah. I was actually rerouted here from a posting in Facebook about the chief standing up for his staff. That’s how propaganda and self righteousness comes back to haunt you. Don’t make any waves that you are not prepare to deal with.

I’m very grateful that there are human beings that chosen to go in to that field of work. But there are no victims or heroes here. They are getting compensated well to do this job.

Haters gonna hate Nov 13, 2015 - 7:55 pm

Gustavo, you should get off the blog until you get yourself better educated.

Henderson is paid $139k/yr. It’s public information. Far less than about any other Chief in the Bay Area or about the starting wage of a Software Engineer starting position at Facebook. He’s salaried. So no overtime.


The starting pay for fire fighters here is about $54k/yr on the current MOU, topping out around $70k range for Captain positions. Again, public information.

With respect to “staff”, the District has exactly one office administrative staff position. The Chief himself is doing the work of about 3 people at the moment.

You have become the equivalent of a useful idiot on this “goggle” research effort of yours. Just as the originators intended, you searched their database and then ASS-umed that applied universally to all fire districts. When it doesn’t.

Do you even live in this District? I’m trying to understand how you can be so misinformed about financial and staffing facts specific to ECCFPD.

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 11:49 pm

Hi Haters,, this is the information that i’m getting, In 2014 , he got 129k as his base salary. Then he got $13,500 in over time, Then get got his regular insurance and standards as medical insurance, but in addition it’s showing that he is receiving an annual contribution towards his retirement for the amount of $157,000 per year. This is what is being reported for 2014. So he is costing the county over $326,000 per year. Maybe you should educate yourself more besides just getting a job announcement from the internet. I just checked my own name in the http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area/2014 site and my salary and pension is accounted to a penny as it is his. so???????

Buy a Clue Nov 14, 2015 - 9:19 am

A job listing???? LOL!

Dude, the link I gave was to the fire district website and his actual labor contract!

The reason why pensions are so high is due to runaway health industry that you work in. It’s strangling all levels of our economy and government. No less than Bob Gates, while head of the Depart of Defense, mentioned what a major threat it was to HIS budget, one of the largest of the federal government.

Blaming the victims for an out of control healthcare system? What a fool.

Do you know your actual fully loaded cost to YOUR employer? I’m not talking about what you read off a website for the low information tools. I’m talking what you actually cost your employers, and by proxy, the patients who pay for your services.

Do you know that?

BTW, I have the actual compensation document that the department sent to Bay Area News Group(parent of San Jose Mercury News), so I’m well aware of how they manipulate the data.

Fred Smith Nov 17, 2015 - 3:55 pm

I’m sure whatever they paid you is way more than what you are worth.

Perception va Reality Nov 17, 2015 - 5:11 pm

fredie, all butt hurt? he ain’t costing us 335 k per year. That is a true issue. These county services need to be outsource to a contractor that can to more work for 1/3 of the price. .

Fred Smith Nov 17, 2015 - 3:52 pm

I have come to the conclusion that you are either drunk or plain stupid. From now on please find a 3rd grader to type a proper sentence for you.

Perception va Reality Nov 17, 2015 - 5:12 pm

Why do everyone has to pay for your Meth Lab explosion?

Gustavo En Español Nov 13, 2015 - 11:53 pm

So just enter your favorite public servant in this web site and you will find how much money your heroes are making in base salary, over time , retirement benefit and how much net it cost each county to employ them. Hope this help you. x) http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area/2014

Gustavo En Español Nov 14, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Hi Buy A Clue: There is no “manipulation” of data. As I said I put my own name in the web site and all the information I got was 100% accurate. I make 69k , 12 k in overtime and 21 k towards my retirement. I’m not showing that I’m getting $158,000 per year towards my retirement as Henderson does . And no I’m not blaming anyone for anything. I’m just talking about gov transparency. Since you started mocking a citizen for calling in to question Henderson’s behavior. He should had just walked out and move on, but you needed to feed your ego. So get off your high horse. I hope the community reads this. I hope Nazanin Fazli, from Chaman Kabob finds out that he gave freebies to people that are well pay for what they are expected to do but that also the fat fish here is costing his community $323,000 per year which is coming straight off his cash register and his kitchen help and servers, which are likely to have NO pension and no health insurance. So have a great day! x)

Buy a Clue Nov 14, 2015 - 2:40 pm

Gustavo, you didn’t answer a rather important question. Do you live in this district?

You are responsible for fully half the comments under this article. That suggests obsession any way you slice it. If you don’t live in the District and therefore are not subjected to the costs, it might even suggest a certain level of emotional instability. And you’re allowed to care for kids??

When you fill out a credit app or a mortgage application, did you list your fully loaded costs or just your base wage?

So what’s with the hypocrisy of trying to paint these guys as greedy? If I wanted to play that game, I would point out that the average pay of a social worker is $45k/yr. You didn’t include healthcare costs in your list for your own compensation either. Factor that in and you’re well over 2.5-3x the average.

So are you milking your employer and your clients?

See how easy it is to be an asshat?

Gustavo En Español Nov 14, 2015 - 11:18 pm

Buy a Clue, What my postings actually suggest is that I have huge issue with social and economic disparities specialty in a community that has been plagued with budget problems to then have ppl at the bottom of the food chain suffer for it.

Furthermore , I’m here because you created this little infomercial and now this article in which “you” ridiculed a fellow tax payer for bringing up issues and concerns which are totally valid and relevant (giving the history of financial mismanagement that you had) is all over the internet. You see what happens when you open a can of worms and stand and little soap boxes?

In addition, I intend to join you in the next board of supervisor meeting and expose all your charlatans for what you are. I’m going to reach out for more community representation to start a whistle blower hotline for taxpayers (as the lady that complaint) to just pick up their phone and report you. See how you like that.

BTW, thank you for mentioning how “emotional unstable” I am because I’m challenging you. Board of supervisors just LOVE people with mental health issues. HOPE YOU ARE HAVING A BLESSED WEEKEND. rme.

Local Nov 14, 2015 - 6:39 pm

Clue, why are you such an ahole to everyone? Gus is absolutely right. The added compensation costs are the reason why any fire department has financial troubles. He has stated the facts and backed them up with documentation. Your pouting doesn’t make anyone feel any more sorry for you. Gus I enjoy reading your comments. Please keep them coming.

Luvs BI95 Nov 15, 2015 - 2:23 pm

When you have something that works well and then change it to something that is a catastrophe. The smart thing to do is to change it back to something that works. People like Clue are here to entice others and twist information to get attention. Facts are facts Clue. I’m sure the data provided to the Times regarding labor costs for fire labor was extremely accurate. It is your little mind that can’t grasp the actual cost of something. When you buy a car for five thousand and pay the taxes, lic., and insurance, that is the actual cost of the car. It is more like approaching six thousand. The difference between five thousand and six thousand is not magically ignored like you try selling. You probably are the kind of person who thinks they still have money in the checking account because they still have checks not written. This is how the district has been operating. So instead of spending like a Rolls Royce on a Ford budget changes need to be made soon.

I say bring the paid on call model back. It helps, it’s cost effective, and It worked. Members of the community were proud to serve. This circus of playing with lives needs to disappear.

Buy a Clue Nov 15, 2015 - 3:27 pm

Luvs BI95, you have to be Crazy Uncle grade if you believe the POC program was working just fine at the time it was retired. But keep lying to yourself if you must. The failures are well documented and that program is not coming back as the primary delivery model for ECCFPD. Accept that or don’t. It really doesn’t matter. I have no doubt they were proud to serve……..on the days they showed up.

Starting pay of less than $50k with 25% going to retirement is your idea of “Rolls Royce”??

You really should get out more. You can’t even buy a home in this District on that kind of money.

BI95 Nov 17, 2015 - 8:04 pm

@ Buy a Clue

The failures happened only after the union meddled in. That is documented. Letters from the union to POCs threatening action on their regular jobs to stop helping their community.Take the blind fold off Clue. No matter what happens. It could be much better with volunteers from the community. That B.S. about training and requirements are all originated from the union to keep out volunteers and create more monthly dues for themselves. Don’t kid yourself dummy. The union could care less about you. More money and more power is the focus.

Until the public sees the union cooperate with the wishes of the people this will never end or be fixed. You really need to get a clue Clue.

Gustavo En Español Nov 15, 2015 - 1:19 am

Thank you Mr Local , I’m doing some research about details on this particular fire. There should be a lot of documentation available since 30 firefighters responded. There must be tons of mandated documentation to fill out. Great presentation to the board of supervisors to see how the community can better evaluate the department for fiscal responsibilities. Maybe get a forensic accountant from Contra Costa County to calculate how much it took to respond to this incident including that $250 luncheon, what do you think?

Gustavo En Español Nov 15, 2015 - 6:47 pm

Wow, I so hope more Contra Consta Residents start reading more of these shenanigans you are trying to run. You are recreate a whole new failed industry out of your fire department to keep supporting your own. All this FANATICISM you have going on towards cops and firefighters is cause you are either one or married to one and now that the community is expecting you to earn your money and work hard for it, OH NOOOOO OUR HEROES ARE NOT EATING!!!! hahaahahaahahah.

What a bunch of idiots you think we are. Then you turned around and post this crazy a$$ article in here about a community member challenging HENDERSON who is costing Contra Costa County tax payers $ 323,000 per year because she is upset he spending his time getting lunch for his staff in the middle of their work shift and everyone one here stands up in their County Soap Box “OHHHHHHHH THANK YOU CHIEF HENDERSON FOR FEEDING MY HUSBAND BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO YOU ARE ME HERO” my question is why isn’t the wife cooking and feeding his a$$? smh.

Now you start running this crazy “feed the Firefighters” program “CAUSE THEY ARE WORKING AND THEY COME TO FIRE HOUSE AND THEY HAVE NO TIME TO COOK AND HAVE A HOME COOK MEAL” HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA OMG hahahahahahaahaha “COOK FOR THEM AND YOU’LL GET 10% OFF AT GROCERY OUTLET” hahahaahahahahahahahaha I laugh because if I didn’t I would have to cry.

“BRAVO CHIEF HENDERSON ” and “LET’S BURN THAT WITCH THAT DEER TO QUESTION FEEDING OUR BOYS????? OMG while even the firefighters themselves got a letter of NO CONFIDENCE against Henderson to the board which then turns around and give our little HERO here another 3 years contract to collect close to HALF A MILLION DOLLARS towards his retirement in 3 YEARS ALONE. BRAVO BRAVO HERO HERO HERO. hahahaahahahahahahaah OMG. What a bunch of charlatans.

Fred Smith Nov 17, 2015 - 4:02 pm

I have to ask. Is English your second language?

Perception va Reality Nov 17, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Why would it matter if English is his 2nd language, got a problem with that?

meo Nov 17, 2015 - 9:27 pm

P vs R If you ask me I could care less what language he speaks. His problem goes way beyond his lack of communication skills. His barnyard commentary isn’t fit for a discussion.

Based on what I have read from him and his repetitive nature, It’s like arguing with a special needs 5 year old.

Just like the character Robert Downy in Ben Stiller’s movie said, he went full retard. And that’s putting in nicely!

Fred Smith Nov 17, 2015 - 4:05 pm

Not sure why my comments posted the way they did but all of them were directed at the female canine Gustavo

Perception va Reality Nov 17, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Gustavo, we support you brah. This FF bullshit has gotten out of hand. They make too much money and they show entitlement. Keep the comments coming. That guy Fred sounds like a 1st class racist. It doesn’t surprise me from Contra Costa County. The underbelly of the bay area yet they are expecting premium services. When they are not willing to pay for anything.

EastCountyToday Nov 18, 2015 - 9:10 am

@Perception, I think your views are blurred when it comes to salaries of the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.

Here is a look at East Contra Costa Fire Protection District base salaries which should also be noted they have not received a raise in 5-years, tweaked their retirement and benefits and still come to work each day with a smile on their faces.

Battalion Chief: $88,000 or $33 per hour
Fire Captain: $60,000 or $20.60 per hour
Engineer: $57,000 or $19.57 per hour
Firefighter: $51,000 or $17.50 per hour

Lets not confuse that pay with the neighbors to the west.

Contra Costa Fire

Battalion Chief: $145,000 or $49.79 per hour
Fire Captain: $109,000 or $37.43 per hour
Engineer: $97,000 or $33.31 per hour
Firefighter: $96,000 or $32.96 per hour

Alameda County Fire

Battalion Chief: $146,000 or $50.13 per hour
Fire Captain: $116,000 or $39.83 per hour
Engineer: $103,000 or $35.37 per hour
Firefighter: $95,000 or $32.62 per hour

Source: https://eastcountytoday.net/lets-not-confuse-eccfpd-base-salaries-with-neighboring-districts/

Dan Vasser Nov 18, 2015 - 9:43 am

Thank you for publishing the firefighter’s real salaries. Maybe it will help people like “Perception vs Reality” get over their personal bias. No one can argue with the numbers.

Local Nov 18, 2015 - 10:24 am

I think it is misleading to leave out the actual cost to the public. The cost for benefits is and has been the real issue not an hourly wage. The retirement at 50 and the other perks is what is bankrupting the district. Ultimately the cost to the taxpayer (that you fail to show) is the real wage. Let’s not try to mislead.

Buy a Clue Nov 18, 2015 - 5:04 pm

You are mistaken. You’re trying to make “wage” synonymous with “fully loaded costs” and they are not the same.

If you tried to put your fully loaded cost(what you cost to your employer) on a financial application and signed your name to it you would be committing fraud.

Dan Vasser Nov 18, 2015 - 7:57 pm

Local, isn’t it misleading for you to state “the retirement at 50 and other perks is what’s bankrupting the district”. That’s just not true. I have been told by several involved, that no one has retired from our fire district at age 50. The formula includes that number as a minimum age to qualify for retirement but it really isn’t a retirement age for most if not all of the retirees. To be completely transparent you omitted the part where all employees pay approximately 25 of their wage to pay for their retirements. That means these guys are working for 15.00 an hour before taxes are taken out. Let me say it again, our firefighter’s are working for 15.00 an hour before taxes and medical costs are taken out of their paychecks. You really want to use that as your issue for not funding the district? Even fully loaded costs are 1/2 that of every other fire agency. In short terms our firefighter’s are one heck of a bargain for us taxpayers no mater how you try to engineer their costs to the district. After reviewing the numbers, it doesn’t play well for your position unless you were trying to get free labor or to have the troops pay you to come to work.

I also need to ask you what “other perks” are you referring to? Keeping in mind with your own words, “let’s try not to mislead”. Your track record in that area could use some polish.

Perception va Reality Nov 18, 2015 - 8:28 pm

Just go to the website that Gustavo listed and in fact it shows that Henderson is making double his salary in his pension alone. There is no arguing about that. Do we have any more firefighter’s name and last name in East Contra Costa that you want me to check and not speculate how much money he/she is actually costing the county?

Erin Nov 19, 2015 - 9:42 am

Perception va Reality, they don’t work for the county so they don’t cost the county anything. Duh! No wonder no one takes you seriously. What a tool.

Local Nov 19, 2015 - 10:30 am

Post them all and watch how the DAs respond the it’s not true. Reality is what they need as their perception of cost per employee is really screws up.

Dan Vasser Nov 19, 2015 - 8:32 am

Perception, I am informed that the data base is completely inaccurate from several sources and employees themselves. The database itself is not an official,reliable by any means and is hosted by a media outlet that has no accountability of legalese standing what so ever. Why would I buy into anything “Gustavo” posted? We all read his multiple posts which were silly to say the least. Sorry but I doubt anyone took him seriously. If you are honestly looking for pay figures I would suggest two things. 1. Confirm that you understand the difference between salary versus fully loaded compensation. 2. Obtain this information directly from the source (employer) not a 3rd party outlet. Then your figures would have accountability and are worth further discussion. For now what has been proven is that all of the ECCFPD employees from fireman to fire chief are the lowest paid in the Bay Area whether you are looking at hourly wage, salary or final comp. it’s the biggest reason we have a retention problem. If you can’t wrap your head around that simple fact then you’d better find a different talking point or subject matter.

Local Nov 19, 2015 - 10:24 am

Come on Dan, so you are claiming they media makes up those numbers and publicizes them? Ya right how dumb is that. They would get a lawsuit from every name there. Take your head out of the sand. It’s fact and it is public what it costs for all government jobs. To address your retire at 50. You obviously have been drinking the same emerald city koi laid. There are currently at least two that collect retirement over 100k annually and one is closer to 200k. Pay attention. The benefits and retirement are the root cause of the financial catastrophe. It is not rocket science.

Buy a Clue Nov 19, 2015 - 4:57 pm

Local, stay away from anything math related. For the sake of public safety.

The District only receives half the money it needs to operate the 8 stations that it had just 5 years ago. You can cry and whine about pensions until you are blue in the face. You can try to make scapegoats of 3 individuals as you just did.

None of that is going to fix a $10M shortfall. NONE OF IT.

You cited a former Chief’s retirement as typical and you expect this to be considered an honest discussion? This is why you people cannot be taken seriously. You can’t discuss as adults. You think you get to write the rules and ignore or cherry pick the facts that are not convenient for you. It’s a joke.

Your constant sniping doesn’t move the issue forward one single inch toward finding a solution. You just want to argue for the sake of arguing. Rome burns while you fiddle.

What a complete waste of time!

Why don’t you stop right now with this extreme cowardice. Just come right out and say you don’t want fire fighters to have any benefits or pensions. Time to man up and stop the little word games.

Dan Vasser Nov 27, 2015 - 3:52 pm

Thanks Buy a Clue.

I don’t understand why some people on this site continue to play word games with our safety. It’s a scary thing when you have people that are not acting like adults when discussing a topic of this importance. I am getting pretty sick of the grade school antics displayed by a few people that want to play loosely with our safety and are hiding behind those figures that have zero accountability. This is something they cannot avoid so they constantly change the subject when pressed for accountability. There is an old saying, “don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper”. A few people here want to cite inaccurate data supplied by a media outlet with a bias toward public safety personnel. That’s their choice but a bad choice in my opinion. You can’t argue with those that are too lazy to research their own material.

Perception va Reality Nov 27, 2015 - 1:35 am

What a bunch of bullies. Keep on bankrupting the county by creating more smoking mirrors on how much i FF personnel actually cost us. Saying that the Mercury data which is updated each year is not reliable is ludicrous. Local is the only person here that appears to have some insight in to the real problem. Keep allowing others to get rich while home owners are just trying to keep up with mortgages and property taxes as it is.

Buy a Clue Nov 27, 2015 - 8:44 am

FF personnel make $50-$70k or less than your buddy Gustavo in all cases besides battalion chiefs and the fire chief.

Besides being a public safety hater, do you have any clue what you’re talking about? Do you think they should work for free or something? Do you spend all of your time on the internet trolling on and hating what others make?

Dan Vasser Nov 27, 2015 - 4:03 pm

Bunch of bullies? That’s a new one! How is it that trying to preserve emergency service is in any sort of bullying? If so please enlighten me. There are a few things that I’m aware of that don’t mesh with some of the statements that “perception va reality” makes. All employees in the public sector have a cost so why would the fire department be any different? Employee costs make up a large part of the service since it’s a service department. They don’t make things or produce anything other than “service”. Who is arguing what their cost is? What I read is how small their salary is. If you can argue about their salary being an issue then I invite you to do so. Can you really sit their with a straight face and suggest the employees of our fire district are getting rich. You have got to be kidding and it would be the most ludicrous thing I have heard on this subject. Almost as ludicrous as saying they are “bankrupting the county” when it has been pointed out over and over, they don’t work for the county. Where in the heck are you getting your information? Mercury? Please help me understand where all your bad information is stemming from.

Dan Vasser Nov 27, 2015 - 3:43 pm

Local, I am claiming the media doesn’t know how to do inputting or accounting. If they do then they purposely use factors which don’t portray a real life scenario. We all should know by now that there is a difference between an employee’s pay (salary) and an employee’s fully loaded cost. They are apples and oranges. Do you know any person that uses their fully loaded costs when stating their pay? Do you? Most people don’t even know what their fully loaded costs are, nor does it really matter to them.

You are claiming to understand the retirement but your math doesn’t suggest you do. Firemen in our district make between 50-70k a year. If you understand how the 3 at 50 retirement works than you would know that they don’t retire out anywhere near 100-200k. Stating so is ludicrous.
Let’s take Firefighter “X” who started working at age 28 and is making 70k when he retires. At age 50 he would have 22 years of employment. 3 at 50 means he gets 3 times his years of employment as the percentage of his final retirement pay. So 3 times 22 is 66. He gets 66 percent of his 70k salary. That is 46k. Far short of your 100k and not even a quarter of your 200k figure! Local, I took the high end of the firefighter pay and it doesn’t even hit halfway to your claim of 100k. To be sure I checked with both CCERA and CalPers and they verified.

Please explain to me how I have my head buried I the sand? I checked with all of the sources that are accountable for producing the numbers and providing the retirement benefits. You are going off of a media outlet that is known for biased and inaccurate journalism, particularly so when it comes to public safety pensions. Our fire department runs on a shoe string and I don’t think you or I could get off any cheaper unless they start working for free. Is that what you are all about? If so I won’t waste any more time with you. I want my family protected and if asked again, I will pay to ensure their safety. In my world that is known as having your priorities straight.

Anon Nov 27, 2015 - 9:12 pm

Anyone else notice that Gustavo the psychopath never answered one simple little ole question. Neither did “local” , “perception” or the BI95 dude.

What a freak-show of incompetence.

Not sure why anyone would give them the time of day, but thanks for tryin “Clue” They have a tweaked view of the world so it’s only normal for them not to comprende the obviouso. Gustavo the espanol can esplane it tu you numbskulls who think the ffs should work for below minimum wage.

LBI95 Nov 27, 2015 - 9:15 pm

@Clue, Your starting again with your mumbo jumbo crap again. The public could care less what a firefighter makes. WE do care what a firefighter costs. 150K to 200K on a bad day is what one costs. That Too Much ! The Mercury News is 100% correct with their info because it comes from Contra Costa County records. Our old Chief Wahl is enjoying over 200K a year pension from this district you say no one collects from. Go sell your dope to someone else pothead. Go away and re enter grammar school math.

EastCountyToday Dec 30, 2015 - 8:19 pm

The Mercury News did the public a disservice because they lumped in ECCFPD with other higher paid districts. Not 1 member of the ECCFPD is in the 100k pension club

Stan Nov 28, 2015 - 11:44 am

LBI95, I’m thinking you know the difference between a fire chief and a firefighter. I’m thinking you know the difference between Management and line personnel. I’m thinking you know that there is only ONE fire chief and THIRTY firefighters.

I’m knowing that you are purposely trying to substitute an underpaid fire Chiefs salary in lieu of the 30 firefighters who are not nearly on the same pay grade. Nor should they be.

I don’t know how you sell your crap on the Island but in the rest of easr county what you are selling is 100 percent pure Mumbo Jumbo. You sir are trying to package firefighters pay into fully loaded costs. It’s known as a hit and run, but this time your getting called out on your BS.

No, the mercury news is not correct. You haven’t a clue so it’s no wonder you think they are there to educate you. I challenge you to find a single public employee that would agree tr hat their numbers are correct in their application. There is a reason that people work in media (they aren’t very good at accounting).

Remember island dimwit, chief Wahl earned and paid for his retirement. Too bad you couldn’t do the same and are left with a fatal case of pension envy. Perhaps you can get a job as a journalist. Fair warning, the pay sucks and the retirement is lousy. On the positive side they like lazy researchers that are unaccountable. Trust me, you’ll fit right in.

B-Wood Nov 28, 2015 - 12:25 pm

LB195- explain to me how a firefighter costs 150k-200k on a bad day when their pay is posted here.
Battalion Chief: $88,000 or $33 per hour
Fire Captain: $60,000 or $20.60 per hour
Engineer: $57,000 or $19.57 per hour
Firefighter: $51,000 or $17.50 per hour

Making 17.50 an hour or 51k to start is a far cry from your number of 150k or 200k. Are you suggesting that 17.50 an hour is out of line for someone who risks his or her life, works long hours, holidays, etc? It’s be said that the firefighter’s must put 25 percent of their pay directly into funding their retirement leading them about 13 bucks/hr. After taxes they are about what, 9 bucks an hour? I care what we pay our firefighter’s and that’s less than what a fry cook makes. I have a hard time believing you really want to debate pay or costs of our emergency workers. You come across as very small and uneducated, so those may be big numbers to you, but they are not to the rest of us. Our firefighter’s are incredibly underpaid for the job that they do. It’s why we cannot retain them.

I don’t know who you are trying to convince with your mumbojumbo.

luvBI95 Nov 28, 2015 - 2:18 pm

Your stupidity is showing once again. You are comparing apples and oranges. Read what I wrote again. The public is concerned with the cost not the hourly wage.There is a huge difference. You are as dumb as Stan. Both of you think the Mercury News makes up the numbers it publishes. They grab them out of thin air ? Get a life. That information is the cost of a firefighter to john q. public. It comes straight from the data base at the county. It is the added costs and benefits that go to the firefighter after the base pay that is drowning the district in debt. Quit playing games you can’t be that dumb. Take all the costs to the public and convert them into wages and you will easily get to the 150K – 200K. For Stan its 350K for a Chief. Take another puff of that dope your on. That’s all your good at.

B-Wood Nov 29, 2015 - 2:45 pm

LB195, I would counter that it is your anger and biased ignorance is showing. If you don’t know, or cannot see that the two (being salary and costs) are directly associated with one another, then you have no business in this dicussion. Since the fire district has made every cut in benefits and retirement which is allowed by law AND the firefighter’s are paid at a meager wage, what’s your point? In case you haven’t realized every employee in every job has a fully loaded cost which exceeds their salary. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but I’m thinking it does. That’s right smart guy, even that cook Denny’s gets benefits which costs you the customer. So again, what is your point?
Making matters worse for you, is that your numbers are wrong and you can’t back up squat. I’m laying it out for you and you still can’t figure it out. You can’t be that dumb can you? The CCTimes/Mercury aka; BANG (Bay Area News Group) merely sends out Public Records Requests to get the figures they use, but the problem is not with the figures, it’s with how they apply them. It’s known as bad accounting Einstein. They don’t know how the compensation works and they inappropriately factor numbers without a clue or any accountability. Everyone knows this, so I wonder why you are so far out of the loop. Even an island troll like you must have at least one friend that works in the public sector who can verify it for you. I know mine is listed and it is wayyyyyyy off. It’s way off numb nuts. That’s a fact which you cannot disprove, you just sit their taking all the BS the news print is selling you. Ask yourself, who is the fool in that senerio?
If you want to play the numbers game, I challenge you to call one firefighter, or the fire chief himself. He is a pretty nice guy and will provide you with the actual numbers. So answer me this, WHY WOULDNT YOU GO TO THE SOURCE TO GET ACCURATE INFORMATION?

It’s in caps so you and the rest of the readers can see the most important question put forth to you. I don’t think you can answer, but I invite you to try. (Changing the subject will be taken as a NO answer).

Just so you are clear, fully loaded costs are normal and expected in any business, private or public. The fire department is no different no matter how you try to spin it. It’s a service provider and the majority of costs are the employees. Whining about what is expected only makes you look really, really dumb.

The total costs of employment (TCOE) has been cut to the bone, and they are based on a sub standard salary. So what is it you are angling for? It’s a second question for you to choke on.

2 questions bozo. Man up and do your best.

Take a moment of clarity and try to figure it out, then you can get back to your pot smoking commentary.

Hillbilly John Nov 29, 2015 - 10:12 am

luvBI95, the hatred and vitriol that you direct at our professional firefighters is just eating you up inside, isn’t it?

It’s not bad enough that they are the lowest paid in all of the Bay Area. It’s not bad enough that starting pay is just $17.50/hr. It’s not bad enough that they are required to contribute 25% of their pay to their pensions. It’s not bad enough that they don’t make enough to qualify to buy homes in the very district they serve. Nope. If you’re a hater like you, they need to give up even more. Make more sacrifices so you can make none.

So what’s your fully loaded cost at your job, luvBI95? We wouldn’t want to think you are prejudice or picking numbers out of context. Surely you have your own personal numbers to offer in comparison or even any numbers from the private sector to compare and contrast.

So what are they?

LuvBI95 Nov 29, 2015 - 1:42 pm

@Hillbilly, I have no hatred for firefighters. Those words came from you. I respect all firefighters as I do anyone who serves this nation. What I do not do is pretend and spread innuendo by twisting factual information to accommodate a personal agenda like you. Your $17.50 an hour is wrong and you are spreading a lie. Play semantics all you want. The Mercury News has the factual information regarding public employee costs. Trying to brand that into hate makes you a sad little person.

B-Wood Nov 29, 2015 - 5:05 pm

LuvB195, I’ll ask you again numb nuts,


It’s in caps so you and the rest of the readers can see the most important question put forth to you. I don’t think you can answer, but I invite you to try. (Changing the subject will be taken as a NO answer).

Just so you are clear, fully loaded costs are normal and expected in any business, private or public. The fire department is no different no matter how you try to spin it. It’s a service provider and the majority of costs are the employees. Whining about what is expected only makes you look really, really dumb.

The total costs of employment (TCOE) has been cut to the bone, and they are based on a sub standard salary. So what is it you are angling for? It’s a second question for you to choke on.
It’s 17.50 an hour as stated by ECT and FD records, and you still want to dispute that. Too funny!

2 questions bozo. Man up and do your best.

Take a moment of clarity and try to figure it out, then you can get back to your pot smoking commentary.

Perception va Reality Nov 29, 2015 - 4:41 pm

Riiiiiight if the pay is so bad, why don’t they go work for another county? because what you say it’s not correct. Tell us Hillbilly, how are you associated to firefighters , come one. What a bunch of chirpy fools. Continue sending our counties in to bankruptcy. Go and compare how much teachers make in relation to firefighters. Go cook a meal for a teacher!

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