Let’s Not Confuse ECCFPD Base Salaries With Neighboring Districts

58

IMG_4654

With the talk about a proposed $98 Parcel Tax in June to help ensure East Contra Costa Fire Protection District will continue to have a 5-stations service model, the assault on firefighter salary has started back up again.

My goal here is not to change your opinion about your feelings on a tax, but to at least present you with accurate data that may not be appearing elsewhere. The truth is, East County is providing great value for what it pays its firefighters–in fact, I’d argue they are underpaid when you consider what are neighbors to the west make for nearly the same services.

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

Its important to note that firefighters work 56-hour weeks instead of the traditional 40-hour work weeks.

Here is a look at pay at neighboring Districts

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

Looking at neighboring District salaries, one could argue if CONFIRE moved to equal pay of that as ECCFPD, they would never have to shut down a station again and in fact could open even more stations.  On the other hand, if ECCFPD was bringing in the revenue CONFIRE was bringing in (13 cents on the dollar vs. ECCFPD 6 cents), we would have close to a 10-station model with little funding issues–but we can thank Prop 13 for that limited revenue allocation not being allowed to be tweaked when the District when rural to urban.

The point here is that ECCFPD and CONFIRE, along with a few other Districts in the Bay Area get meshed together not as an assault on a particular District, but an assault on the profession. That is not appropriate and its comparing apples to oranges because each District is different.

The next time the assault on pensions and salary comes up, please excuse ECCFPD from the discussion because that tired argument does not apply to them.

Burk Byline

By Michael Burkholder
email me


58 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, only when you break down the base salary can you see how little ECCFPD makes. Pretty scary how little these guys make considering the impact they make during a tragedy.

  2. Nice try Burk. Now do one including pensions and overtime. You are misleading folks. Here is a secret, volunteers reduce the districts burden on pay.

    • Bobby Lott, the base salary dictates overtime and pension. I think you need to get off this volunteer kick you seem to be obsessed with.

  3. Don’t forget CCCFPD has taken voluntary reductions and given up raises during this recession as well.

  4. Great information, but I am still voting NO until management gets the cost to deliver of services right and is straight up with the community about it. Too many shell games about what is truly needed for our area.

  5. First thank you for the additional information. You showed the hourly rate of various levels within the fire department for ECCCFPD, while showing the annualize salary of Contra Costa and Alameda, this I consider oranges/apples. 16 hours of overtime a week for 52 weeks=832 hours of overtime per person per year. Could that overtime mandate be reduced by hiring new firefighters at lower salaries and benefits and possibly save the district money. Just a thought???? Without a doubt firemen and police are essential to every community and are highly respected for there profession. however the city/community must hold them to a budget that is sustainable for the city/community.

    • Hire new people at lower salaries? So you mean like fire fighters earning closer to the hourly minimum wage?

      Is that a serious question?

      You questioned the fire district’s budget without any context. Do you know how much of your tax dollar actually goes to them? Or are you like the standard naysayer who is going to use the “too much” line without qualifying anything?

      The way you posted that comment is presuming the money they receive and the budget they must live under are and have been sufficient to start with. That’s flawed logic to being with.

      When I started driving in the late 1970s, gas was 40 cents/gal. Should I be whining on blogs that gas now costs more than 40 cents and it’s pressuring my household budget?

      So why do you and others think fire services, which are under the same funding formulas from the late 1970s, should cost the same now? How is that even logical?

      If you’re willing to investigate why that doesn’t make sense and why the funding formulas don’t work in 2014, you’ll be on your way to better understanding this problem.

    • Hey Joe, it looks like ECT updated the chart. Now includes hr/rates for all. I’m still confused how you lower salaries with employees who are underpaid and working under a negotiated contract. How do you hire highly respected, skilled workers at less of a living wage?

  6. This article is really troubling for me. These brave people run in to burning buildings, cut open the vehicles people are trapped in, find the body parts of people hit by trains, help the senior who has fallen, help assist a family when a child is having a seizure, save a barn from burning down and so much more for somewhere between $55,000 and $88,000 salary?

    We are getting a bargain and haven’t been able to get the community to support efforts to maintain our services. I think the tax payers association folks trying to “save” us will ultimately end up raising these folks salaries in the end and we won’t be any better off than we were before. As a matter of fact, in the process it is likely people could die and others will lose their property because we will have to feel the pain before we are outraged enough to do something.

    • “As a matter of fact, in the process it is likely people could die and others will lose their property because we will have to feel the pain before we are outraged enough to do something.”

      I agree. Others have said it too. Until the public and fire board wakes up to this, we are pretty much screwed.

  7. I find it very hard to believe that a firefighter in East County makes just $17.50 an hour and the author is misleading readers. I think Mr. Burkholder needs to get his facts correct before going to publication. You have to include Overtime and Benefits to get the full scope of the job.

    Sure, $17.50 is where they start, but they make much more than that.

    • Jill, what you “make” at your job is also much more than your paycheck reflects.

      Why are people having such a hard time talking apples to apples?

      if you want to talk fully loaded costs, then put up fully loaded costs from the private sector for comparison. Stop this ridiculous apples to oranges nonsense and insisting they make so much without any comparative reference.

  8. @ Bobby Lott,
    Nice try but it is you that’s misleading and confused. Here is a fact as well as a secret: Paying a firefighter overtime is much cheaper than hiring one. Overtime doesn’t count towards retirement calculations’ and the person working that overtime only qualifies for one pension, one set of benefits doesn’t need additional training or safety equipment. Hiring costs and the learning curve is also avoided.
    Hiring another individual to fill those boots would easily exceed the ½ time pay that compensates the existing firefighter on overtime. Overtime reduces the burden on taxpayers-it’s a fact. And one last fact for ya Bobby, volunteers in our district have not been an option for quite some time. You keep losing the memo.

    @ Joe Parks,
    Where on earth are you coming up with 16hrs of overtime each week? While firefighters work 56 hours instead of 40, they do so with an exemption to the overtime rule (FLSA). They are exempt up to 53hrs under a section called 9k of the FLSA act. So they may be eligible to get up to 3 hrs of scheduled OT but that too is only applied under certain conditions.
    Why wouldn’t you take the same amount of time to break out your own calculator and divide the annual base salaries that ECT provided from Alameda and CCounty? Its easy: Take the salary amount provided and divide by 2912. Simple math. It will give you the numbers you seek.

    @ Jill Thompson,
    You are right, 17.50 is a difficult figure to swallow. How do you think the firefighters feel? The author is not misleading readers and if you think so, then offer up your own numbers based on FACT, not assumption. Remember, we are talking about base salary/hourly wages. Overtime and hours worked do not count because they are not required nor regular and reoccurring. Overtime does not count towards any increased benefits or retirement calculations. Overtime means they must work extra days on a job that already has them on duty and working 16 hrs. more than an average 40 hr. employee. So for them to earn that extra, they must be away from home or whatever they do on their day off. Jill, it looks like you need to get your facts correct before going to print by hitting the post button. If they all turned down the overtime caused by short staffing would that make you happier? At the end of the day it does not change their hourly rate, base pay or inadequate pay structure.
    Consider that the primary reason they work overtime is to make up for the lack of wages they make to their counterparts in the counties. It comes at a cost to them-not us. How would you have to work an extra 1/3 of a year just to make what the same job title pays everywhere else? Welcome to the real world.

    • Could not have been said any better! The facts are there yet for some reason, people just don’t want to believe them. Maybe those people just can’t admit when they are wrong no matter who it hurts.

    • The core issue is: Should the taxpayer of ECCCFD have to pay an additional property tax? Earlier someone stated the City of Oakley pays 6% of 1% of property taxes collected, why not compensate up to 8-10%? Can this increase of 2-4% be off set by an across the board percentage in order to avoid passing another parcel tax assessment. Then we would be able to increase staffing, update equipment and have 10 stations open even pay raises without ever affecting the property tax.

      • Joe, that is the root of the problem or the “core issue” as you put it. It’s called apportionment. Every community, city, district has a different apportionment (rate) which was set when Californians approved prop 13. What really needs to be publicized is the various TRA’s (Tax rate areas) which are available from the county assessor. You might be interested to know that they are different for every city and area. More importantly and the root of the problem is that they can not be changed without an unprecedented act of the state.

        You cannot change this on a local level, period.

        That’s the problem. All of the rest of the debate is just noise.

        P.S. Most people would be surprised to know that schools get over 50 percent and the rest of the competing service providers have to squabble over the scraps contained in the other half. If they knew this they would probably never vote for another school bond. Hell, look up “ERAF” if you really want to learn about how tax monies are redirected into a broken educational system at the expense of the rest of our services.

        It’s a damn shame.

  9. easiest way to solve this debate is to have a couple check stubs posted online.Its public records anyways right ?

    • @Jim,

      Debate? Whattttttt? So now you want a debate regarding the information contained in the court ordered newspapers public data bases? Your kidding right?

      The real question remains how hard are you and others going to work at denying the facts.

      Isn’t insulting enough to have personal names published with pay (the courts erred and should have only allowed an employee numbers). Until that little oversight is overturned it is shameful enough that we are allowed to put individual faces with the figures (which serves no purpose). Paystubs are NOT public record and you don’t get to know where the employee puts his/her compensation or choses for medical or life insurance. Geeeeesh.

      Total compensation is relative to how much an employee choses to take on extra work–base salary broken down into an hourly rate is not. Its the only way to compare apples to apples.

      • you seem to forget that we are your employer.taxpayers have the right to know where every cent of our money goes who it goes to and if that money is being used productively .If you find it insulting go get another job,Go in the private sector(or Cuba) and you wont have to disclose any of your pay..

        if you can not figure out how to display a check stub without blacking out names ss# ect then your lost.

        this is why most of the time i vote against taxes that go to any union is because attitudes like yours.

        geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh

        this statement does not say if the firefight are overpaid or underpaid it just was a easy way to see where the money goes.

        • Actually, Jim, you don’t.

          You run that line by the Pentagon people thinking you’ll get the menu of black ops projects, you’ll get shown the door. That’s an extreme example. But this belief that public employees are completely under your thumb and you get to dictate how every dime is spent is both ludicrous and arrogant. It’s like you getting stopped by a cop for speeding and then mouthing off that “he works for you”. Suuuuuure. See how far it gets you.

          The pay rates were posted earlier. Don’t know if you can’t read or just don’t want to accept the facts.

          Somewhere along the way you got the idea that a tax dollar is more sacred than a dollar you spend at McDonalds or any other establishment. I’ve never understood the logic disconnect of some people.

          • I think the difference between the $ spent at McDonalds and the $ spent on public employees, is there no perception of the $ being wasted or mismanaged at McDonalds! The same cannot be said of public agencies!

          • Well, Chuck, if you’re going to go through life mistrusting anything and everything the government does, why are we wasting our time here trying to educate you?

            No answer will ever be good enough. You’re always going to assume someone is picking your pockets.

            So you think there isn’t waste and fraud in Corporate America that you and I effectively pay for? That’s pretty profound. And probably pretty wrong.

          • Hey Jigsup, I didn’t say that is my perception, but rather the perception of the general public and part of the contributing factors of these property tax propositions failing. I feel for you folks that are out here trying to sell this tax increase. I also feel for the fireman who get affected by all of this.

            I think you folks have been beat up on for so long that you automatically go into defense mode!

            I just through out there what i think part of the problem is.

          • i can read well. those stats are way off they did not include compensation that they get.Base salary means nothing when talking about government jobs.These are not top security jobs so bad comparison. You must be a sheep if you think your government does not pick your pockets and you trust them.Your cop scenario is way off base completely different issue not even in the same ball park .The money i spent at mcdonald is my money only,and again a complete different scenario.Just by your statement i see you’re one that believes everything you read as long as it benefits you or your cause..Or did you supply the information to east county?
            well at least you will be easy for them to lead you to the slaughter house .bah

          • jm,

            You say you read well? I guess you missed the part about this being a convo about BASE PAY, which means EVERYTHING when comparing any government job. Are you just stuck on stupid or have you been conditioned by an employer who enticed you with all the hot dogs you can eat from the roller rack on the counter? All the scenarios were relevant but obviously flew right over your head. Why am I not surprised that you closed with a conspiracy theory?

        • I can’t agree with you more Moore. We are the employer as the people who provide the paycheck. If you choose to work for the public everything about the employment should be 100% transparent. If you do not like that go find a job else where. Some times It appears the government employees are acting like the section 8 entitlement group. If you don’t like your job move on. Stop worrying about what everyone else makes. If you are working in this field for the money you may not be the right person for the job. This is also said with all due respect for those that truly enjoy the profession they are in. Hats off to them.

          • FD,

            We are the employer? Who is we kemosabe?

            You can’t even stop from contracting yourself:

            “We are the employer as the people who provide the paycheck. If you choose to work for the public everything about the employment should be 100% transparent.”

            “Stop worrying about what everyone else makes.”

            Which is it? Do you want to know what everyone makes or are you telling us to stop worrying about what everyone makes?

            What a maroon!!!!!! Pleeeezeee, don’t quit your day job. Who else would I buy my slurpee’s from?

          • @Fire Decoy, people with your mindset should best stay in the shadows. I’m not sure what part of the founding of this Country or the Constitution makes you think that government employees are some second class citizens that you get to keep under your heel, but you need to step off.

            We went through a Civil War to end slavery and I’m pretty damn sure that some of you are looking to establish something quite similar with public sector employees by the way you talk. I don’t see a one of you complaining if a soft engineer makes $70k/yr in Silicon Valley, but a fire fighter does and you guys come unglued? That’s not rational.

            I’m waiting for just one of you to step forward and explain this bizarre concept that a tax dollar is somehow more sacred than any other dollar you spend to supposedly give you rights which you don’t enjoy.

            Can you or your psycho buddy John do that?

  10. This whole article is just to point out that there are seperate districts and as such should be looked at accordingly. That being said pony up people. I am certain there are some ridiculous pet projects out there that can take a cut or two to the budget to bring these guys up to par. And as to the volunteer thing… volunteers have their place and it can be right in the seat next to a paid guy, but as a volunteer myself with a fulltime job with its own separate training requirements I can speak from experience that I do not have the level of training as these paid professionals. It is safe to say I rely on them to back me up when it gets sketchy so I can go home too. Just a disclaimer I used to live in the area but no longer do, my interest in posting here rests only with the friends and family that remain in the district.

    • Jon,

      Unfortunately the notion of volunteers is brought up by people who either want a way out of paying for service or those that confuse it with a past practice that is no longer a viable option for our district. I could easily list at least a dozen reasons why it is a non starter, but it has already been explained to death. Either no one is listening or they choose not to hear.

      People need to not look further than this online quote (below) to understand it is time to put the volunteer topic to rest.

      “We tried to get local volunteers to start up a volunteer fire fighter group, and couldn’t even get enough interest from the community to start a training class. In the areas that they are most needed, Bethel island and Knightson (sic), we had two show interest from one, and one from the other.”

      • You are very misleading there know. More than fifty applications were accepted for this position. Class sizes are far less than fifty. No applicants were even interviewed.

        You are very misleading there know. Neighboring Rio Vista has a very viable and effective fire district (http://riovistavfd.org/home) check it out.

        Know’s disingenuous excuses do not hold water. This makes the case for others who would vote no because they feel they have been lied to.

        • Rio Vista has a population of 7500 and a geographic area of just over 7 sq miles.

          ECCFPD has 105,000 people and a geographic area of 250 sq miles.

          Like comparing apples to hand grenades. You’re not even close.

          Did you bother to ask the Chief why there weren’t interviews? I’ll give you a hint: ask where the applicants lived. Ask how many cleared initial checks.

          Don’t lecture people on lying while being engaged in that very activity.

        • Fire Decoy,

          Misleading? Let the readers of this site decide who is misleading who shall we?

          Fact: The quote I posted above regarding the lack of interest & response for volunteers was made by none other than the ECCFPD Board President, Joel Bryant four days ago.
          Your anonymous post says otherwise. Who should we believe, the president of the board who has accountability or you, an anonymous poster with no accountability? It’s not a trick question.

          Fact: You posted “Neighboring Rio Vista has a very viable and effective fire district” accompanied by a link that you provided. I wonder, in your haste did you overlook that it isn’t Rio Vista, Ca., it’s Rio Vista, TEXAS! That’s right dipstick, click on the link YOU provided and scroll to the bottom. See that small print? I did.

          Thanks for making my work here so darn easy. Go spread your lies somewhere else. I hear Texas is looking for a few honest men-you need not apply.

          Rio Vista Volunteer Fire Department
          102 Depot Street
          Rio Vista, TX 76093
          United States
          ph: 817-373-2691
          fax: 817-373-3564

        • @Fire Decoy… just to confirm to you we are discussing Contra Costa County which is in CA, not Texas. Your link is for a Texas fire Dept and does not really apply to this district. Furthermore, its unconfirmed whether that is a rural district or urban.

          For the record, you can’t even compare Rio Vista CA to East County because they are two different types of districts.

          • Now that is funny and sad. Kinda takes all of the fun out of the debate when the kooks can’t use a map or read their own links!

  11. For those of you who don’t want to pay to keep our firefighters, let me give you some examples as to why we need them… I have been a paramedic for 25+ years and I work in Contra Costa County. When you’re in a car accident and are trapped, who do you think is going to cut you out and extricate you so I can treat you? If you are in need of specialized rescue..who is going to rescue you, so I can treat you? If your house is burning down who is going to try and save it? More importanyly , if you or a family member is trapped in that fire, who is going to rescue you… so I can treat you? Who do you think has the knowledge, training and tools to help you?Last time iI checked, my ambulance didn’t have any of the equipment or safety gear needed in order to rescue you and get you to me….SO I CAN TREAT YOU!!!!

  12. Sick and tired of this site being a homer for firefighters and police. Its a damn shame the author continues to ignore facts in order to gain support. Yes, its base salary but he is already misleading readers because they make much mroe in OT and benefits. I am not trying to take anything away from firefighters in East County, but you all signed up for the job and pay.

    Shame on you for lying Burkholder!!!!!!!!

    • To me it’s sad that the people don’t recognize the true heroes of society, Police, Fire, and Paramedics. It’s sad that professional Baseball or Football players make millions a year, and a firefighter makes crap wages. The firemen in East County are obviously underpaid and understaffed. The biggest problem is that a small vocal minority is whining about health benefits and a pension that they get. Give me a break. The complainers will whine right up to the point that they need to call 911. I hate paying State Farm several hundred dollars a month for insurance, but when I need it, I guess I’ll be glad that I have payed the premium. Stupidity abounds here.

    • Hey, David. Last name wouldn’t be Roberts, would it? Because the last time I saw such loud ignorance was one of his posts.

      You admit that’s the base salary, but insist the author is lying?

      Sorry, homie. Can’t have it both ways. The thing that will be taken away are fire fighter jobs and your safety.

      So how much do you make at your job in OT and bennies? Let’s start a discussion on your compensation and determine if you’re making too much(I appoint myself sole judge). I’ll determine if you and your company are charging the consumers too much for your product or service.

      That’s the way you’re treating the fire fighters, so you won’t have a problem with me doing it to you, right?

      • if his pay is coming from your pocket you have all rights.most peoples jobs pay no benefits ( maybe medical if they are lucky)so if you want to determine his pay start a company and hire him.as far as ignorance statements read your own,

        • jm,

          Reading both statements you win the ignorant contest, Congratulations. You really think you have the right to see a paycheck from someone else just because you cumulatively contribute by paying taxes? I think not.
          I imagine in your current employment circle (Jack in the Box, 7/11, Walmart and such) benefits are hard to come by. No worries, some day when you land a career job you will realize benefits are what often attract quality personnel and maintain a healthy workforce.
          Until then, make mine a Jumbo Jack with cheese.

  13. This is probably after pensions and oveterime is paid and is the take home. This author is an idiot.

    • Wrong Paula! Those numbers are before paying for taxes, benifits, deferred comp, social security, their portion of their pension etc…

      If you have questions just try asking and I’m sure someone will answer you instead of making a fool of yourself and calling the author an idiot for providing you with factual numbers.

    • Only insecure people who have no intelligent replies or answers resort to name calling. You may be an partial example of what is wrong with our society.

  14. So by your “employer” logic we should be asking the Starbucks employees for check stubs to be sure my barista isn’t getting paid too much. I pay money into that establishment so I deserve to know how every cent is spent? I choose to patronize there, you choose to live in east county where unfortunately not enough of you tax dollars go to fire protection. We pay taxes for road improvements, do we deserve to know how much every employee in the private sector working on highway 4 makes? You paid taxes for that right? Our tax dollars paid for their salaries. You can find out where every cent of your money goes to your local fire department by googling east contra costa fire operating budget.

    I’m not claiming to be a brain scientist or rocket surgeon but I think $96 a year is $8 a month. If you can’t afford that, how do you even own a computer to bitch on.

    • jb you are choosing to give your money to a private company. they can do what they want.taxes are completely different you can not chose not to pay them . The work on highway 4 each company bids on it. we do have the right to know how much we are paying them.after we pay them the money it’s theirs and they can do as they like they can not go to the voters to try and get more money as a tax..If you want the fire district to bid on for services that would be a different thing Maybe it would be good if the private sector made a business for fire services it would be cheaper.when you chose to take a government job this is how it goes.
      you must really like our president when he say i have a phone and a pen and will do what i like.This has nothing to do with the amount of money but taxes in general.Maybe if we can ever get a responsible elected officials that know how to handle money..Don’t be a sheep and let other people just take your hard earn taxes dollar and not tell you where it goes.

      • You think a private agency would offer fire service cheaper than this District!!??

        O
        M
        G

        This is a prime example of why this parcel tax would never have a chance. Too many voters who don’t have a clue or any frame of reference. They heard government “costs too much” and just assume that applies across the board.

        Jim, either do some homework on how much this District receives compared to others and how it receives it or bow out of this discussion. Lecturing people about not being sheep while acting like one is ridiculous.

  15. JB,
    The information you seek is available regarding highway 4 because public money was usd to build it. As for Starbucks no because all of the public does not run starbucks or have a say because a of few coffee drinkers. If you want to see the wages , benefits, of each and every worker on the project go to: http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Caltrans-Salaries-E41728.htm for the public employee people. Then go to: http://www.dot.ca.gov/tmp/lapsintropage.html and pick the project you want the information from, Then request certified payroll from the private contractor. Yes you can on anything that use your public tax dollars. Not Starbucks or Mc Donalds for obvious reasons.

    Now if you want to find out what the average wage is for Contra Costa County Employees go to: http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Counties/County.aspx?entityid=7&fiscalyear=2012

    Here is the average wage and benefit as of 2012 for Contra Costa Employees;

    $56,627 average wages for this county’s employees

    $28,086 average retirement & health cost for county’s employees

    When I was looking at the $17.50 per hour for firefighters at base of $ 51,000 I was shocked. After I read somewhere here they pay 25% of their pension I really got to thinking that after payroll deductions of 20% and a 25% contribution to pension we were looking at $9.00 an hour take home. Then I thought that these firefighters are eligible for section 8 assistance, food stamps, and other government subsidies or all blog info is kind of slanted depending on who makes the comment. So actually Paula and Jim Moore may have a legitimate complaint.

    Anyone can Cherry Pic info to sway their point but the proof is in the end comparison of apples to apples. This is another reason this subject is so controversial and gets a variety of responses. Great job on the author because it got the site involvement brisk. Good for the site and good for his business while showing views from one extreme to the next.

    • I forgot to mention the union dues cost to be part of the union leaving the base firefighter with just $ 8 bucks an hour. That is outrageous.

    • ECVbrother’s

      You have way too much time on your hands for someone with limited intelligence. Shouldn’t your careprovider limit your unsupervised time on the company computer?Personally you give me the creeps, I mean what kind of person goes after such insignificant data? Fixate much? Put that nervous energy of yours into something positive because the good lord knows you are yanking your own chain. Your link doesnt provide caltrans contractors salaries. So much for your intrinsic research.

      The topic and data provided by ECT on this subject was about straight line comparisons between east co fire and their counterpart’s BASE SALARIES and yet you went out of your way to compare apples to hand grenades. I can only hope that you are employed somewhere where you aren’t paid to think, otherwise someone is owed a huge refund.

      Now git back to the grill, them burgers aren’t gonna flip themselves.

  16. Jim,
    I put a comment on here earlier regarding public salary costs and how JB Starbuck could find out how much each worker gets that worked on Highway 4. All public money spent is tracked and available to the public because it is the publics money. I guess the site moderator is selective on what is placed as to filter what is the real truth. If you look at the top of the webpage it’s pretty obvious this site lobbies for the fire union.

    • FD,

      It is pretty obvious to me, you don’t know what you are talking about. Good luck in your imaginary quest finding Caltrans contractor’s paystubs.

      Bravo for getting us all off topic. Now get back down to the basement.

    • Fire Decay,

      Your post is there, you just forgot that you posted it under one of your other aliases (ECVsBrother). Sometimes there is a lag from when you hit the send button and when the post appears.

      The capper is your assertion that one only needs to look at the top (picture) of this webpage to see that this site lobbies for the fire union.

      I’m not sure what you are looking at, but the picture I see depicts 10 emergency providers. Of those 10, 3 are fire chiefs (management) and 4 are cops. Not exactly a glowing endorsement for the fire union (labor).

      Your problem is obvious, and it isn’t the moderator or this site.

  17. What I find absolutely incredible here are the naysayers who insist they support the fire fighters but go to these RIDICULOUS ends with amazingly contorted logic trying to claim they make too much.

    Cut to the fi’mg chase! Sack up!! Don’t just make up crap. Say you think they should make nothing and just serve your cheap asses and move on already. You’re not fooling anyone with an IQ over that of a doorstop with these word games you’re playing. You’re looking for a slave wage class of public servants.

    Just admit it already.

  18. I can’t give you my real name because we are not supposed to comment on media blogs. As employees of the district we can educate but not advocate. So much to say and so little time. The blogger Christen and her partner Of many years Cathy are true heroes. We all know them,everyone knows them. They like many other dedicated employees of AMR have provided exceptional service to the citizens of east county for over twenty years. The reason she probably comes to our defense is that we work well together. And she knows the dirty little secret. East county is not the sleepy little town of Brentwood and Oakley anymore. AMR 99 is one of the busiest units in the entire county. Guess what. So are some of our engines are too.The old saying shit happens well it’s true. It happens out here all the time. We have been so lucky, for so long. Most people might be aware of some of the larger incidents we run out here. The ones that task our Ems/fire to the brink of failure. But few are aware of the every day orchestrated efforts that are accomplished by all public safety together every day. Yes we all knew what we signed up for when we took the job. I for one never thought it would stay the same. Forever. Everything has grown around us and the area has improved. Unfortunately your fire dept has been left behind. We have been and continue to be a training ground for firefighters. Since 2000 we have lost over thirty F.F. Many have left to go to other depts, some have retired out do to injuries, and two we lost to tragic deaths of job related illness. During our last station closure we lost six to Santa Clara County. Two of the six had nearly ten years in here. Their pay and benefits now exceed two of our Chief positions with nearly twenty five years in here. They have achieved this as entry level there. What people may not realize is we have not only lost all the experience of these F.F. But we are also on the hook for 30 percent of their retirement. That’s thirty percent at the new increase in salary 15-20 years from now. We have now lost all the training, experience,loyalty. Wouldn’t it be easier just to keep them. The six we lost were exceptional employees. They have already become exceptional there.I am proud to know them, you should have been grateful to have had them, and Santa Clara is just lucky. But here we go again. It’s starting all over again.We are about to lose more of our finest. The ship is sinking out here, everyone that can will jump off before it’s too late. Sadly many of us are to old to leave. Trust me no one wants to, they have no choice. Fire Depts rarely hire any over forty. So many of the senior employees will be left, maybe the top 27. Three stations with three person staffing. We tease each other in this profession that it is a young mans job. Just like any job there are costs to it. Over the course of a career one gets their fare share of bumps and bruises. A persons body starts to wear down. You would not want a sixty year old man chasing bad guys and we should not be jumping on roofs at that age either. I’m hoping for a miracle out here, but am realistic it will not happen. So much has been said on the blogs. Many negative. All I ever wanted was to someday retire, provide for my family and to live out the rest of my years in dignity. I want everyone to think to themselves how they would feel being the lowest paid in their given profession. Someone has to always be last right. We are not even a close to next place. This job is not about money, but it is about respect,dignity,pride. Trust me everyone here has it. The system out here is broken. The reality is we are in deep—–. Talk to your local counsel members, mayor, county board of sups. Raise hell and demand change. You as citizens deserve better, no less than any other tax payer in the county.

    Good luck to all of us.

    • Iconsernedff,
      I understand and agree with much of your comment. I do have a few questions for you if you want to answer them.

      Why do you feel you are not allowed (supposed) to comment on media blogs? Who is telling you this? Even the remote suggestion that someone is trying to silence your opinion or input is troubling. To do so would be illegal.

      Why would we have to pay increased retirement costs for someone that left the ECCFire department? Is east county under PERS retirement or county retirement? I have always heard county. If that is true does the county retirement have a connection to PERS or the retirement system where the firemen went to work?

      I’m sure others would like clarification too. Thank you for your service and dedication.

  19. ECV out of respect for my Chief and the rest of our administrative staff not one of us would purposely embarrass them or the Dept.We are encouraged not to engage with the media. As to your second question. When an employee leaves this agency, like the last six.They were able to start there at extremely higher wages. They all had multiple years in here. So that person now retires some years later. They don’t retire at some lower rate, our system is on the hook for them at that increased rate, for the years they were here. The point I was trying to make was the real cost of turnover. It has been an issue for many years. We continue to lose incredible talent, the future of this Dept. Trust me we have some very bright stars here. But we have lost so many already. I encourage anyone to go and meet your F.F. and ask them their background. Ask them where they came from and what they did to get this job. Many might be surprised at their education and experience. It has been so difficult to sit back and take a constant assault on our pay,benefits. We by nature are not quiet soft spoken individuals that don’t have opinions about things. You got to have some fire in your blood to do this job.

Comments are closed.