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Average LA City firefighter salary last year: $142k


yk9001

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If there's one public safety position I have no problem overpaying, it's firefighters. 

 

The firefighters' union president did not dispute the controller's pay figures. He said his members are overworked and desperate for reinforcements.

"We’re at a tipping point where it doesn’t make sense to continue to pay so much overtime without hiring new workers," said Frank Lima, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City.  "That’s not the fault of the firefighter on the street."

The city hasn't hired a new firefighter in five years, Lima said.

And as far as them getting overtime pay because they are understaffed, how is this the firefighters fault? If I was at a position and was offered this kind of overtime I'd take it too!

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Why are you happy to overpay firefighters?

 

90% of their day is spent sleeping, watching TV, eating, and browsing the internet.  As for your quoted text, the idea they are overworked is nonsense.  I know an LA City firefighter who was hired in 2008 and he loves working all the overtime he can get.  He even told me there is competition for overtime work.

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Who said I'm happy to overpay them? I'm not. But if they're getting overtime because they have to be there because nobody else can take their place, I have absolutely no problem with that. 

 

And when they ARE working they are saving lives and peoples homes and doing great things for the community.

 

And if they're working overtime it's not like they're at home with their feet up, sleeping in their bed, browsing the internet and watching TV with the family around, they're away from home with their crew. 

 

And they are constantly on call no matter what they're doing. Do they deserve that kind of pay working regular shifts? Probably not. But if they're constantly there constantly working overtime, sure they do.

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Yea it's a huge shock that yk is disgruntled by firefighters pay.

Cue Adam.

I believe if there is a line of work that truly needs to be revamped it's firefighters. I'm not quite sure why all of their shifts have to be 24 hours. I'm guessing that if you get rid of the schedule you get rid of a ton of these guys.

All that said, I love the butthurt on here about what others get paid or what their pensions look like. Oh and it's not like $142k makes you rich anymore. I know a ton of people in my industry without college educations that make that or much much more.

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Who said I'm happy to overpay them? I'm not. But if they're getting overtime because they have to be there because nobody else can take their place, I have absolutely no problem with that. 

 

And when they ARE working they are saving lives and peoples homes and doing great things for the community.

 

And if they're working overtime it's not like they're at home with their feet up, sleeping in their bed, browsing the internet and watching TV with the family around, they're away from home with their crew. 

 

And they are constantly on call no matter what they're doing. Do they deserve that kind of pay working regular shifts? Probably not. But if they're constantly there constantly working overtime, sure they do.

 

The reason firefighters (and police) work so much overtime in California is because their salaries, benefits, and pension costs prohibit additional firefighters from being hired.  In other words, it's "cheaper" to pay them overtime wages.  The blame starts with local politicians overpaying them in the first place, but the firefighters' unions rarely complain.  Most firefighters need the extra $50,000 in overtime pay for the fancy house, wife, cars, boats, and RV. 

 

I appreciate the work they do, but any honest, down to earth, humble firefighter will tell you that the notion of "saving lives" is exaggerated -- especially in the last 30 to 40 years because cars, buildings, and workplaces are exponentially safer than in decades past. 

 

Being on-call and away from family is not an unusual sacrifice.  People working in the transportation industry (airlines, railroads, marine, trucking) are away from their families for days or weeks at a time.  None of them to my knowledge get paid overtime wages to sleep. 

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The reason firefighters (and police) work so much overtime in California is because their salaries, benefits, and pension costs prohibit additional firefighters from being hired.  In other words, it's "cheaper" to pay them overtime wages.  The blame starts with local politicians overpaying them in the first place, but the firefighters' unions rarely complain.  Most firefighters need the extra $50,000 in overtime pay for the fancy house, wife, cars, boats, and RV. 

 

I appreciate the work they do, but any honest, down to earth, humble firefighter will tell you that the notion of "saving lives" is exaggerated -- especially in the last 30 to 40 years because cars, buildings, and workplaces are exponentially safer than in decades past. 

 

Being on-call and away from family is not an unusual sacrifice.  People working in the transportation industry (airlines, railroads, marine, trucking) are away from their families for days or weeks at a time.  None of them to my knowledge get paid overtime wages to sleep. 

 

Maybe that's because they're not firefighters and they don't do the same job? Accordingly, they are not all going to get paid equally to do different things.

 

A person has a job to go into a burning building, provide medical care 24 hours a day if need be when nobody else will. In exchange they are privileged to sleep on the job when the duties around the fire house are finished, and there is no rescuing to be done.

 

Sounds pretty fair to me.

 

Your reasoning is (no surprise) exaggerated to support your agenda, additionally I don't think your "scenario" is on par with the average attitude of a firefighter either.

 

Not all jobs are ever going to be equal pay for equal work, especially when it comes to career decisions, that's just part of growing up.

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These threads always make me think YK really wanted to be a fireman when he grew up then flunked the physical.

 

Speak for yourself.  I just did a (mini) triathlon last weekend at 49 years old, - not sure many of the fatasses here could say the same, and could have easily passed the firefighter stuff.  I never gave two thoughts about firefighters until I started seeing the pensions, and hearing about all the double dipping scams and pension spikes.  They are rotten thieves, not heroes..  The salaries (this thread) don't especially bother me as much as the Cadillac pensions and benefits we taxpayers are on the hook for.

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Reminds me of when the average wage of OC fire fighters was printed by I believe the register a few years back.  Prior to that there had been comments made about how they couldn't afford to hire some of the guys fresh out of the academy yet they spent millions on OT.  Any way you slice and dice it the value of their retirement plan including benefits is usually absurd in California.  

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Speak for yourself.  I just did a (mini) triathlon last weekend at 49 years old, - not sure many of the fatasses here could say the same, and could have easily passed the firefighter stuff.  I never gave two thoughts about firefighters until I started seeing the pensions, and hearing about all the double dipping scams and pension spikes.  They are rotten thieves, not heroes..  The salaries (this thread) don't especially bother me as much as the Cadillac pensions and benefits we taxpayers are on the hook for.

 

So you are saying you made a poor career choice.

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Most of the thievery in government requires people with a good background in accounting.

 

 

This one doesn't.

 

Take one 9-11 tragedy, add in local and state politicians in the tank for public service unions, add in a few million Today Show-educated soccer moms backing the 'heroes', and viola! - here we are.

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Yea it's a huge shock that yk is disgruntled by firefighters pay.

Cue Adam.

I believe if there is a line of work that truly needs to be revamped it's firefighters. I'm not quite sure why all of their shifts have to be 24 hours. I'm guessing that if you get rid of the schedule you get rid of a ton of these guys.

All that said, I love the butthurt on here about what others get paid or what their pensions look like. Oh and it's not like $142k makes you rich anymore. I know a ton of people in my industry without college educations that make that or much much more.

 

I am not angry about it. But l will call it what it is. Ridiculous. $142K is a ton of money for a non-producer. 

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Maybe that's because they're not firefighters and they don't do the same job? Accordingly, they are not all going to get paid equally to do different things.

 

A person has a job to go into a burning building, provide medical care 24 hours a day if need be when nobody else will. In exchange they are privileged to sleep on the job when the duties around the fire house are finished, and there is no rescuing to be done.

 

You still haven't justified why firefighters should be paid $70/hour for their normal nighttime rest. 

 

Do you realize how few structure fires happen these days, and even rarer, how often firefighters enter a burning building?  Also, at any given time, about half of all firemen on-duty in LA and Orange County, are not qualified to act as paramedics.  These guys are assigned to non-paramedic engines and trucks and get assigned to far fewer calls. 

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i have no problem with the salary firefighters make. i think they more than earn their keep, especially in the brutally hot months where the fire bugs are setting all kinds of fires that these guys are obligated to contain for our safety.

 

where there is abuse in any system, it should be fixed, and that goes for both firefighters and accountants.

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I asked the folks here in the office what they thought LA county firefighters made and what they think they should make.

 

Before I told them the actual numbers.

 

The majority assumed firefighters make 30K a year and said they should probably make 50K.

 

They were blown away when I said the average LA County firefighter made 142K last year and started to reconsider their profession.

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i have no problem with the salary firefighters make. i think they more than earn their keep, especially in the brutally hot months where the fire bugs are setting all kinds of fires that these guys are obligated to contain for our safety.

 

where there is abuse in any system, it should be fixed, and that goes for both firefighters and accountants.

 

The majority of firefighters making $125-150K never deal with large brush fires, and don't have the training to do so. 

 

Those who do work the frontlines of wildfires make substantially less than their counterparts working in the city.  CALFIRE firefighters make on average $30-50K less.  Federal firefighters (USFS, BLM, NPS, etc) make so much less it's obscene.  They start at a GS-3 pay scale and go as high as GS-6(?).  I just looked it up and for 2014 this is between $10.57 and $19.24 per hour. 

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