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Original post made
on Jul 11, 2011
Great job to the firefighters!! We love you.
Thanks for great work Palo Alto Firefighters. This is exactly why you derserve your pay and benifits. I have no problem with being a tax payer in this city and all of you and the Police deserving of your income. If we had one less fire engine crew available or less firefighters on duty then the amount of time to have firefighters arrive on the scene would be longer with not the same quick response and most likely much more damage and possible loss of life. Citizens please support your Firefighters and Police. Tell the City Coiuncil to get along with the labor group rather then be so hateful and not want to sit down together. Please do not listen to the biased news reporters who just hate the firefighters and cops. Otherwise we will eventually see our loyal public safety people leave for cities that treat and respect these dedicated folks then we will have just new inexperienced firefighters and cops protecting us and it takes years for them to gain the necessary experience. It's all about our safety and not the personality issues of our elected city council people who are causing our problems.
Thank you, S Coen. This is a perfect example of why we need our own fire AND police departments and why they deserve the pay they receive.
You are right S Coen and Andrew. We need more support from the taxpayers and less negativity by the newspapers. I don't understand how any of you can sleep with only 35 of us sleeping away every night, ready to charge out and save you. If you really cared about your safety you would insist that there be at least 70 heroes sleeping every night, ready to save you. You should insist that we only work 12 hour shifts so that we are fresh and ready to work. You should allow us unlimited budgets for equipment and new vehicles every six months so we can respond promptly and save you. You should insist that we be allowed to retire at 100% of our highest salary at 40 yrs old and 10 years service because we are amazing heroes. You are a rich community and should compensate your heroes properly. If you don't compensate us properly, we will leave for other communities. There are very few of us and it takes at least 3 months to complete our extensive training and education. You will not be able to replace us so write many letters to your city leaders and tell them that it is of the utmost importance to make sure the heroes and kept happy.
Above poster hit it on the head. I work with a number of vets who have been shot at, bombed, and lived through hell for this country, and you will never hear one pump up their own hero credentials.
The firefighters, directly in the way they market themselves to the public, or by proxy through their supporters, play the hero card any chance they can, and it's distasteful. They are paid far too much for what they do: >90% routine medical calls and the occasional dousing of a burning shed or some burning weeds.
A consolidated, private, or even volunteer dept. would save the city a ton of money and get the job done as well or better. Spitaleri and the union are the most egregious special interest robbing our public coffers. Spiked pensions. Overtime for lounging around the firehouse. Inefficient overstaffing. Brazen attempts to play the fear/hero card (Measure R). These guys have it all.
HAH, Some of you are pretty funny. I could just imagine this city with a private or volunteer dept. Where would you get the volunteers? I can't see the people of this city being able to do this type of job. Yes, you may get a few that are able, but to fill out a department with enough people to do the job correctly? I just don't see it. Some of you should actually go up and talk to the firefighters the next time you see them, or stop by a station. Try on the gear that they wear, see what they have to do for training. It may not be what you expect. Get their side of the story. You might find it interesting. Find out the average time of service a firefighter puts in. I saw that your city attorney put in about 5 years and then left. Got his though, didn't he. Some others higher up in the chain did also over the years. Maybe check those out too. Get ALL the facts, not just the ones printed in the paper. Then make a decision, you might be a little surprised at what you find.
For those of you who really dislike what our City Firefighters and police get paid then stop your whinning and go to the next city council meeting and protest. OMG!! Just move to Berkely where you can all suck on your thumbs and cry. So sorry that you did not become a firefighter or cop and be the turtle( lower pay and no stock options) only to find out that the rabbit ( big pay and stock options) fizzled out. Now that you don't have your fancy cars or large investment portfolio's to help you, you now go after the turtle who just always went slow and straight. Seems that maybe the Turtle is smarter then the Rabbit. How could that be? It seems that the blue collar worker has more intelligence then some of you? OMG!!!!All of you who are complaining seem to have the ability to type it so now stop the talkin and start the walkin to city hall and show your true citizen responsibility and complain directly to the city council. In fact why don't you just demand that the City of Palo Alto just request a quote from the Santa Clara County Fire Department to take over the whole fire dept. and then the city council can just not have to deal with the firefighters and then have the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Office give a quote on operating the police dept. Then you as citizens would not need to worry any more. Oh but you would still find something to cry about because it is all about your needs.Always.....Just chill out.
B. Andrews, You are right about one thing. We should have the county take over our overpaid, overstaffed, underworked, bloated bureaucracy of a fire department. Special interests always scream really very loudly when threatened.
If a garage fire is breaking news, what in the world do these guys do the rest of the day? Only solution to the backbreaking wages and pensions is to consolidate fire departments county wide.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
B Andrews, your analogy is wrong. You insinuate that firefighters chose slow and steady over fast Silicon Valley private sector money and stock options. This overlooks the fact most firefighters wouldn't even get an interview for one of the hyper-competitive tech positions that you equate the entire private sector to. Most would be working in a trade or blue collar position at about a third what they make as firefighters, and work a whole lot harder as well or be fired.
Cal Fire sounds like a great idea.
We can't keep up this giant giveaway to public union special interests. See the link below about public workers eating cities alive.
I agree that one of silliest arguments that the the ff's make is comparing themselves to silicon valley workers in the private sector. Most of these ff's would be driving a truck or pounding nails if they hadn't joined the fd. Most would be making about 1/3 of their current salary and their wives would have to work. I also don't think it is fair to cops to say the jobs are similar. They both wear uniforms and are paid by the government (no risk or initiative to create revenue streams). But cops actually work (not sleep) most of the time and need to develop a variety of skills to be successful. Not to mention that cops have a much more dangerous job.
[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]
"All of your neighboring cities would love to hire these experienced PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS and PAY them what they deserve."
Wrong. For every firefighter opening in the Bay area there are over 100 applicants. And very few fire departments want lateral transfers of experienced firefighters.
There are many,many fire deptartments in the 9 bay area counties that routinly do lateral transfer tests for those who have usually 2 to 5 years experience. Even some of your own have left for better working conditions and friendlyness. Could it be that there are some amoung your organization who would like you to just how should we say " take a long long walk" and just keep on rolling? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Samson states:"here are many,many fire deptartments in the 9 bay area counties that routinly do lateral transfer tests"
Please be so kind as to name these specific departments and the dates on which they hired how many lateral firefighters.
Note that the PA Weekly serves East Palo Alto as well as Palo ALto and that East Palo Alto is part of the MPFPD.
Please deal with the issues.
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