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View Diary: Even the WSJ admits it now: Austerity has harmed the US economy (103 comments)

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  •  exactly, downrating the fire department (24+ / 0-)

    for lack of equipment or manpower by ISO could mean $150 to $350 a year in premiums for homeowners, depending on the cost of homes, more than the taxes to pay the firefighters and keep their equipment up to date.

    •  Don't get me started (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, means are the ends

      Firefighters are an example (in our town at least) of over paid civil servants. They make on average $82,000/year and can retire very early on a full pension and there is a line up 10 miles long of folks that want to get into firefighting, but there are never any openings.

      Their approach is to get one department somewhere to get a good contract, and then try to replicate this contract every where else through binding arbitration that never takes into account the municipality's ability to pay. I'm sorry but in today's environment this can't continue,

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - JFK

      by taonow on Fri May 11, 2012 at 02:28:18 PM PDT

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      •  I have no clue where you live (6+ / 0-)

        but around here mid-30's to maybe $50 thousand a year except a couple of bigger cities.  

        Just the other day there was a front page story about Mitt Romney's visit with NYPD firefighters and many were working two jobs.

        Nevertheless, try going to  no fire department and see the effect on your insurance premiums.

        •  FDNY (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They get paid extremely well after a few years of service, and it's a pretty easy job most of the time.  

          I'm not saying they don't deserve to get paid well, mind you, just that if any are working two jobs, they are either in their first couple of years or just cash hungry.  It's actually really easy for them to work two jobs because they typically work two 24-hour shifts a week (or maybe it's three 12-hour shifts, either way, they spend more days off than on.)

          I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

          by CharlieHipHop on Fri May 11, 2012 at 03:56:29 PM PDT

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          •  Well, the problem there (5+ / 0-)

            is just the high cost of living in New York.  ANYBODY needs to get paid twice as much to live in New York because of the rents.  But you can only commute so far for a job like policing or firefighting that has to be done at a specific location, regardless of how ridiculously expensive it is to live there.  New York needs to  hive itself out into sections and move Upstate.  There's virtually nothing left being done in the core financial business that actually needs to be located on a barren rock in a bay anymore.

            My heart bleeds for you.  I suspect you've never worked 12- or 24-hour shifts, either.  They are no piece of cake, and you NEED that extra time off to recuperate from sleep deprivation.

            •  Amen to the stress of 12 and 24 hour shifts. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote, divineorder

              Especially when you work all or most of it. You start making errors after 8- 10 hours. Plus 1st responders are more than likely to have significant PTSD after 5 years. Which is not something that is acknowledged or dealt with to the degree it should be.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Fri May 11, 2012 at 08:16:05 PM PDT

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            •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              your suspicion would be totally wrong.  I have busted my ass like you wouldn't believe for many a long hour.  At times I have worked 12-hour days for 14 days straight.

              A 24-hour shift isn't that big a deal on most days for firemen.  Most of the time, they're sitting around the firehouse playing XBox.  

              When there's a fire, it's an amazingly tough and dangerous job, though, and they deserve to be paid well for it.

              I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. - Walt Whitman

              by CharlieHipHop on Fri May 11, 2012 at 09:07:40 PM PDT

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      •  Firefighters have shorter life expectancies (11+ / 0-)

        than average, and higher rates of cancer.  Also more likely to die on the job than average.  $80k doesn't seem too much to me for that.  Of course, there are a lot of other jobs with risks where people earn less, but I'd argue the issue isn't that the firefighters are the ones who are overpaid...

      •  From the Bureau of Labor Statistics (0+ / 0-)
        In May 2008, the average hourly wages of firefighters were $21.97. Firefighting supervisors and managers earned an average wage of $34.07 an hour, while fire inspectors earned an average wage of $26.37 an hour.

        Can you please cite the source of your information?

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        by JamieG from Md on Sat May 12, 2012 at 09:21:47 AM PDT

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