Six of 30 Contra Costa Fire Stations Could Close if Residents Fail to Pass Parcel Tax

March 14, 2012 14:00 pm · 227 comments

Contra Costa Fire Protection District Chief Daryl Louder is telling local residents that six fire stations could be shut down around the county unless residents pass a $90 parcel tax in November.

The following statement is from Chief Louder to….

Yesterday, the Board of Directors for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District was briefed on the proposed FY-12/13 Budget that will be presented on April 24th. Due to the continued decline in property tax revenue, the budget identifies the need to de-staff an additional unit in the system. This is necessary in spite of significant efforts to reduce and control costs. These efforts include: 10% salary concessions from our personnel, eliminating positions, managing vacancies, reducing operating costs, deferring capital purchases, leveraging grants, etc. During this fiscal crisis, we have utilized all of the District’s reserve funds in an attempted to keep all of our fire stations open and maintain protection and service to all parts of our community.

The District had to de-staff a unit at Fire Station #1 in Walnut Creek in January 2011. However, a second unit assigned to the station remained staffed to continue to provide service to the area. This is the same concept that is proposed for Fire Station #6 in Concord. It is the last station in the system that currently has two staffed units. This action would diminish capacity in the fire and emergency medical system and increase response times across the District. However, it does keep all of the fire stations open and continues to provide protection and service to everyone.

We are hopeful that our Board of Directors will support placing a special tax measure on the ballot in November.

If we are not successful in obtaining additional revenue, the District will be forced to close six fire stations to balance the budget. That would have catastrophic implications and severely reduce our ability to provide fire protection, rescue, and emergency medical service to the community.

Again, it is important to note that this is part of a proposed budget package for FY-12/13 that will be presented on April 24th. The Board of Directors has not authorized any action on the proposal at this time.

The fire stations that are in danger of closing in Contra Costa County have not been identified by Chief Louder.

1 pay now or pay more later March 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Just a thought for all you homeowners out there…..
If these stations due end up closing or reducing staff there by increasing response time, you will most definitely find an increase in your homeowners insurance rates. Without adequate protection you become an increased risk. Increased risk means more likely chance of an incident which means more likely a claim which means higher rates.
And let us not forget increased response times can mean life or death in certain situations. Just what is your family worth?

2 Johnny March 14, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Close them. They make too much money.

3 Oh well March 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM

That’s what happens when your inflated salaries cannot be afforded by the city you serve. Time to get a fire extinguisher.

4 BlueJay March 14, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I noticed no mention of reduced retirement benefits in the “significant efforts to reduce and control costs”

5 Noj March 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

My buddy is retired CCCFD. He says he makes more now on retirement than he did all his years working. I say close them too. We need a Constitutional Convention in California to renegotiate ALL labor contracts (pensions), but you-know-who is in charge and that will never happen. Way to vote people.

6 DoReMi March 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Sounds like it’s time for a cost of living raise for every union member.

7 fair is fair March 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

with so many homeowners just trying to hang onto their homes right now, is it really fair to penalize them further? Why isn’t there a way to pass some of these things onto all residents that benefit from their services? How many renters out there would be willing to voluntarily fork over $90 to save the fire departments?

8 Kurtis March 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Now that we are back to a “Normal” housing market, we need more funds to satisfy the budget??? Sounds like everyone, including the County, got carried away during the housing boom.

9 Aw C'mon March 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

@Noj – I have some friends there too. I should have been a fireman. I’d be retired by now instead of probably NEVER being able to retire.

10 Old Timer March 14, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I happen to manage a small business in Pleasant Hill.Just one month ago we were called on by a newly hired Inspector to make sure we were so called fire safe,ok thats a good thing.If the Fire Department is short of working capital why the new hire’s?Oh I forgot to mention along with that new inspection came a $200.00 fee to have a fancy paper to hang on the wall,its called an Operational Fire Code Permit.I know we need our Department and am willing to help pay for it. Something dosent add up.In Oakland the firemen come around and do those inspections.Am I missing something?

11 Struggling Tax Payer March 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

These government employee pensions and benefits are unsustainable. It’s time for everyone to start living within their means. Do whatever you need to do, (layoffs, closures, cut benefits). People are sick of paying higher taxes to support government employee’s wants and never ending needs.

12 Spearheadmon March 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM

identifiy the station/stations to be closed cheif, no more money to give, hard times your staff needs to get out from behind the desks and put more bodies in the field.

13 Barbara March 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

“The fire stations that are in danger of closing in Contra Costa County have not been identified by Chief Louder.”

Until they are identified, Chief — why should we believe this and/or be concerned? How is determination to be made? By straw?

14 Taxed Enough March 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

@ pay now or pay more later #1,
Don’t threaten us you horrible POS. Take that gun you want to hold to our heads and stick it where the sun don’t shine!

15 The Dude March 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Cut welfare. Use the money to pay people who actually contribute to society. Problem solved.

16 Ladder -1 March 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Volunteer Fire Dept…where do I sign up?

17 Uhoh March 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

It always seems like a good idea till it is your house up in flames or your child sick or injured.

Ps. I recall an article here stating they took a 10% cut already

18 Completely Irresponsible! March 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

@ pay now or pay more later

WE ALREADY PAID FOR ALL THESE FIRESTATIONS! It is called state income tax and it is NOT my fault the the IDIOTS in Sacramento choose to give my hard earned taxes away to undocumented aliens, welfare mammas, lazy bums and the like. I agree with BLUEJAY, NOJ and DoReMe – I don’t here one peep about reforming the retirment system, etc.!

19 bad voodoo March 14, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Your politicians are chain smokers who continue to chain smoke despite the diagnosis of terminal cancer. The cancer contracted is called ‘public unions’.

20 Lake March 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Which will be higher the parcel tax or the insurance rate increase because you are now further from an “operational” fire station?

21 Anon777 March 14, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I will vote NO because I have nothing more to give.

I’m with you AW C’MON, at this rate, I will have to work until I die.

22 Claytonian March 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Dear Chief Louder (hopefully you are reading these comments) – Here are my biggest concerns regarding parcel fees:

1) Parcel fees are not tax deductible. Only the ad-valorem portion of the property tax is deductible. Everyone seems to think that all property taxes are deductible – not true – check your IRS codes. Also, you do realize that the Storm Water people are trying to get a fee passed at this very moment under the laws allowed by prop 218 and it is not being received very well by the general populace. I think that if public agencies keep this up, there is going to be a general revolt – more than what you see with the tea party.

2) What guarantees do we taxpayers have that the county board of supervisors will not reduce the amount of general funds allocated to the fire district if this parcel fee does pass? If that did occur, then you (and us), would be right back where we are today, and each of us would be out $90/yr. So until the Board of Supes can guarantee all of us IN WRITING with a resolution that they won’t shift funds away from the fire district if the fee passes, doesn’t this seem kind of dumb for voters to approve?

23 Amen to # 5 and # 18 March 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Straight up the truth!!!!!!!!!!

24 Killjoy March 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I say let them close. But in that statement, I want a fire hose, fire nozzle and the wrench to open the fire hydrant in front of my house.
If I have to put out my house, or a neighbors house, let them try to charge me for the water.

25 EG March 14, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Many of these comments address firefighter pension. It is a unique profession to choose to go in to–these are people willing to run inside a burning building when everyone else is trying to get out. These are the first to respond to most emergencies, including terrorism and natural disasters. They are exposed to smoke that in the long run reduces their lifespan. They deserve every penny they earn.
However, they are invisible until something bad happens. I urge you to think about the danger these people are committed to face every time they go in to work. One day, it could be you and your family who they are saving–unless you don’t fork over the 90 dollars a month to make that happen.

26 anon March 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Insurance companies will jump on the closures to make more money. It’s business. Get ready to pay more in your premiums then you can complain about that.

27 Nick March 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Please forgive my ignorance but, why do so many of you think firefighters are overpaid? Have you seen their actual salaries and if so, what are they making? It must be a s***load of money to be more than what they are worth for the service they perform. Sit back and imagine your life without them and then decide what they are worth. Everyone wants to be taken care of but very few want to pay for it. Either show me a firefighter that is truly overpaid or get over your selfish sense of entitlement.

If someone can actually show me the figures and convince me I’m wrong I will gladly apologize.

28 JIMG March 14, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Agreed guys…I support the efforts of the firefighters,….but we are being taxed to DEATH!! Some things are going to have to change and other things are going to have to go away

29 Anon March 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

We all have been asked to make cuts my company has closed a 1/3 of their offices. We have had cuts to our salary and benifits in order to keep our jobs why is police and fire different?

30 jtkatec March 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

First it’s the police warning us personnel cuts and increased crime, then it’s the firefighters warning us of personnel cuts, and at a very low level of the subconscious putting the fear into the public.

If they get the parcel tax increase, how do we know it goes to services, and not to increase salaries and benefits? There is no way we can regulate how the funds are spent. And we, as the taxpayer, should be able to say, no to increasing the salaries and benefits.

Everyone has had to cut their budget back.

31 Al Nonymous March 14, 2012 at 3:33 PM

What to pay a firefighter for running into a burning building?
Tell you what, whatever the current starting salary and pension funding is, cut it in half and see how many qualified applicants you get. If you get enough to staff the force, that’s how much it costs to get a qualified firefighter.
Shoot, you might even be able to go lower than half in these times.

32 Struggling Tax Payer March 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Some people take their jobs for granted. A firefighter is a very coveted job with excellent benefits. That’s why 2,000 applicants showed up for a few select slots in Oakland a couple of years back. I know a lot of people that would enjoy having that type of job, including myself. Everybody needs to tighten their belts and that goes for the fire department too. Can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. Nothing against the fire department, our country is an economic crisis. Where’s the money going to come from people! I already pay over $4,000 a year in property taxes. I have no more money to give. More cutbacks are needed, that goes for the fire department too. :(

33 skippy March 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM

And if you don’t pass the CCWD parcel tax, your water won’t be fit to drink either. Scare tactics.

34 2busymom March 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM

According to the Public Employees Salary Database, from 2010
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection Dist., Price, Richard R. Fire Chief

Base Salary: $208,104 Other (overtime):$54,325
Gross compensation: $262,429
Employer contribution to Medical, Dental, Vision: $19,787
Employer contribution to Pension: $150,893
Employee contribution to Pension: $0
Employer contribution to deferred compensation (401K): $0
Misc (non cash costs of employment) $4,273
Total Compensation package: $437,382

Overtime is outrageous, thus spiking pension payouts.

35 BS! March 14, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I’m tired of this nickel and diming crap. I will be voting no. Cut welfare and programs alike to people who are not legally in this country.

36 BS! March 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Oh, and let’s just say this passes. If you didn’t pay the parcel tax for whatever reason and your house catches on fire….what do you think will happen?

37 Anonymous March 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Less houses are occupied currently so less fire fighters are required. Numbers work themselves out.

38 jtkatec March 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Further in this regard, I would love to see the budget for the CC Fire District on a yearly basis since 2007.

2007 was the beginning of the housing market bust, as we all know.

I just wonder how many years “significant efforts to reduce and control costs.” has been the budget mantra?

If the fire district only started instituting changes in the last two to three years, I would consider that late to react and rebudget.

Budgets should have been realigned back in 2009 and cost cutting measures instituted.

39 The real concern is more about March 14, 2012 at 4:05 PM

what the citizens can afford more than anything like salaries and pensions.

Those of you who elected representatives, who are now long gone, gave away the store and not its time to return to reality.

There are few who want another tax. We are taxed enough. Government cannot operate anything successfully and within budget yet people keep voting for these same people to manage government and to a crappy job.

We need to cut government at the highest level such as with the legislators. The legislature should be part time, not full time, illegals should get nothing and every other give away program needs to be eliminated. The potential cuts are endless because the waste we endure is endless.

I will vote no on any new tax no matter how it may be disguised. It is far past time for people in this state to wake up and realize that there simply is not enough money to keep wasting it on programs that do little or nothing.

VOTE NO! and VTBO. (vote the bastards out)

40 Anon March 14, 2012 at 4:10 PM

I’m sorry, but they are way over paid in the retirement tier. I have worked almost 35 years and when I retire between my S.S. and little Pension I’ll clear just about what I am making now. Sad but true. Sounds like a scare tatic to me.

41 justfacts March 14, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Claytonian- you bring up a good point about the county shifting away general fund monies from the district. What everyone reading this needs to know is that is would be impossible for the Board to do that!! Why?? Because the county does not give general fund monies to the fire dept like they do the sherriff. The fire district has always lived only off return to source $$$. Those are the funds that have to go to fire by law.

Please people get the facts straight before you pipe off here!

*Its not 90$ a month, its 90$ a year on your property tax bill which is most likely paid out of your impund accout by your mortgage company.
*Firefighters took a 10% pay cut in the county to keep all the stations open that the chief would of needed to cut
*The pension system is self sustaining and the firefighters in our county pay above normal from what calpers agencies pay.

Its easy to get on the bandwagon and hate but I was able to find this stuff out with a little internet searching. Will I vote for a tax? not sure yet but i do appriciate the fact that the fire chief is allowing me to decied instead of the career politians telling me what I need.

42 The Starcraft March 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Is there any form of a volunteer fire department in contra costa county?

43 Thunderdome March 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

@#31, exactly right. These are just more scare tactics. They don’t even consider reducing salaries. This reminds me of the $99 parcel tax that we needed or all the teachers would be fired….then none were fired when it failed.

44 No Chicken Little March 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Shut them down! Fire fighters Union donating to supervisors campains who negotiate Unfunded unsustainable pensions. The chickens have come home to roost. like we all said they would. We paid for the best tools money could buy for them to safely run in. they stand in line to take the job. thousands wait to get the job, and alot do the job for alot less than this county pays. to work eleven days a month. most have side bisinesses. Fire them all and get Cal Fire to contract. As for the danger look up most dangerous jobs not even at the top. more dogma. just like their unfounded higher incidence of health problems. propaganda.. Love firefighters just need a little reigning in.

45 Rob March 14, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Reading the comments, it is staggering how so many people who are all for self-reliance apparently don’t make much money at the same time…

Folks if your so broke – show some self-reliance and simply get a better paying job and make more money.

46 Uhoh March 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Less houses are occupied yet more apartments are occupied. Your point?

47 Uhoh March 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM

People have the “it will never happen to me” attitude
So they just say let them close!

48 JM March 14, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Voting no. Restructure the pension plan or at least describe how you will keep from being in this same position in the near future.

Fire District Fail.

49 Connie Dobbs March 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

#1’s a business agent for the Firefighters’ union. If he’s anything like my old B.A. he gets paid a lot.

50 kevin March 14, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Firefighters have one of the cushiest gigs out there. They should take a 25% pay cut, like most of the rest of us have taken in this crap economy (Great Job Barry!) Sure, it dangerous, but compare what they do to the work and pay our soldiers endure. I have several buddies that are FF and they typically have a second career because of the amout of time off they get. Their Unions are too strong as well, this is why the city of Vallejo went BK. The fire chief was making close to $300K. I don’t believe that ANY government sector worker should make over $100K. Most FF with a few years of experience make over $100K for working 3.5 days a week. If they can’t make this career on $60 to $80K then lets see how many trained able bodied applicants line up for this type of opportunity. They got is way too easy and they are holding our families and homes hostage until they get yet another raise. Government Out of Control. Another step closer to Revolution! KGB

51 ac slater March 14, 2012 at 4:45 PM

read my lips! no new taxes! … ha ha JUST KIDDING!

52 Boo-Hoo March 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

This is my first time reading these comments and there is one thing I can say for sure: People blogging here are bunch of whiners! “OH, firemen are overpaid, firemen got outrageous benefits,…” Boo-freaking-hoo. Sack up you sissies! If it really bothers you, do something about it other than just blogging. If you don’t like the tax then don’t vote for it. It’s that simple. To 2busymom: Your an idiot! Wrong fire district. Wrong position. Your quoting the fire CHIEF of a DIFFERENT fire department. Not only that, but overtime doesn’t in any way shape or form roll into pension spiking. You have no freaking clue what the f*** your talking about. Just another ignorant lemming…

53 I say March 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

A good way to raise additional funds is to require all renters to have renters insurance with a portion of that money going to these types of services.

Programs such as welfare should be taxed like a paycheck to also. That money can go to these services also.

54 Pegasus March 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Love my local firefighter but can’t afford more money. Sorry.
Maybe if the city, county, state and fed govt weren’t teetering on bankruptcy things would be different. Until then …………………………
Solution – VOLUNTEERS. It works in communities throughout the foothills, why not here.

55 @36 March 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

What happened in the midwest was they stood and watched the house burn to the ground.

56 @nick 27 March 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

People here are envious because they didn’t have the foresight to work to find a good paying job.

57 Anon March 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM

If you want an answer on how “dangerous” the career is, just look at the nepotism numbers. Relatives aren’t going to sign their kin up for an overly dangerous job.

Older fire fighters know the salary/pensions are a scheme and glady get their kin hired.

58 Nick March 14, 2012 at 5:14 PM

@anon #57, is it also nepotism when several generations of a family are police officers or military men? There is a difference between nepotism and following in your family’s footsteps. Go run into a burning building and then tell me how safe the job is.

59 Atticus Thraxx March 14, 2012 at 5:15 PM

+1 Pegasus, +1.

60 irony March 14, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Last night the City of Concord honored three firefighters for their efforts in saving two women from a fire a little while ago. Those firefighters were from the same Station 6 that is on the chopping block.

$90/12months = $7.50/month; that doesn’t sound like a lot more to pay to me. I’d rather pay that than loose my closest fire engine. Like it or not, the FD’s REVENUE is down a lot – if the same level of service is needed, then the money has to come from somewhere.

Firefighters have already taken (VOLUNTARY) PAY CUTS WHILE STILL IN CONTRACT (the greedy union went to the BOS on their own and brokered a deal for a longer contract at a lower salary to help keep stations open). Did you know that 25% of every ConFire firefigher’s base salary goes to pay for the firefighter’s own retirement? Did you know that overtime made does not factor in to the retirement system? Only the base salary is used to compute benefits.

Decide for yourself if you think the fire department is valuable and worth paying a little more for. Just do so using facts, please. ConFire is already understaffed (87 firefighters protecting 600,000people) and spread thin (28 staffed stations for 304sq miles). I would appreciate it if we didn’t gut the fire department by failing to fund it, especially when we’re talking about eight bucks a month. I know my cable bill is quite a bit more than that.

61 KenInConcord March 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM


Just say no! My answer for every demand for case since 2004!!!!!!!!

62 Mr. Baseman March 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM

@ #34
$54,325 in overtime?! I’d do the job just for the overtime pay! I know a lot of others who would as well in this economy. I know it can be a very dangerous job, no doubt. I know they deserve to be well compensated in the way of medical benefits as well. I don’t know anyone deserves to make more after retirement then they made while working though.
Most of the financial problems in America, Greece, etc like this are being caused by over inflated pensions, or simply too many people drawing a pension. It seems that in a more perfect system, new employees dues plus a smaller amount than currently collected from taxes when wisely invested, would cover those who are collecting retirement. Too many people collecting retirement, “which if they were promised it as part of their working for X amount of years of service, they should receive it,” means that there will never be enough new employee union dues collected to cover the ever expanding number of retirees. Unless the number of new employees grows at a rate of at least 10 times that of people retiring, the system continually needs more outside revenue added.
Stated a bit more simply, our system is VERY top heavy. Thus, more and more public funds must continually be added to the retirement fund. I’d be interested to know the numbers, retired public employees vs currently working. I’m sure I’ve completely over simplified the topic, just thinking out loud. Sort of.

63 Gettin paid March 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

I love getting paid $140k+ a year to work 10 days a month. I say yes for the tax increase. I could use a raise. Get a life people

64 AnotherAnon March 14, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The Tea Party is alive and well in Claycord, so let us now return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, those thrilling days of the bucket brigades. Who needs the Govt to provide services for the general well being, let each provide for his own safety. That is, until it is your ox that’s being gored. Until then, damn the torpedoes, full speed astern.

65 Elwood March 14, 2012 at 6:06 PM

@ skippy #33

The proposed clean water parcel tax has nothing to do with the Contra Costa Water District.

Get your facts straight before popping off.

66 Elwood March 14, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Once again the clarion call of the government goony bird:


67 secondgenerationff March 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM

So many of the comments are nasty and negative. These people are the same RARE few that “hate” the government and believe that it’s all lies and propaganda to get more money out of you. I get that and don’t blame you but these are the facts….you can vent all you want but it is what it is. Those of you that aren’t firefighters will never understand what it is like or could even imagine what it is like to be a firefighter. I don’t say that in a rude tone either. You may believe it’s all glam and glory. It isn’t. We swear to protect your life and property and to always do the best we can to mitigate whatever emergency it is that you have, day or night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if it costs us a back injury, neck injury, shoulder injury, skin grafting from a burn to our ears, face or neck, a hyper baric oxygen chamber due to severe smoke inhalation and airway burns, falling through a floor or a roof, taking meds for 6 months because of a blood splash to our eyes, or even risking our lives, we will do it. We are always there when you call us. The few of you, (its always the same people), that are so negative about your firefighters, have such a skewed view and understanding of what we do and what we are all about. I’m sorry for your negative feelings towards your firefighters and for whatever reason that has caused you to feel that way. I have been to so many firefighter funerals over the last 14 years as a firefighter, including my own father who died of job related cancer. It slays me to look into the eyes of those families who have lost someone while “on the job” or “related to the job” and to then read these RARE people on this website and in the newspapers who have so much anger. Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of people out there that do support us and appreciate the job we do. I have been thanked so many times for the job I do, it does mean so much to me. We will continue to do our jobs and provide a professional service. Hope for the best and plan for the worst. We will continue to provide fire and paramedic services to you and treat you with dignity and respect. Each and every day this job humbles us in some way or another. We are human too, not glorified super hero’s.

68 Cowellian March 14, 2012 at 6:18 PM

@55, that has nothing to do with anything in this discussion!

69 Horse'n Around March 14, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I agree with @nick 27. And i’m sorry but we need to cut back on welfare, food stamps, and wic. Get off your lazy asses and get a job. Why is it that a neighbor down the street who is living on Section 8, can drive a nicer car than me, she has 5 kids, and from what I’ve seen dresses better than me ,and her little welfare brats can wear those expensive Air Jordan shoes. So sorry but , I would much rather pay a tax increase for someone who is working to support his/her family and hopefully teaching their children values and doing something for our community, than just taking from it! Trust me, if you were in a burning car crash, who would stop and help you? The welfare people who couldn’t care less, or a Police officer or Fire fighter?

70 Barbara March 14, 2012 at 6:25 PM

@I say March 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

That’s what I was thinking. I’m betting it would have that Boo-Hoo person above you rethink his diatribe. :)

71 Concord Taxpayer March 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM

@Kevin post 40 – exactly right.

When someone without a college degree can get a part time (3 day a week) job paying over $100K plus a fat pension and medical that allows retirement as early as age 50 – well no wonder thousands of people apply for a single opening as a firefighter.

The firefighters compensation is outrageous. They need to be well paid for their training and the risks they take, but there must be a limit. How about we get rid of 80% of the firefighters and use the remaining 20% to train local volunteers and train the police to help in responding to fires? I would much rather have a few more cops and a few less firefighters.

72 Adam Henry March 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Ah yes, Trying to use peoples irrational fear and paranoia to make a buck.
I agree with #2. #1 – Take a hike.

Where can I sign up for the volunteer opportunity to defend my neighborhood.
taxes, Taxes, TAXES. When do you people ever say: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!?!?

73 no chicken little March 14, 2012 at 6:40 PM

CoCoCounty had paid reserve firefighters for years until the Union and fire
Commission along with the board of supervisors cut a deal to end them adding more full time positions

74 pay now or pay more later March 14, 2012 at 6:47 PM

@Taxed Enough Perhaps you do not understand the concept of “food for thought.” There was not even an inference of threat in my posting. You are the individual who chose to express your feelings and lack of understanding of being a homeowner by using violent threats.
@Connie Dobbs Your comments are as ignorant as we have come to expect. I am a single female homeowner who understands the big picture. Educate yourself before assuming or making a declarative statement.

75 Zoom-Zoom March 14, 2012 at 7:17 PM

The sky is falling! They sky is falling!!

Firefighters are overpaid.

76 Connie Dobbs March 14, 2012 at 7:19 PM

They let women be Business Agents now, and own property.

77 TinFoiler March 14, 2012 at 7:21 PM

@ pay now or pay more later,
speak for yourself.
Connie Dobbs is right on.
It’s ignorant to pay a chicken little tax. Maybe you can pay your neighbor a tax to “protect” you car from getting vandalized. Sounds like mob mentality.

78 Taxed Enough March 14, 2012 at 7:24 PM

@ pay now or pay more later,
in # 74 you wrote;
“There was not even an inference of threat in my posting. You are the individual who chose to express your feelings and lack of understanding of being a homeowner by using violent threats.”
in # 1 you wrote;
“And let us not forget increased response times can mean life or death in certain situations. Just what is your family worth?”

So you deny that using terms like “life and death” and “what’s your family worth” are not threats.

All I did was tell where you could stick that gun you want to hold to our heads. Yet you consider my words “violent threats”.

It’s you with a lack of understanding.

79 Pegasus March 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM

#59 – Back at ya’ Mr Thraxx.

80 David March 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Just look at the second picture in the article “UPDATED PHOTOS: One Dead After Fatal Accident in Concord”. I see way to many city workers standing around doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong, we need firefighters and police. But there is way to much waste in city government. Any level of government for that matter. But go ahead police chiefs and fire chiefs, keep asking for more money until the public revolts. The more you ask for, the sooner it will happen. Come to think of it, how much CFD in the hole? Closing 6 stations? And they want to raise the parcel tax $90? I find it hard to believe that CFD is that much in the hole.

81 black man March 14, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Close them, we pay enough taxes on alcohol and high gas prices. Please close them asap for all I care

82 Just the facts March 14, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Nick at #27…
Check the facts- retired at the age of 50 with 32 years of service”…$260,410 for Price’s 2011 gross pay” ( Granted he does volunteer but that pension figure is not sustainable. I guarantee that he has been flying his desk for at least the last 5 years. If you also check the figures, fire fighters respond to far more injuries/accidents and then wait for AMR to take the patient to the hospital (true for Contra Costa County) than residential/commercial/wildland or vehicle fires. If we have AMR, and an injury accident, maybe AMR could be the responding and transporting company while we work on managing the number of firefighters.

83 Subterfuge March 14, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Bye. Bye.

84 burnbabyburn March 14, 2012 at 7:52 PM

This is no different than politicians saying they need more money. it’s all B.S.

85 mortimer March 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

oh well !!!

86 Bob Loblaw March 14, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Wow. People are listening.

87 anon March 14, 2012 at 8:12 PM

“Those firefighters were from the same Station 6 that is on the chopping block.”

As a retired CPD Officer- I can tell you that Sta 6 is the busiest in the County– it will not be closed- NEVER will happen.

88 March 14, 2012 at 8:17 PM

I agree with Anon, station 6 won’t close, it’s too busy.

89 PH Resident March 14, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Contra Costa Fire Chief Daryl Louder’s $11,200 tab at Harvard

90 Dangerous March 14, 2012 at 8:24 PM

This is the same ole shit they pull all the time cops and firemen. There are a hundred other places they can cut but they know everyone will vote to raise taxes again if they threaten to cut firemen and cops

91 CW March 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

I grew up in a small town with a volunteer firefighter and ambulance squad. Only the fire chief is a FT paid employee and he makes only $80k/yr. The volunteer FF’s do an outstanding job, and for no compensation other than camaraderie and knowing that they are giving back to the community.

92 tiredtaxpayer March 14, 2012 at 8:35 PM

lets see the call volume for each station and decide if we even NEED them to stay open.

93 Feckin Irish Mouse March 14, 2012 at 8:38 PM

CW, while the volunteer dept worked in a small town I have my doubts it would work in Concord….Not sure many in Concord would risk their lives for their fellow citizen….

94 anon March 14, 2012 at 8:40 PM

“If you also check the figures, fire fighters respond to far more injuries/accidents and then wait for AMR to take the patient to the hospital (for Contra Costa County) than residential/commercial/wildland or vehicle fires”

Ask any FF — 80% of the calls are medical

95 Average joe March 14, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Get a life people and get a clue. This parcel tax is not going to give firefighters a raise, the department needs money to keep stations running ie engines replaced that are over 20 years old and falling apart, stations that are moldy and falling apart etc. think about the calls that firefighters respond to, fires, your sick baby, your grandmother that shit herself and needs to be put back to bed in the middle of the night, car lock outs, locking your baby in the car on a 100 degree day, the list goes on and on. There will be very increased response times and people will be in more trouble than they think when the next open fire station is a 15 min drive going code three away. Think people this is life or death literally.

96 Wait a minute March 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM

The story says the Chief has not identified the six stations that will be closed. Is there no plan ,or is it a secret? Hopefully someone will file a Public Records Act request.

97 Annon March 14, 2012 at 9:02 PM

You people are being played like a fiddle. Infighting is the desired result. Find out what the entire tax revenue collected for “Fire” is on all of our property taxes in a fiscal year. Compare that number to the fire district budget that is “approved” by the supervisors. I don’t think it will be the same number. Where is the rest of the money? I raise chickens and watch them fight and peck each other over the scraps of food I throw for them on the ground, little do they know that I will be cutting their throats one day.

98 anon March 14, 2012 at 9:11 PM

#82 REALLY Just the facts you say. Why dont you actually post information about the fire department at hand. That Chief worked for San Ramon Fire department, not CCCFPD, different fire district, different wages, different retirement benifits. GET YOUR INFO RIGHT BEFORE YOU POST NONSENSE! Also did you know that CCCFPD responds to all fires, vehicle accidents, hazmats, EMS calls, public sercvice calls, AND SO ON…. Also CCCFPD has a paramedic firefighter on every unit to begin patient care because amr has a slower response time a majority of the time, and the county requires 2 paramedics to be on every EMS call which AMR, cannot do without the fire departments paramedic. AMR charges you for EMS services, CCCFPD does not.

99 What the??? March 14, 2012 at 9:14 PM

After reading these posts all I can say is: #52 and #60 sound like FireFighters trying to justify the increase: Being a home owner, I an NOT voting for this increase. If you read the Contra Costa Times you have been made aware of what our FF make and receive in pensions.
My personal FF interaction: we took a preschool to a local FF station, when walking through each room there was the ‘communication’s room’ with a large map of our county – on the map was a particular address circled in red. When asked about that red circle, it was kind of chuckled over. Then one of the rather self confident FF let one of the moms he was flirting with know that ‘there is a man who had written a letter to the editor about the waste in the Fire Dept’ and ‘let’s just say, he may not get a response call if he needs help’. It was rather disturbing to us all when she shared it.
Maybe it’s time to have a privately ran Fire Department that has to be accountable to a real boss, not just ‘a good ol’ boy’ or someone who has his hands in the pockets of our politicians.

100 @ SecondGenerationFF March 14, 2012 at 9:15 PM

These people are the same RARE few that “hate” the government and believe that it’s all lies and propaganda to get more money out of you.

UHHHH???!! It is lies… Ive called my Farmers Ins agent and asked about rates. NO they will no go up due to Firehouse closings and YES! YOU ARE ASKING FOR MORE MONEY!

You seem like a intelligent person so Im scratching my head in wonderment that you actually think that people hate and despise Fire Fighters… you’re wrong… what they hate is the ridiculous amounts of compensation some/most of you get. Your pensions are the topper. If youd care to give your name Ill pull up your salary if youve been a FF for a bit. Then we can see if you are well compensated or not.

People here are calling a spade a spade… Your unions and their greed in getting you your benefits packages are sickening. I have no qualms about you taking the job and getting what they give you… hey if thats what the pay is so be it… just dont think that everyone is going to be ok with that fact and that the gravy train will run forever. Again.. its not the firefighter… its what you guys seem to expect that have people in an uproar.

Heres to hoping you stay safe out there and thanks for doing your job and I mean that seriously… Stay safe out there.

101 ignorant people all of you March 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

people here are penny pinching cheap ass naysayers who complain even about the blog post concerning the increase of concord service desk hours. They are all broke ass people who hate anybody who makes a living and work’s their ass off doing blue collar, dangerous work in the middle of the night. Sweeping flooded homes, fighting fires, medicals, downed power lines… fun work at 3am. Especially when you’re only half way through your 48 hours.

Just say no and bury your counties fire department. How about skip a latte for a day and pay the months cost for their valuable service. Protect your kids and your parents and yourself. Stop quoting CHIEFs at completely different departments lol.

102 How misinformed can you all be?? March 14, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Are you all kidding me? First of all… Anyone’s pension would be “fat” if they paid 25% of every paycheck into retirement!! Did you know that? Every single Contra Costa Firefighter has to pay 25% of their paycheck into their OWN retirement. Also, Station 6 will close one of it’s engine companies… This station ran 45 calls in ONE DAY last week!!!!!!!!!!! Also, these guys HAVE to retire young… They are broken when they leave this job… 35 year old con fire guy has stage 4 lymphoma and a ton of other guys have died/ been diagnosed with cancer! Tell me that is not from the carcinogens they breathe in everyday? Also my father can’t even walk because he needs back surgery, knee surgery, AND ankle surgery. Are you kidding? Give me a break! You all need to get your facts straight! It makes me sick to hear this! All these guys do is training and run calls. Granted there are some slower stations like in Lafayette… You think they are going to close those stations??? No because where do you think all the tax revenue comes from???????? I hope you don’t regret your vote when your house is burning down our you have a medical emergency… Then I think you might want to give it another thought!!!!

103 @100 March 14, 2012 at 9:27 PM

yeah, starting pay for con fire is about 70,000. Is that ok? is it ok that some one in this world can make a good salary? Are you only happy when you see others suffer with a shit salary and crap benefits? Does it make you smile to see somebody who makes less money than you and lives in a dumpy apartment? Do you hate everybody who is payed well? Do you cry and attack all county employees? Or just cops and firemen?

104 How misinformed can you all be?? March 14, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Also, may I add the only reason they work overtime is because they are understaffed. They tried to hire more guys to fill in the gaps… THE HIRING WAS WITH A GRANT FROM THE STATE to hire LAYED OFF firefighters from other counties… This money was NOT from CoCo County!

105 Anon March 14, 2012 at 9:39 PM

@How misinformed can you all be
Great point! 25% comes out of their salary when they’re already overpaid by 50%.
I’ve lived all around this country and have first hand experience with volunteer firemen and firemen making true blue collar wages and you know what — they’re just as skilled as anyone in Contra Costa County.

106 anon March 14, 2012 at 9:40 PM

POST 100 you are completely wrong this was reviewed in the board of supervisors meeting yesterday. You can ask people who live off Morgan Territorry what was going to happen to there home owners insurance when the Cal Fire station closed down the street from them. Fire Departments are rated on an ISO rating which takes into account station location, water supply, response times, apparatus, and so on. If the departments ISO rating changes, it can deffinitely affect your home owners insurance. I moved down here from a smaller town in Nevada, and the local department jumped through a bunch of hoops to better there ISO rating, In return on average this better ISO rating saved homeowners $40 in our community. This was because of a small adjust in the rating. I am willing to bet that if 6 stations, and 8 engine companies shut down like stated in the meeting home owners insurance possibly can greatly be affected.

107 Concord Taxpayer March 14, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Firefighters are way overpaid. 80% of so-called fire emergencies are actually medical calls that could be handled by AMR. Ask any police officer if they think firefighters have a sweet deal. They sit around the fire house playing games and waiting for a call. They work 3 days a week – a part time job.

Police, on the other hand, have to hustle all shift long. Calls are waiting and far more police officers are injured or killed on duty than are firefighters.

108 the gep March 14, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Al Nonymous you have it right on. Pay everyone what the market says they are worth. Goes for any job, even heroes.

109 anon March 14, 2012 at 9:46 PM

You really have to take comments about police and fireman with caution. They come out in force and hammer their side of the argument. They are relentless as indicated by the number of posts.

110 Just the facts March 14, 2012 at 9:49 PM

I made it clear that I was quoting and providing information on SRVFPD not CCCFPD. The districts do overlap in many areas and they often respond to mutual aid requests. With that said, check out $148,000 for a firefighter (not a chief, captain, etc.)?

This is likely more than double the salary of many people they are protecting. I realize that they don’t charge for the fees and they have a paramedic on each engine, but does that have to be the case. AMR does not always arrive behind ConFire, and if they do, does this justify having a paramedic on each ConFire engine? You gotta admit that AMR is doing pretty good if there are only two or three ambulances in the county based on the number of firefighters/stations/engines in the county.

Also, do they need to respond to to “…all fires, vehicle accidents, hazmats, EMS calls, public sercvice calls, AND SO ON….” Sounds like some of their responses are a duplication of effort and justification for their existence if you ask me.

111 Its official March 14, 2012 at 9:51 PM

No intelligent life exists here!
I would love to know how many folks spewing crap from the anonymity of thier computers actually own homes and pay property tax vs how many r sitting in thier apartments that wont be affected by any parcel tax.

112 IFPTE March 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Because of their own lucrative salaries and benefits, firefighters don’t seem to understand or care that people are struggling to survive. They just don’t get it. plain and simple. Seniors and low income families living on small income may be right on the edge of losing their homes due to the existing heavy property tax burden.
How many people are you willing to displace from their homes so you can take more of our money.

113 anon March 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

post #111


114 @ 102 March 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Every single Contra Costa Firefighter has to pay 25% of their paycheck into their OWN retirement.

Really??? Sorry pal… there are PLENTY of FF who pay NOTHING into their pension so stop trying to float that sob story.

Heres a sampling…
Fire Captain-56 Hour
Ccc Fire Protection District
$113,057 $97,748 $210,805 $12,078 $29,879 $0 $0 $19,121 $271,883

Those 2 ZERO numbers are EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTION TO PENSION and then the 401k. So go try again about how every FF pays into their pension. Thats just plain not true.

Again I am not against what you guys make… You are WELL paid and your pensions are IMHO far too generous. But your Chief asking for more money?! Sorry there isnt an argument that you can bring to the table for that $90 increase as long as you guys have the salary and pensions you do.

I hope you don’t regret your vote when your house is burning down our you have a medical emergency… Then I think you might want to give it another thought!!!!

Wow… nice comment. You just lowered my opinion further of the subset of Firefighter thats a greedy ass.

115 How misinformed can you all be?? March 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM

There really is no argument here? Plain and simple… If you wouldn’t mind waiting 10/15 mins maybe more maybe less when you are having an emergency then that is your right! VOTE about it! This parcel tax has NOTHING to do with firefighter salaries so stop arguing about that! The parcel is about RESPONSE TIME AND NOTHING ELSE!!! Some station will be closing if it doesn’t pass… Firefighter salaries will not be effected by this. Don’t you get it? Do you want to pay 8 more dollars to have regular response time or not and get delayed response time?

Let’s focus on what this parcel is REALLY ABOUT!

116 @ 106 March 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Looks like the good folks off of Morgan Territory need to start a vol fire house up then.

You also said “can” multiple times about insurance rate going up… Bottom line… thats simply not true for everyone… you want to make a case for more money? Fine, no issues about that, but stop with the scare tactics. Insurance rates MAY go up if we dont get this parcel tax… that would be a truthful statement… but saying it will?? Sorry thats not true for everyone and they should call their Ins carrier/agent and find out. I know mine personally so it was easy even this time of night.

117 Anon March 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I’m sure the laid off fire fighters will have no problem finding another six figure job with their tremendous skillset:
Working 2-3 days a week
Shopping while on duty
Sleeping while on duty
Watching tv while on duty
Sometimes a combination of sleeping and watching tv while on duty

118 @ 115 March 14, 2012 at 10:53 PM

This parcel tax has NOTHING to do with firefighter salaries so stop arguing about that! The parcel is about RESPONSE TIME AND NOTHING ELSE!!!

Sure it does. What planet are you from? For years Firefighters have received generous compensation and pension benefits… that compensation is now coming back to bite them. The cites are now broke from a pension system that is unsustainable. If the compensation was less its possible to say that we wouldn’t even be in this boat of having to decide when, where and how many fire stations will get shuttered.

119 ffwf March 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Firefighter are overpaid??? Why did my family just lose our home…..and the retirement contribution is true and MANDATORY….I agree that it is a horrible time to be asking for money, but would you risk your life for a complete stranger???? Stop beating down the firefighters…they are not responsible for today’s economy.

120 irony March 14, 2012 at 11:04 PM

I can see how you got confused reading the public employee salary database. Those to zeros are “employee contribution to pension paid by employer” and “employer contribution to deferred comp.” Many departments have the employer paying about 9% for the 3%50 retirement, which is why that column exists on the database – at ConFire, this is 100% paid by the employee, so that number is zero. The county does not pay into our deferred comp, so that column is also zero.

What the database does not show is that 25% of the “$113,057″ (top step captain’s wages, by the way – this particular captain had a long career with ConFire) goes directly to the retirement system before taxes (it is taxed when it’s paid out as a pension). If a firefighter is lucky enough to be healthy enough to work for thirty years, his (or her) pension contributions, plus interest, completely pay for their retirement benefit!

ConFire is rare (maybe even unique) in the fire service because we pay so much of our base salary into the retirement system. It’s probably the best funded retirement system in the state if not the nation because of that fact.

I’m sorry my earlier statements were hard to reconcile with the salary database. No sob story here – just trying to get the facts out there.

121 ffwf March 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Thank you Anon for stating the FACTS regarding retirement!

122 my experience March 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM

I am so tired of getting threatened…pass this pay more or you won’t have cops, fire stations, schools, etc what is wrong with CA? Do other states have this problem?

123 irony March 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM

@ 87 and 88. The chief is talking about closing one of the two companies at station 6. This would half the capacity of station six. This is what I meant by on the chopping block.
@114 sorry thought you were quoting me fro 60. 102 is right, though, about the 25%

124 ffwf March 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM

Not thank you Anon…Thank You IRONY for stating the FACTS regarding retirement……Anon is clueless…

125 Fed Up March 15, 2012 at 1:16 AM

Tend to react very negatively to threats whether it’s from a fire chief or a governor, to me it show a gross inability to lead. Arrogance on top of threats turns people into activists.
Read post by taxhound in talk about whatever.

126 a March 15, 2012 at 1:18 AM


Californians are among the most taxed people in the USA, not to mention the RICHEST. All gov’t agencies should have plenty of money for MORE than basic services. Anybody who votes to give any agency more tax money out of pocket is a complete idiot. Period.

127 anon March 15, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I wish folks here would get their facts right before complaining. Firefighters don’t make over 100,000 working 10 days a month. Your base pay is $60,000 to $80,000 on average working 56 hour work weeks. To earn overtime, you have to WORK! And to make over $100,000 you would need to be at work for 24 hours a day on average 5 days a week. Thats a 120 hour work week. Its not just given to you.

And as far as retirement, in CON fire you are required to pay %25 of every paycheck into your retirement. Thats more than most of you pay into your 401k. If you did pay that much you would have a wonderful retirement. And there is a reason that firefighters should retire early. Do you want a 55 or 60 year old firefighter showing up to your house to save your daughter, your belongings, your home? I wouldn’t. Its a young person’s job, just like the military and the police force.

Stop blaming the firefighters and instead blame the county board of supervisors who can’t manage money. Our county should be supplemented much more than it is by the many oil companies that call our county have and make billions of dollars each year. Our tax dollars should be going to what is important, and to me that is education and safety. Maybe to you its something different, and thats ok.

128 anon March 15, 2012 at 1:36 AM

I am a top step firefighter and may take home pay is $3952. Quit complaining about how much I make.

129 David March 15, 2012 at 4:01 AM

#95 average joe. . . you say the firetrucks are 20 years old and falling apart. i dont believe that. yeah they may be old, but i am sure everything on them works. and again, $90 a parcel? how many parcels are in the county? that has to be a large chunk of change. and another thing, just because a home is foreclosed, doesn’t mean the property disappears. why aren’t the banks paying the property taxes on them? they should be. dont you think

130 Saddened March 15, 2012 at 6:57 AM

I am truly saddened at most of the comments I have read. I have never posted before but this is worthwhile. This parcel tax is not about pensions being perceived as too high. Do any of you want to run into a burning building ??? How about that shortened life span due to all the bad stuff they breathe???
This issue is completely about keeping stations open – a10% pay cut has already accurred for ALL suppression personnel. Have any of you thought about that or just want to rail at the system!! Let’s get on board and pass this $90 tax and keep stations open and response times short. Do you want to be in CPR for an extended time with your wife, husband or child?? I know I don’t!!

131 firefighter wife March 15, 2012 at 7:17 AM

If any of you had a clue, you’d know that San Ramon Fire has NOTHING to do with Con Fire. They are their own union and are not part of this article on closures. Get a clue and know your facts before you start shooting around false accusations. While you are out partying and acting like idiots, these firefighters are gone for 48 hours at a time, missing their family, their lives, to wake up and SAVE YOU from a fight, a car wreck, a burning building. They save your CHILDREN, your GRANDPARENTS, your FAMILY! And you don’t think $90 bucks is worth that?! I hope to God that you never call 911, and if you do, and they don’t show up, look back and wonder why! Because your Iphone that you are using right now, cost more than your $90 parcel tax to save your life.

132 @Irony #120 March 15, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Interesting. Thanks for clearing up some misunderstanding that I had about the database numbers I’m man enough to say I was wrong and I’ll backpedal away from my prior stance on that area.

Im still of the position that when you look at your General Fund Budget what is the percentage that accounts for salaries and pension?? I’m guessing its somewhere around 80%+ Again I find that unsustainable. Its no wonder that stations are on the chopping block… in a way, you are eating your own.

133 Another Parcel Tax - No Thank You! March 15, 2012 at 8:02 AM

So if I’m not missing something, in the vote this year, the following Parcel Taxes are proposed:

Fire District – $90
Clean Water – $22
I’ve heard MDUSD wants to have another parcel tax on the ballot, State Parks wants one to keep parks open, and Jerry Brown is talking about more taxes too.

Recently, there was the sales tax increase, the MDUSD Measure C bond, and many others. How many times are people going to approve these parcel taxes and bond measures – when are the people in government going to realize we’re taxed out and they need to cut costs.

For more info on the many ballot measures, you can check out:,_California_ballot_measures


134 OOOOO PLEASE March 15, 2012 at 8:09 AM

“firefighter wife”

Ok cut the garbage. They picked the 48 hour shift because they get a longer weekend and lets not get started on the FLSA pay. The 48 hour shift is better for the long distance commutes most of them make.

Also do they really have to send firefighter’s on the cross country drives to pick up the new equipment and be taken out to party by the manufacture. Check it out its true. They are buying new engines.

They have plenty of money to run the district. This is a shell game. It’s not about the retirement which is self funded so it’s not fair to pick on that.

135 Facts March 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

For all those who love to go on about how these inflated salaries and pensions are warranted due to the job being soooo dangerous, you do realize it’s not even listed in the top 15 most dangerous careers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts out each year, right?

Lets take a look at the top 15;
No. 15: Operating engineers and construction equipment operators
No. 14: Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers
No. 13: Grounds maintenance workers
No. 12: Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
No. 11: Construction laborers
No. 10: Electrical power-line installers and repairers
No. 9: Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
No. 8: Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
No. 7: Refuse and recyclable material collectors
No. 6: Roofers
No. 5: Coal mining
No. 4: Farmers and ranchers
No. 3: Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
No. 2: Logging workers
No. 1: Fishers and related fishing workers

Statistically speaking a pizza delivery boy, taxi driver and farmer have a way more dangerous job then a firefighter. They are heroes, going to work every day knowing their life is on their line. Where are their pensions?

136 Anon March 15, 2012 at 8:30 AM

@firefighter wife

Gone 48 hours without seeing their wife and children? Are you serious? In the real world guess what happens when you travel for work for 48 hours? You don’t see your family and when you land you get to go back to work for another 3 days.

There’s a reason so many people sign-up to be firefighters. It’s an easy job that pays well. Tell you what, have your husband retire and try to cut it in the private sector. There are 100s of very capable people waiting to take his place. I’m sick and tired of all this hero worship BS…

137 Boo-Hoo March 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Ya! Lazy firemen! They don’t deserve a penny! This website picture says it all! Stupid firemen!

138 DoReMi March 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM

# 127 & 128:

The complaint about salaries is not about the working persons. It is the city and union executives that are fleecing the public. Driving up the cost of living so they can continue their 5 star vacations, maintain their homes and provide posh college educations for their grandkids.

No one earning a wage from tax dollars and union fees should have that much wealth.

139 Feckin Irish Mouse March 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Hello “Just the Fact”….SRVF is a completely different district and the mentallity of the residents is quite different as well. They want the best and latest in equipment and technology and maximum staffing levels are are willing to pay for it. The community fund raised to get the equipment needed for SRFV to have a nationally recoginized FEMA rescue team. Bottom line in the Valley is if the Citizens want it they will find a way to pay for it. Also the have their own ambulance and rarely call on AMR.

The above is the reason that Orinda/Moraga Fire wants to merge (as they know they need to merge) with SRVF and not CCCF as the people of Orinda/Moraga see like minds in the San Ramon Valley instead of the high on low mentallity citizens (soooo many of you Claycordytes fit this) they would stuck with if they merged with CCCF

So Claycord if you want to go cheap that is what you will get…remember you get what you pay for.

140 Boo-Hoo March 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Ya! and they make way too much money! YA! Here they are again, just killing time!

141 firefighter wife March 15, 2012 at 9:18 AM

I’d like to see you do it for a day #136. You think it’s all sunshine and roses and ponies?! Maybe for some of the cush stations, but in places like Richmond and Oakland? Running 14 calls a day! It’s arrogance and ignorance that is causing this state to go into complete disarray. Did you read the part about taking a 10% pay cut? Man, I feel sorry for you. It must suck to be jealous.

And P.S. My husband has a degree, and so does the majority of his department. Clearly, their degrees EDUCATED them enough to find a smarter career choice than you!

142 anon e mouse March 15, 2012 at 9:30 AM

just eliminate retired firefighter’s ‘spiked’ pension and bring it back to the level the actually deserve and you have enough money to keep all the stations open.

143 Patriot March 15, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I wonder how many of these commenters voted for Rain RunOff Tax (Clean water parcel tax ) WAKE UP SHEEPLE ! They are taxing us to Death . VOTE THEM ALL OUT !

144 anon March 15, 2012 at 9:52 AM

As a libertarian, I am always told that all else aside, police and fire and roads are the main jobs of government. Yet, when revenues are short, why is it those that are cut first? It’s because politicians know that they can play the fear factor to squeeze more taxes. Make them stop paying for other things, and focus on these necessities only.

145 Knock, Knock, Is Anyone There? March 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM

You people just don’t get it!

First – The Firefighters and their unions are only partially at fault for the topic being discussed here! They, the Firefighters and their unions, refuse to accept the fact that their public sector benefit packages are unsustainable. I would support them to the death if they looked at the facts and made the requisite changes to “new” hires. But NO they refuse to accept anything less!

Second – The State and County Governments are also at fault. They have bankrupted this once great state and continue to do so with their complete and irresponsible daily management of the public affairs of this once great state. Each and every one of the State Legislators should tender their resignations and slither away in shame.

Lastly – The VOTERS of this once great state are the most culpable for the issues that have brought us to our current state of affairs and insane situation that we find ourselves in. One HUGE example. . . Gov. Jerry Brown! Question how in the world did the residents of this once great state think that the results would be any different THIS time around with the illustrious Gov. Moonbeam! Really? How that one work out last time? AMAZING!

As the tax base shrinks, the VOTERS of this once great state will realized what they have done, all while I will be retired in another state, kicking back enjoying life and not paying ONE RED CENT of my retirement income to the idiots in Sacramento and Contra Costa County.


146 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Have you ever driven by the Firefighters’ Union House in Martinez near the Virginia Hills Shopping Center?

When the firefighters have a union meeting, the street is clogged with $50,000 luxury vehicles, including some more expensive exotic sports cars.

The firefighters are filthy rich.

147 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM



148 anon March 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

50% of Contra costa counties budget goes to health and human services. 5% goes to the fire dept. How about about we cut some free birth control programs or something first.

149 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM

anon @148

I’ll pay for birth control for greedy firefighters so that they don’t spawn more greedy firefighters.

FYI: I’d rather pay for a good county hospital than a greedy firefighter’s luxury vehicle(s) and vacation home(s).

150 jtkatec March 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Some of these posts sound like firefighters are posting. Time for your guys to get back to washing your fire trucks and making lunch.

151 anon March 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

post 149

Thats great apparently the firefighters do too because excess earning from there pension went to help fund the county hospital. Hows that fair?

152 Animal March 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Hi All,
My name is Paul C. I am visiting form New York to Concord for a wedding last Saturday. I am staying at a cousins house in Concord, very nice place and pretty friendly people. I am a Fire Fighter in NYFD and I cant believe how much hatred there is for the fire department here. New York Is a long ways from here but we listen and here the problems everywhere. When your fire department voted to pay so much into their retirement it angered a lot of us because we figured it was going to set the standard for everyone, thank god it hasn’t yet. Many have come to realize, It is over the top expensive to live here. Dont get me wrong, New York is to but not this bad. I am a fourth gen FF I have never experienced this type of hatred, until this morning at your Starbucks in Concord when we were sitting at a Table having a good cup of joe talking to my cousins about this while she was showing me on her lap top this site. There were three people sitting behind us and wanted to engage, I asked did they have any concern for fire or police when they go into a bad environment, they laughed and said there are plenty of people to replace them, this would never fly in New York. I wanted in the worst way to rip him and his shirt saying legalize pot and F#$k authority to pieces but I realized I am just a guest here. Before I catch my plane remember, there is not many people that will risk their life, exposure to all kind of diseases and what ever else comes their way than a fire fighter. I think 343 people along with countless others every day proved that. For all the fire fighters here, keep your heads high, most people believe in us and what we do. For all the people with all the hatred and anger I am sorry you have that running through you blood, must be painful. Before I go, remember the politicians are the ones that have the final say, so why not ask for more? We would never have given money out of our pockets so the department can fix stupid, let alone pay 25% of my salary a month for retirement. Boarding now sorry for rambling.

153 Anon March 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Congrats on being handed a job by your family members.

I don’t know how it is in New York, but in California there are thousands of applicants being turned away from a career in fire fighting.

154 Struggling Tax Payer March 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM

@Animal #152 I understand your positin and your point is well taken. However, our community is sick and tired of being overtaxed. We love firemen and policemen, but we can no longer give government employees and politicians a blank check with our taxes. Have a safe trip back to NYC. We have nothing personal against hardworking Americans.

155 lewis March 15, 2012 at 1:34 PM


“Before I catch my plane remember, there is not many people that will risk their life, exposure to all kind of diseases and what ever else comes their way than a fire fighter”

Actually there are , you should look up statistics of SFFD hiring days, there are lines thousands long of people willing…..for 200K oh yeah and 200k retirement for life

156 lewis March 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM


don’t forget shopping at safeway, overtime is never fun

157 oilman March 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Retired refinery worker here. You ignorant people are fighting the wrong people. This is what the politicians want, makes them look better than ever. I retired last year and have a very very comfortable retirement along with many that put 25 plus years making the gas you morons use everyday. there are so many posts here but only about 50% are from different people unless you change names to talk to yourselves, which I can understand if somebody else makes the bacon to bring home or like many in this wonderful state, the taxpayers take care of you(slugs). Anyway, bring on the negativity, this is amusing shit. I will be polishing my 2012 loaded Harley and when the sun comes out again, go out on my boat I bought last year. This is what you can do when you and your wife work hard for many years. One more thought, could you imagine if you put this much energy to slamming the politicians? Or better yet get off your ass and work!

158 ph resident March 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Good luck, I hope it passes. It will be tough though. I’m a teacher for MDUSD, and we tried to get a parcel tax for around the same amount so that we wouldn’t have to raise class sizes and keep teachers jobs. That didn’t pass. Contra Costa residents are sticklers….just saying.

159 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 2:15 PM

(Loser) Animal,

What’s the matter pumpkin? Can’t stand someone who refuses to bow to your “heroic” feet? Can’t stand someone with a strong opposing opinion?

Go home jerk!

160 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

(Dirty) Oilman,

Use some of your wealth to buy a full set of teeth and some soap.

161 FF Xavier Onassis, EMT-P March 15, 2012 at 2:44 PM

There’s a solution to this that nobody’s looking at: instead of putting more COUNTY taxes on the working class people, you need to pressure your county government to get money from the STATE to cover their shortfall. It’s just that simple. There aren’t enough rich people in California? Swimming pools, movie stars? How much do you think Paris Hilton spends on shoes in a month? How far would that go at your Fire Department? Do you think she pays the same percentage of taxes you do? Why do you let these people pit you against your FIREFIGHTERS?

Seriously, everybody wake up. Quick.

Want to know what will happen if you let them close down 6 fire stations? Watch.

WHEN — not IF but WHEN — someone dies because the fire department couldn’t get there, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Don’t go screaming about the jerk firefighters. Don’t believe me? Two homes burned down in Obion County, and they told you all it was the firefighters and you believed them. One death in Alameda because there was no budget for rescue training and equipment. All three times they blamed the firefighters. All three times the rich people weren’t paying their share.


162 Struggling Tax Payer March 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Oilman is very happy that we all our paying $4.50 per gallon, so that he can pay for his boat and Harley with his dividend checks that he receives from all of the oil stocks that he owns. People, like him are arrogrant and selfish. Probably works for Chevron, who just recently got their property tax bill adjusted (millions) to avoid paying the CoCo county their fair share of taxes. I say the fire department should contact Chevron to complain and have Chevron pay additional parcel taxes. Sounds like a great idea to me.

163 oilman March 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Thats all you uneducated pukes got? Full set of teeth and a 4 year degree from Idaho. Nice house, nice life. I knew where the money was and went for it. @PH Resident, you must be that person that sits on your very wide ass while someone else brings home the bacon. Bring it on this is fun.

164 Gonein2013 March 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM

It is way beyond the time for a volunteer and/or paid on call force who earn a small stipend, to provide fire suppression in this County. It seemed to work everywhere else I’ve lived. Or, you could just go on paying outrageous taxes/fees and supporting retirees making, in some instances more than they made during their working career. Nothing against FF, I was one back east (volunteer and paid-on-call) but the relatively low call volume here coupled with the reduced property values and lousy economy seem to require a change in thinking. Maybe they could charge more for the medical assist calls they run with AMR since they run more of those then actual fire calls. Just saying.

165 Help March 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I am posting here because so many are posting. I need help. My Niece is 22 and not all there. She runs away with anybody, drugs, you name it. I just recently found her after 3 weeks gone in Antioch at a shelter. I am at the end of my rope I fear she will end up dead. Does anybody have any idea if I can get state help for her? I tried starting with the county but they just said shes an adult. Her condition was brought on by a major family tragedy and the county basically said were sorry and good luck. One of you has to know an avenue to take. Please, if it is negative dont bother. There are so many good people out there that might of had a similar problem and can point me in the right direction. Please find it in your heart for some positive direction. P.S we have spent all we have and lost a house for this.Thanks and God Bless

166 lewis March 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM

“plus years making the gas you morons use everyday”

Haha that includes yourself, even more so boat harley
Hey no one ever said you need brains to work at the refinery

167 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 3:25 PM


My dinghy’s bigger than your whole boat!

168 lewis March 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM

“with his dividend checks”

they don’t give those out to bottom of the barrel employees

169 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM


A degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Rotten Trout State College for the Mentally Challenged is not something worth bragging about.

170 Horse'n Around March 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

@ oilman, good for you. Nothing wrong with two people working hard and planning for the days of retirement. My husband and I both work. We struggle every day to keep what we have and be able to retire comfortably. We also have Harleys, horses, kids and a Mortgage. We both work hard, just like our parents did. If we can’t afford it, then we don’t get it or we sell it. Not looking for freebies from the Gov. Everyone had boats, toys, big houses, everything they could want before the economy crashed. I don’t remember anyone complaining back then. What happened?

171 DJ March 15, 2012 at 3:44 PM

The shortfall is the same amount that is being diverted for Corporate Welfare, aka RDA’s.
Unfortunately, Con Fire would not need any additional money if it wasn’t being diverted by Re Development Agencies (Pittsburg & San Pablo) to the tune of over 10 million a year. The other ripoff is the Prop 172 money (sales tax) that was supposed to go to Police and Fire, but 100% goes to the Police & Sheriff. Firefighters took at 10% pay cut, and pay more for their Pensions than any other Public Employees anywhere in the USA. That’s right, they pay almost 70% of the total pension tab, highest of any employee group in the county. Don’t take my word for it, you look it up on the County Website. Dan Borenstein (aka PH Resident) doesn’t print this in the CC Times because it doesn’t sell any newspapers.

172 oilman March 15, 2012 at 3:46 PM

A degree in economics and business mgmt. You are right I do pay the high gas prices but if you work and put away you can afford it. That’s why you should be complaining to the politicians, high prices at the pumps! Diesel is the cheapest fuel to make and is the most expensive. Why? Keep em coming this is comic relief, dumb-asses. I will really piss you off now, I support fire, police and above all veterans. This should get you going. This post is from my wife she wanted to have some fun. She is a Cal-Poly grad.

173 oilman March 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM

@Ph Resident if in fact you are Dan Borenstein I take back the wide ass comment, you are a little frail angry man. We have met, your like a sock puppet. If only these people new the real you, probably lose more readers. Oh well we are ready for you Dan, bring it on. @DJ strong work, facts are facts.

174 Guap March 15, 2012 at 4:26 PM

All I can say is Blah, blah, blah, blah. I don’t give a rats behind wether its good or bad, wether they make too much or not, what kind of danger they face, what kind of health problems they may endure my motto is simple: NO NEW TAXES!!!!!

175 Guap March 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Re Animal: Guess spelling wasn’t a prerequisite.

176 lewis March 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM


you are not pissing anyone off haha, most everyone on here supports the same

you thought because you support veterans you would piss people off, sad

177 Kramer March 15, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Giddyup oilman. I have 3 years before I can retire from Shell, cant wait going to do very well myself. What year did your wife graduate from Cal-Poly? I was class of 76.

178 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Cal Poly grads are hilarious.

They all think Cal Poly is a “prestigious” technical school.

News Flash: Cal Poly is just an ordinary CSU except that Cal Poly has a bunch of insecure students and graduates who think “poly” means “prestigious.” LMAO. Losers.

179 Struggling Tax Payer March 15, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Some people, like to vilify welfare recipients, the poor and the mentally ill for receiving government assistance and programs. I think that government employees have become the new “freeloaders” with their hands held out asking for more, more and more, all at the expense, of taxpayers. Enough is enough! No more taxes, we have nothing more to give you all of the “freeloaders.”

180 no chicken little March 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Yea right. know alot of refinery workers ,work alot of hrs shift work make a nice life none getting to fat working in a dangerous environment as of a couple of days ago were on the verge of going on strike. Having there pension disband. Management guys that make the bucks in refineries are not on this blog .you got the harley davidson by refing your now foreclosed house.. sell your pap somewhere else.

181 Nick March 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Wow, this thread has been jacked beyond imagination. I thought we were talking about a FD station closing. Now it seems we are debating the relevance of a degree from Cal Poly. Fascinating.

182 Antler March 15, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Nick, shhhhhhhhh….they were about to start arguing about where’s the best place to buy Harley-Davidsons.

183 PH Resident March 15, 2012 at 7:31 PM


You’re going to go blind if you don’t stop doing what you do when you watch the TV show Black Gold.

184 anon March 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Post 164

A volunteer fire department simply wont work in this county. To many people commute outside of the community to and from work, and cannot meet the training and and manning hours needed.

Also I am not sure how you figure CCCFPD is a slow fire department. It is one of the busiest in the state, and responds to 45,000-50,000 calls yearly.

185 Nick March 15, 2012 at 8:07 PM

@Antler. Darn it! Why did I open my mouth?!?! I ruin everything! Hahaha

186 Miss Lisa March 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

@ anon #184,
Well if you say so, then okay.

187 oilman March 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

@Nick and Antler, you are both absolutely right, I apologize for rambling. I was not using veterans for anything I just lumped them in with fire and police. If that disturbed any veterans, very sorry. @ chicken little my house is paid for and my rental is being rented by a couple of nurses from Kaiser. My posts were simple, to show how all this crap can be redirected. People, lets all stick together and put pressure on the politicians, not the actual workers. When they see how unhappy we are with them, they will find the money without charging the taxpayer.

188 gonein2013 March 15, 2012 at 8:43 PM

@Anon 184 wanna bet? I’ve been there my friend (21 years service) and it can and does work. A combo dept would work very well, IF people are willing to make sacrifices. But here, you’d need a change in people’s mindset and shift in priorities. But then again I never did it with a career in mind.

189 anon March 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM


I worked for a combination department, and I hate to say it, that model no longer works, and will not work in this area. Its a good concept but peoples life get in the way. The Department I worked for had 230 volunteers when I got hired in 2005, when I left in 2009 it only had 120 volunteers, and only 24 of those were certified as attack firefighters, and you were lucky to get 1-2 to respond on a working structure fire. Normally with pro longed ETA’s, and typically they would show up with the wrong apparatus for the job.

190 ffwf March 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM

After reading all of these posts it has become obvious to me that all of those complaining about firefighters are just ignorant fools…..lucky for them they’ll still be saved by the same firefighters they completely disrespect when the time comes..

191 WAKE THE F UP March 16, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Life is funny these days…

People HATE to see others excel in life. They HATE to see others make more money than they do. They HATE to see others with a career that they want or think is better than theirs. People are HATERS.

They also attack the people who they think they can get to (fire/police)

It’s funny, they don’t even go for the big dogs at the top because they know they can’t touch them. You think fire makes good salary at a modest 70k to high around 100k? Try 300,000+ with amazing benefits package. Thats what your supervisors and administrators are making, and you’re paying them. Its ok for them, though right? Their desk job with weekends off and home every night for dinner little job with a FAT salary is just dandy. So funny where our priorities are. Those people will never do jack shit to make a difference between some ones life or death, never save a pet or give a pet CPR, never put an old man back into bed at 3am, etc yet they are rewarded more than anybody.

Keep on hatin’

192 question for you March 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Quick question to the above 50 folks here who are firefighter haters:

When your time comes to call for their services for chest pain, falls, etc etc etc will you be receptive to their interest and care for your well being? Or will you be mean and scorn them? Just curious… thanks for your replies it interests me.

..Or will you say thanks, and scorn them again once you are well?

193 lewis March 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM


you completely miss the point and for that you are ignorant fool,

194 Dennis March 16, 2012 at 1:33 AM

remember The Lottery? glitzy ads that promised 1/3 of the money kept to fund running the game, 1/3 paid out as prizes, and 1/3 to go to SCHOOLS?

What happened? As soon as the politicians figured out how many $$$ the schools were getting from the Lottery, they diverted the same amount (our taxes) and spent it on their other pet projects … like Muni drivers, social service workers (and their multimillion dollar buildings), etc.

Did the schools actually benefit from the lottery? Not one thin dime.

Instead of jacking the 50% of the people who are paying taxes, to cover essential services, how about rerouting the needed funding from Section 8 housing, welfare, food stamps, etc. ?

how about a written guarantee that current funding sources wont be reduced, and diverted, and replaced by this new tax?

how about dumping politicians that keep threatening us to make us pay more tax, instead of using the taxes we already pay, for our benefit, instead of buying votes?

195 no chicken little March 16, 2012 at 7:22 AM

What I wanted to say is I WOULD SUPPORT a 90 dollar parcel tax to keep the refiners open and help oilman’s. Pension. The real life heros.

196 ffwf March 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

@ Lewis…..the point is this…..many of you think firefighters are dumb, greedy men/women who don’t deserve to earn what they do (not as much take home as you all think)…..but until you spend a day experiencing the things they do while on the job (not to mention the things that stay with them when they come home) you will never truly understand what it is to be a firefighter…and because of that, any negative comments you make do not hold true value……with regard to the tax, it is plain and simple……it is about keeping stations is about keeping response time to emergencies down… is about protecting the citizens in the community…..I get that no one wants to pay more taxes……but when it comes to public safety (and education) biases and political views need to be put aside….plain and simple!

197 Gonein2013 March 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM

@ Anon 10:01PM
I’m not trowing rocks here and I’ve been both a truck and engine company FF and officer (LT) and a Chief (EMS squad) where we had “career” and vollies. I know from experience that It is tough sometimes to manage the process and I understand, having served for a long time and in multiple (3 different departments) companies, that you have to want to make it work. You may be correct for CA and the East Bay, I don’t know. I can tell you that I would put any of my former vollie companies against any paid department crew here for skill and dedication. I don’t want to jump to conclusions with you, but it sounds as if you don’t much care for vollies much in the same way I had union FF who didn’t like me or the other vollies and saw us as impediments to their career and OT. I get it, you do it as a career and I did it because I loved fighting fires and I was, as my wife says when I was younger, an adrenaline junkie. I just think that the taxpayers deserve other options as the money spigot has run dry.

198 zer0 c00l March 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM

i always said its much funner to watch stuff burn down. Reminds me of the good old days when if you didn’t have fire fighter insurance signified by a thing on your door the fire fighters would let your house burn down.

199 lewis March 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

“but until you spend a day experiencing the things they do while on the job (not to mention the things that stay with them when they come home) you will never truly understand what it is to be a firefighter”

The problem with that statement is this is not realistic, this statement works both way does that mean we can’t make positive comments about firefighters also,
If this is true do we not question PUBLIC employees pay and benefits ever?, whos to say they shouldn’t make 300k, 400k, 900k a year? We have to limits and it is our right as taxpayers to question where our money goes, plain and simple

You fail to realize that this tax is related to compensation, when you have a budget of x amount and a percentage goes to salaries etc it is going to effect other areas of the budget

The sheriff is elected in this county and public safety is directly intertwined with political views and bias, just like our laws and courts, laws are administered and prosecuted based on political views which are an extension of personal views,
plain and simple
when is enough enough,

200 I'm voting March 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I’ll be voting and paying the $90 a year tax. I’m not rich or poor, but 90$ a year isn’t going to make or break me and it’s worth it to keep stations open and my family protected

201 Horse'n Around March 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

@ Wake the F up, nicely said.

202 Anon March 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

CCCFPD firefighters went to the county and offered to take a 10% pay-cut this fiscal year as well as pension reform all in order to keep stations open and help the citizens of this county. They are not greedy, they are compassionate hard working people that care about the well being of this county. They have been financially responsible. Now let’s do our part as citizens and support this parcel tax. It goes straight to the departments budget and its sole purpose is to keep stations open, in order to protect the citizens in this county.

203 jtkatec March 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Anon 202, this fiscal year only? The bust has been going on since 2007…..a little late to the table.

204 Anon March 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM


Unfortunately your wrong, county budgets always lag several years behind. CCCFPD employees did not take raises they were in contract to receive in 2007. The department has cut a lot of programs, and positions not dealing with emergency responses to try to keep all the stations open. CCCFPD has been trying there best to be fiscally responsible. There tax revenues have decreased something like 16 million dollars per year over the last few years. The department has always been underfunded compared to almost every other department in this area and throughout the country.

205 ffwf March 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM

@ Lewis…..firefighters risk their lives doing things you would NEVER consider doing to help complete strangers, they see things that you would NEVER wish to see, they have mental and physical courage that many don’t have…so YES you can make positive comments without stepping in their shoes because it IS realistic that you will never step in their shoes to see what it is all about…be thankful that somebody is out there to help you and your family/friends in an emergency….that is a REALISTIC POSITIVE comment that can be made.
Our firefighters already gave up a raise and took a pay cut to try to keep stations open…..why is it still their fault to you? They have families to provide for , too. Again, their pay is not as grand as you may think…..they may have a great pension, but they pay into it…A LOT…..
It is defineately ok to question where tax dollars go….in this case it is to keep stations open….not to pay salaries…..there is a lot more that goes into running a station than paying the firefighters…..

206 anon March 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Hasn’t even been a year and how forgetful we are of our Mega-Heroes:

You guys can take pay cuts Like every other Career in this Nation has done. Either take a pay cut or drive YOURSELF out of a job.

207 anon March 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Instead of making cuts to our Firefighters why don’t hey quit wasting our Tax dollars on Welfare, Section 8, Free handouts to illegal immigrants, and all the other Wasteful spending projects the Liberals impose on us. The dipchit Liberals should spend our tax dollars more wisely.

Time to vote out all Democrats in 2012!

208 anon March 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Post 206
Once again that has nothing to do with CCCFPD, and ther parcel tax. Completely other department

209 bob March 17, 2012 at 7:15 AM

it honorable to defend your occupation and resources to provide for your family. But when you guys on claycord defend yourselves remember we also have expenses and families.
Top retired positions in last year times were Chiefs, Assistant chiefs, and battalion chiefs all retiring in CCCFPD at either at or way over 180k. The long winded supes talk about reform, then cut pensions on new or future employees who will make the least. So what did these Chiefs give back and are they still loaded salary inflation perks. I did understand the Union guys took a cut, why didn’t we hear about these Battalion Chiefs taking a cut.
So the public wont all drink the Kool aid your drinking and we have Google and the counties own search site to see the Facts.
WHat is vacation Buy back ,stand buy and is this just another perk that isn’t cut and pads a salary like the San Ramon and Nowecky Chief does which is thievery. Google UCOA United chief officers association, and am I seeing managers getting overtime pay in that contract.
So clean up your place before all the cards crumble, I can’t believe you are defending yourselves after looking at these sites. Sure the San Ramon CHief is working for a dollar a day plus 265k a year, Hazardous materials pay, management incentive for a manager, Driving the car to run errands. Just the facts that a San Ramon Battalion Chief made almost 300k so the perk must be good. Fire the Supervisors, Chiefs and replace them with reform at the top not the bottom. Unions are good o protect the working family, but 170-300k isn’t a working guy. Nice salary with overtime to match. Can you explain that one Robin?

210 @ bob 209 March 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

San Ramon has nothing to do with Consolidate Fire. They are their own distrit and the people there want the best in staff, equipment and technology and are willing to pay for it. Remember the San Ramon Valley is at the top of the Socio-Economic ladder. The people in that valley are highly educated and want/expect the best and are willing to pay for it. That is why the have a nationally recognized and awarded FEMA team. And the community will fund raise for new equipment for the department because they feel it is worth it. And nobody out there is complaining about salaries and pensions. The high expectation of the SRVF is why Oridnda/Moraga wants to merge with them and not Consolidated and why Lafayette wants to pull from Consolidated and go with SRVF too.
So please everyone stop compairing SRVF to Consolidated as the economic dynamic of the region/population can’t compare and make no sense to try. Dream on but the Claycord region will never ever ever ever reach the Socio-Economic status of the San Ramon Valley…to many around here are high on low mentallity

211 bob March 17, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Bob 209 and anon,
So Mr. 209 I guess with your srgument about the affluent in San Ramonf Fire and highly educated vs Contra Costa iwhen it comes to salaries, the lid is coming off thr tea pot.
So archive back to retired county or current employees and conttra costa leads thr numbers over San Ramon, But your asking Contra costa residents to pay and what concessions have been madw in all the extrass that inflate a salary(( thr contracr is online Vacation buy back, Education incentive, on call and it looks like overtime for managmenrt.on call and what can’t I read.
So explain the schedule which is different from Oakland and San Francisco, I used the Contra Costa to look at the base salaries for positions under Fire. Not a job I would want or could do, but it seems like a great salary with very lucerative perks.that get paid over a lifetime likw a car allowance. I will not be supporting this or the supervisors who also took 60% pay hike a few years ago. Make cuts but from the top down and don’t always expect the public to clean your own house.
the politicians use police and fire tot get more taxes and the well is dry at our home the lower social economic ladder.

212 anon March 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM


If your so into researching contract look at the correct contract relating to the firefighters, not management. There is no car allowance, no education incentive, no on call pay, and they just underwent pension reform that eliminated vacation buy back. These firefighters arent out to hurt us. They have given up alot in an attempt to provide a great service for our community.

213 @ bob 209 March 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

What part of SRVF being it’s own district don’t you get. People in Concord do not pay for SRVF and SRVF is atonomous from the County and gets ZERO County General Funds. Only those that live with in the boundries of the SRVF District pay for the district. Just like those in the boundries of the Orinda/Moraga District pay for that District as they too are atonomous. The people in these districts willing pay for superior service, equipment adn technolodgy. What part of stupid are you stuck on. Stop trying to compaire apples and rubber chickens as it doesn’t work
You must be another jealous wash out that could cut it through the Fire College. Jealousy if a pathetic thing Bob.

214 bob March 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Bob 200 and anon,
I am not jealous and have respect for police officers and firefighters who deserve a comparable living wage in this county. You guys put tour life on the line.
Now a little reality check for you, this wouldn’t be a issue if you weren’t asking to get into my families pocket.
I did go to college but not fire college and I enjoy my career.
Sticking to the facts the times publication of wages and salaries is incorrect
The retired Chiefs salaries published in the times incorrect.

The fact that you work two days and get four off in incorrect

The fact that our county allows any rank to get the paramedic retirement bump for ever is incorrect In the superior San Ramon district only the lowest rank get the bonus and only one paramedic firefighter on each piece of equipment . is that incorrect

So there vacation buy back or other perks in there new contract besides the straight salary on the county website under personnel. ( its not just under another heading or hidden so we can’t find it)

I am incorrect that after working or not going on a call at all, at some of your stations, then you can work a overtime. Isn’t that a disservice to your safety and mine if you work 3days in a row, If its so physcial how can one work three days in a row or two for that .

Was the times incorrect about the dollar amount the county paid your chief to attend school at harvard on my dime?

Why at the time on this site did your union make such a big deal about givebacks, Why Wasn’t the UCOA ( i googled this one ) Chiefs making a deal about givebacks.

So will the Current members be taking a salary that isn’t full of retirement perks. These perks they get are why I won’t pay more? and there for a lifetime that the piled in on with buy back to inflate retirement. Are you telling me this perk is gone for those now working or just those new ones to be hired in the future

Why do I see The contra Costa pickups going over the Benicia bridge during my commute to work each day.
So Bob 209, I guess the County wants me to offset your firefighter fuel and maintenance costs. If a firetruck can go watch a softball game because his friends are there, that must be why there is no time to paint our neighborhood hydrant anymore.

I guess since I disagree with inflated salaries and perks, I must be stupid. I will allow you to show your mind set by calling those your asking for money to be called want to be’s or washouts.
So what San Ramon is doing is wrong, its should be criminal in these times. But what I see in Contra Costa is worse because you are in total denial. Its like giving AIG executives a bonus when there ship was sinking a few years ago.

So Bob 209 can you answer by questions above
Pathetic Bob

215 Dennis March 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Five thugs wearing body armor and ski masks, carrying automatic weapons, enter a bank and take hostages. They get the police negotiator on the phone and make demands, and say “every hour we will kill one hostage until our demands are met”.

CoCo needs to make a ** 1% ** cut in expenses.
They have a choice. They can fire

2 CCCTA bus drivers,
1 toll booth operator on the Benicia bridge,
1 gardeners working the median on Clayton Rd,
2 graffitti removers from Oakland,
2 administrative clerks (1 from personnel, 1 from benefits),
4 attorneys,
3 other NONESSENTIAL workers to be named later.

– or –

they can cut 6/30 fire stations (20%), fire 20% of the firefighters (who are Essential Services).

remember, 5% of the workforce times 20% cuts equals 1% savings.

Question: Which path does the County Choose to put on the ballot,
a) 1% of the non-essential workforce, or
b) 20% of the essential workforce?

Answer: Five thugs wearing body armor and ski masks, carrying automatic weapons, enter a bank and take hostages ….

216 FF Xavier Onassis, EMT-P March 18, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Regarding this posted above, just wanted to shout hallelujah Amen, brother you can get a witness:

“You people are being played like a fiddle. Infighting is the desired result. Find out what the entire tax revenue collected for “Fire” is on all of our property taxes in a fiscal year. Compare that number to the fire district budget that is “approved” by the supervisors. I don’t think it will be the same number. Where is the rest of the money? I raise chickens and watch them fight and peck each other over the scraps of food I throw for them on the ground, little do they know that I will be cutting their throats one day.”

217 Anon... March 19, 2012 at 9:56 AM

FF Xavier,

I work for CCCFPD, unfortunately the numbers are true, and correct. Property tax revenues for the county do equal what the fire districts budget truly is. Money is not going other places. The department has had the books evaluated.

Post 215

You are correct the fire department and police are essential services and should not be cut any further. We are already at bare bones. CCCFPD is a special district so when the county makes cuts to balance there budget, those cuts are going to be made, or money is going to get moved around. Since the fire departments budget is nearly 20% down and its a specialty district, either station closures and layoffs will happen, or the public supports this tax, and stations stay open and services stay the same. The money from this parcel tax will go directly the CCCFPD.

218 Brian Ross March 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

@anon 206: Completely Unrelated and inflammatory. Your link is related to poor decisions by both politicians and Firefighters in Alameda, but fortunately has nothing to do with this topic. You have a very short memory of the Woman who is alive and well thanks to Con Fire Fireman pulling her out of the rain swollen Walnut Creek Canal at the end of a rope dangling from a helicopter.
If your going to quote a news story, for your own credibility, at least quote one that is pertinent to here. Wait a minute, you have no credibility because you wont even share your name,

219 FF Xavier Onassis, EMT-P March 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I’m not in your AO, so can’t say anything about the specifics of your budget. I just mean to say money moves around the government in a lot of different ways, not always clear to the taxpayers. People need to do whatever they need to do to keep their fire stations open IMHO. If they need to get money from the state to make up the difference? That’s what I’d do.

220 PH Resident March 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM


Let’s cut funding for CCCFPD staff to take classes at Harvard.

Firefighters (and cops) have abused taxpayers for years. Now, it’s time to reap what you’ve sown. NO MORE MONEY FOR YOU!

221 PH Resident March 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

CCCFPD staff can thank Chief Louder for proving to the taxpayers that CCCFPD does not care about the taxpayers.

That’s the “veritas.” Go Harvard!

222 Struggling Tax Payer March 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Thank you PH Resident #220 and #221. You are right! CCCFPD does not need to sending their employees to Harvard at the expense of taxpayers. I am appalled! This is why I feel that government employees have become the new “freeloaders” of our society. The fire department needs to cut the fat from its budget and stop sending employees to Harvard for personal seminars.

223 funny man March 20, 2012 at 5:29 PM

jus curious … after they are closed, will the land be reclaimed, cleaned up and ‘offered’ to the nearest developer (that lined the most pockets last election) to build high density infill on?

224 ANon March 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Before you vote to significantly reduce your local emergency response capability, think about this.

I’m just sayin. Could it happen here. Absolutely. Will it happen here.
Let me check my crystal ball and I’ll get back to you.

225 ANon March 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

For all of the Anti Union, Anti Goverment posters out there.

Here’s your chance to become involved and make a difference.

226 Dennis March 20, 2012 at 6:16 PM

@ #217 you made my point. The politiccians have carved out a special niche for CCFD budget, and insist that it lives or dies on how much property tax it can raise to support it. Those budget pigeonholes are a fictio,and arbitrary.If the essential services budget is suffering, reroute money that pays for gardeners, admin assistants and clerks, and other NON essential services to cover that budget need. If the county doesn’t have enough revenue to continue paying those non-essentials, then they can fire the non essentials, or propose a parcel tax to pay for them. There should be no question that the Essential services are ever at risk, and thenon-essentials are protected. Why shouldn’t welfare, food stamps, and non-essential personnel be at reisk of losing their funding, instead of the Essentials?

A further fiction – the reation of the politiians – is that essential services are tied to property taxes, but the non-essentials are not. All the revenues should go into one pot, and the essentials should be paid first. the non-essentials can then be paid, as long as there is money left in the pot. If there isn’t, the non-essentials get canned, get budget cuts,get their section 8 funding cut instead.

I’m tired of the politicians holdng the essential services as hostage to oerce more revenue. If they demanded we pay an extra $100/year to keep allthe graffitti cleaners and toll takers and bus drivers,and threaten to fire 1% of them if we refuse, get how the vote would go?

227 bob March 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM

So some will never get it even after spending over 11k at Harvard getting no practical education.
So the fire service needs money from the taxpayers at $90 a pop to start,
so all you who think we all are haters and anti union. The chief dropped firefighters and low level staff, weed abatement people.
But now wants to fill a spot of Battalion chief full of perks that are over the top. This position has been vacant for months and NOW it must be filled. I think you better look at the Models of some other departments in a crunch and have existing staff do a little more work before you fill this 190k
position / 260 K according to kris hunt and the Tax payers association.
I want the people on the Engines not a flow chart that is top heavy and full at the top with bloated Salaries. Cant those managers just do what all of America does and do there Jobs ?

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