The Water Cooler – The Closing of the Fire Stations in Contra Costa County

November 8, 2012 12:00 pm · 126 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Now that Measure Q didn’t pass, the Contra Costa Fire Protection District will shut down between 8-10 fire stations.

Are you worried that the closest fire station near you might be closed?

Talk about it….

101 anonk.... November 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM

JS 95….and when those 87000 do send in their $75.00…and that list of homeowners is published …….do the fire fighters then give priority care to those who have paid the premium? Would that be fair to you smart ass?

102 js November 9, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Aw, poor you, not able to roll terminal pay into your pension. It’s RIDICULOUS to begin with, basically theft on par with “air time.” Of course nearly every other county retirement system in CA didn’t allow it, but there’s Contra Costa, bending the taxpayer over without the common decency to at least give a reacharound.

Why is it you public workers are so afraid of a 401K type retirement plan? A bit of a Known Answer question, but what the hey.

Why the hell would I test to become a public employee? I would never join a union. Besides, I’ve got a good job where performance and productivity actually mean something, where it’s rewarded. And on the flip side of that coin, the dead weight gets cut loose. So thanks for the invite to join your merry minions of public grifters, but I’ll pass.

103 js November 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Fine by me, bootlicker.

104 Feckin Irish Mouse November 9, 2012 at 2:54 PM

JS – we have been paying for terminal pay with our contributions since 1997…Again you are not very bright and have not done your research….WE HAVE BEEN PAYING FOR IT…………IT’S NOT A FREEBIE…CCERA HAS CHARGED US FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was part of the Paulson Settlement that anyone in the system as of 1997 paid for terminal pay. So I have already as for my 3% addtional contribution + interest back so I can invest it elsewhere as it is my money and they do owe it to me.
And if you don’t like the way CC County spends then take your big paycheck and move…….So do you really make that much while serving fries???????

105 Dubillis Goop November 9, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Whether you voted yes or no, doesn’t matter to me. However, for all those who have something negative to say about the amount that firefighters get paid – you are misguided.

Recently I witnessed a horrific accident, mother and children obliterated in their car that slammed into a freight truck. Yes, blood, guts, and metal strewn all over the place. I went home to my children and stared at them for a long time. I would pay any amount of money to have somebody else witness that event, rather than myself, so that I can sleep without the constant flashes of the scene permanently embedded in my memory. At the same time, these people are not just walking by, but were trying to save, secure and protect victims and others while brain matter of a 4 year old stained their facemasks and gloves as they collected body parts on the road. And they do it because they want to be a service to the community, which includes many unappreciative morons who sit quietly in their homes sheltered from reality complaining about salaries.

You want that job? Of course not. You’d rather be an athlete or an actor making millions because you think they deserve their paychecks. Instead of paying for a flick, popcorn and hotdog, you could have paid $75 to keep these stations open, to hire more firefighters willing to do the things you will never be willing to do, knowing you can sleep better because somebody else is many times living what only we consider a nightmare.

106 Feckin Irish Mouse November 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

anonk – ignore js………just another pathetic bitter sole who lives in Concord………..Concord is loaded with them, is the central location for all them in the Bay Area. And people wonder Concord is looked down upon…………It not just the Monument Corridor but the sad little rednecks like js.

107 Babs November 9, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I sat thru some council mtg talks on this measure, someone correct me if I wrong, even if it had passed some stations would still be closed.

108 Concord guy November 9, 2012 at 4:55 PM

fire all the fat cat county workers ASAP!

109 Vince Wells November 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM


Do you want to have a serious discussion about this subject or is your preference to just go back and forth and disrespect each other?

If you are interested in an educational conversation, then answer this question with seriousness.

What would you do if you were fire chief? Seriously!

Your answer will at least establish what our differences are. If your not interested, maybe someone else on this thread will, to get a productive dialogue going.

110 bob November 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I understand what the job is and i respect the work that the firefighters and emergency responders do. My only issue is that they get paid way too much. I’ve taken ems and fire tech classes and I know without a doubt there are thousands, if not millions of people that would be willing to do that job for half of what many of these firefighters are making. Thousands of people apply for firefighter jobs and most of the applicants are highly qualified but most of the time the job goes to someone who knows somebody. Their are currently 10 job openings in the united states for a position in firefighting. Most departments stop taking applications after the first 650. The truth of the matter is that a lot of people want in and its because the job pays so well.
A firefighters job is dangerous but not nearly as dangerous as a Tree Cutters.

111 Shiloh November 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

I am LOVING this thread! A real page- turner. Thanks everyone

112 Anon November 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Tree cutters, fisherman, roofers etc all can refuse a job. If the weather is bad, a tree looks unsafe, a roof is too steep they are in no way forced to go on with their job. They take the necessary precautions or wait until the situation is safe. Emergency services don’t have that option

113 Antler November 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

My NO vote was cast because the necessary revenue was to have been linked to property ownership. It should have been linked to ALL heads of household….to ALL residents….whether they actually own property or whether they rent/lease their dwelling.

114 Anon November 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Antler how would you propose to accomplish that task? Since the county or cities have no paperwork or documents telling them who lives in what residence..

115 Antler November 9, 2012 at 8:09 PM

#114 ~ ~ ~ Not my job to know, but that problem needs to be solved. Rental property managers can recoup by charging higher rent/raising leases. But many of us home owners are on fixed income. The 2/3 majority requirement is there in part to protect homeowners like us, as is Proposition 13.

116 js November 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM

@ Anon 112,

>>They take the necessary precautions or wait until the situation is safe. Emergency services don’t have that option<<

Perhaps, except for maybe the firefighters who stood on a beach and watched a guy drown.
And really, refinery workers, linemen, oil riggers, and fishermen shut it down in bad weather? They've got about as much margin to refuse a job as firefighters do.

117 js November 9, 2012 at 9:48 PM


What would I do? I would push for a 401K type plan with a 10% (of salary) match from the taxpayer, and this would include current employees, not just new hires. I would be thrilled with knowing that a 10% match still blows away anything in the private sector, and that in essence all the taxpayer has to do is make that monthly match and it’s up to each individual employee to manage their own retirement.

As for retiree healthcare, I honestly don’t know what firefighters get, but I’m willing to bet it blows away what’s provided in the private sector…which these days is quite often, “okay, once you turn 65, make sure you sign up for Medicare.” Anyway, you do deserve something, but frankly this would probably also need to be reduced.

118 js November 9, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Goop #105,
Ho hum, another asinine emotional tug that’s supposed to make us all just forget that this county / state has mismanged its way into billions of unfunded pension liabilities, plus billions more of unfunded healthcare obligations. You love your kids, so why do you want to stick them with a future where half, if not more, of every tax dollar they pay will be just to service pension debt?

119 RG3 November 10, 2012 at 12:43 AM

@ anon #112 – Yeah just like that bunch of firemen in Alameda watching that guy drown because it ain’t their job to save him. Lucky a good samaritan jumped in and saved the person. They were jerks, maybe you are too.

120 Chupacabra November 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

A soldier serving in Afghanistan, in danger 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on average $27k a year.

Tell me again how a hero fire fighter who works 2 days a week, most of it napping or watching tv, is worth $150,000 a year?

121 PHill November 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

@ Feckin Irish Mouse,
In all this discussion I’ve seen it asked why public employees are so against a 401K plan that puts the employee in charge of their retirement, but still have not seen an answer from any of you public employees. Is it because you know you’ll lose the safety net of a taxpayer guarantee of your retirement fund?

122 Don P November 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Time for the coddled ff’s to return their station funded lazy boy chairs, cancel their cable and sell the 65 in plasma tv’s they spend half their shifts playing video games on. Stop responding to minor medical calls, thats what emt and paramedics are for. No more sucking the state dry under the false premise that its either increase taxes or have no fire protection. If these entitled public sector unions were privately run they would have all gone belly up years ago.

123 Let's do it this way November 10, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Let’s set a fee and those who want to pay can and those that don’t. well….

Firefighters let home burn over $75 fee — again

By staff and WSMV-TV
SOUTH FULTON, Tenn. — Firefighters stood by and watched a Tennessee house burn to the ground earlier this week because the homeowners didn’t pay the annual subscription fee for fire service.

“You could look out my mom’s trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance,” Vicky Bell, the homeowner, said.

For Bell, that sight was almost as disturbing as the fire itself.
“We just wished we could’ve gotten more out,” she said.
It’s the second time in two years firefighters in the area have watched a house burn because of unpaid fees. Last year, Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in a house fire, along with three dogs and a cat, because the fire fee wasn’t paid.

124 @ #123 November 10, 2012 at 6:03 PM

And people call them selfless heros…

125 Dennis November 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM


bingo! and let’s not forget all those death row guys, with better living conditions than deployed soldiers (and far less likely to be killed), and the welfare+food stamps crowd, whose weekly income is guaranteed with annual cost of living increases.

126 Feckin Irish Mouse November 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Phil – The County doesn’t want 401K plans because that would mean all funds in it belong to the employee regardless. If the employee quites they can roll all funds in the account over. If an employee quits under the current system the only money the employee gets is what they put in……….They really hope the retiree and surviving spouse die before the get to the county funds in our pensions as they spend down the employee contributions first. Also the only one that get any of the remaining funds in a retirees account is the spouse as you can’t leave it to your kids or other heirs…Also if we had 401K’s they would have to pay us better……………Tell me how many people who have a base pay of $3850 after working for the same employer for 20+ years could afford to put money in a 401K…..And that is what a top step Sr Clerk makes and that is the largest classification in the County.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: