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

November 8, 2012 12:00 pm · 122 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….

Anon777 November 8, 2012 at 12:02 PM


Concoredejet November 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM

just terrible is all I can say

Killjoy November 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Shutting down 8-10 sounds pretty ominous.
The big question is, how many do we have total? How many are already vacant from previous cuts?
Richmond is still in Contra Costa County as is Pittsburg, Antioch, etc.
What are the real numbers for Claycord?

Mark November 8, 2012 at 12:11 PM

No, I’m not worried. I know fires happen, but in 38 years of life, I’ve never called the fire department or known a friend to do so. So while firefighters are no-doubt very important, I’m not sure they are quite as needed as some people think. If I have a fire, they will come as fast as they can, and that will be that. For non-fire home emergencies, we have AMR dedicated to providing emergency medical response and an ambulance is sitting idle right down the street at Willow Pass Park pretty much 24/7. (That’s my opinion, so chill out Claycord lynch mob.)

jj November 8, 2012 at 12:13 PM

what was the money i just sent in from concord extra tax for??

Howard K Mullins III November 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM

The majority of the voters voted no on this new tax.

Its a done deal.

I agree that I would like to not close the fire stations, but the costs of keeping them open is just to great.

Now we deal with it until current tax revenues increase due to the recovering economy or a bucket of money is found from somewhere else. The later is probably more realistic than the former.

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Just WRONG ! This was not supose to go this way…..
Best wishes to our firefighters……
Frank @ Station 22, we are thinking of you

Parsnip November 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I was worried when the stations were not closed. We have too many fools on the loose who don’t understand or care about fire danger if they aren’t the property owner. Unfortunately, the fire department isn’t the police department too.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 12:19 PM

The other Measure Q thread is getting buried so I’ll ask here…

The employer pension rates for FY 2012‐13 continue to increase at an unsustainable rate – from 32.3% in FY
2011‐12 to 40.8% in FY 2012‐13 for Safety Tier A.

So this means we, the employer, the taxypayer, ARE paying 40.8% of each firefighter’s salary towards their pension, right? Is that base pay, or does it include OT?

And about OT…when firefighters are on a what, 48-hr shift, is there OT included in that, or is that “norma” shift all on straight time, and OT is for anything over that 48 hrs?

blazer November 8, 2012 at 12:22 PM

It’ a sign of the “end” times.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

“norma” = “normal”

Elwood November 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Blackmail brought on by malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance of management.

Fire protection should be privatized.

The Grant November 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Not worried.

Mark November 8, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Here’s a list of all the stations if anyone’s interested in panicking.

Despite the way the Mayor portrays it, I’m not certain any stations are actually slated to close at this time. It could just be idle threats by the Chief, or maybe they will find the necessary funds some other way. Only time will tell….

Feckin Irish Mouse November 8, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Killjoy – Richmond is West Contra Costa Fire and not Consolidate……….Different pool of funds……….Consolitadate is Concord, Martinez, PH, Lafayette, Clayton & WC. Bay Point could be in the mix but I think they are ECC Fire………….Chances are Lafayette will jump ship and go with Orinda/Moraga when they become part of San Ramon Valley Fire……………….And I can see Clayton doing the same down the road too.

JW November 8, 2012 at 12:38 PM

When you need them and don’t have them, that is when you will realize the mistake.

Budget November 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I just looked at that budget. If you add up all compensation numbers not related to unemployment, FICA and retirement (in other words, just current employee compensation) and divide it by the total number of employees you get $142,000 annually per employee. And that’s an average, including admin support, IT, dispatch, anyone and everyone (not just the heroes) – $142,000! I hereby agree with HKM3 for the first time ever, we cannot afford that. And that doesn’t even get into the pension issue. Sorry firefighters, it sucks, but you’re SOL on this one.

@howard November 8, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No the majority did not vote against it. 52% were in favor. Once again a small minority holds the rest hostage. Just like the GOP.

Chuckie's Wife November 8, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I think rejecting Measure Q was the right thing to do. It is a tough choice that will force the Fire Department to bring their financial house in order in a hurry. Had Measure Q passed, it would just have delayed the inevitable.

Other public employees had to take pay and benefit cuts, so I see no reason why Firefighters, the Police or any other first responders should be treated any different. Their pension plans have been unsustainable for a long time and they chose not to do anything about it. Now they have to.

What I’m worried about is a sudden flurry in arson fires… (yeah, I know, it’s a bit conspiratorial.)

Killjoy the Scoundrel November 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM

@ FIM. I did not realize there was an East County Fire District.
Thanks for the clarification.
The fact remains, what does this mean for Claycord? How many stations total, vs how many closed?

What if... November 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Everybody could be assessed a $2000 parcel tax and we could double the number of firefighters and fire stations? Would everybody do that? I mean, you can’t put a price on safety, right? And more fire stations automatically means we’re safer (since fewer stations automatically means we’re all going to die in house fires).

Wouldn’t it be worth $2000/year for the peace of mind and to create jobs for our brave heros?

Triple Canopy November 8, 2012 at 1:02 PM

The chief issued a warning – a scare tactic to generate fear…. get the salaries and pensions under control and we’ll reconsider. First, show us a 10-year proforma on the District’s capital budget, operating budget, and retirement costs. Uh-huh.. the latter is unsustainable without special taxations.

@19…”a small minority’? Check your scale… your statement could also be applied to the recent presidential election. Think about that.

Twin Dad November 8, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Why is it that Concord has the money for a “Free Shuttle” on Monument Blvd and yet we can’t pay for fire stations? This city needs to get its priorities strait. What about adding a volunteer firefighter to every shift? This way entry level firefighter can get experience and training to build a resume. Oh wait, I forgot about the Union. There lies the problem. The Unions and the Democrats run California.

Spoons made me Fat November 8, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I voted no on everything that would cost money but this one.

Anon November 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM

To answer a few of your questions from research I have done

Yes the district pays aprox. 40% of the firefighters base wage towards pension. The empoyee (firefighters pay an additional 25% of there base salary towards there retirement)

Firefighters work a 48 hour shift which comes out to a 56 hour work week.


Contra Costa Fire Protection District currently has 28 stations that serve
Walnut Creek
San Pablo
El Sobrante

This is who the station closures will effect, as well as other areas in the county that Contra Costa Fire provides mutual aide responses too

San Ramon is covered by San Ramon Valley Fire
Richmond is covered by Richmond Fire
Pinole is covered by Pinole Fire
Rodeo-Hercules is covered by Rodeo Hercules Fire
Orinda and Moraga is covered by Orinda Moraga Fire

NRA #1 fan and member November 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Shut all the fire stations down for all we care. While you’re at it, shut down the entire police force & CNET scumbags. Us citizens can patrol and protect ourselves.

@Pete November 8, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I think your correct that the Fire District pays 40.8% of the employees base salary to fund the retirement for that employee. Overtime is not counted towards your final years salary for retirement calculations, and isn’t factored into the employer or employee payments for monthly contributions.

Regarding the many comments on OT earnings of firefighters on the various threads…Isn’t OT cheaper than additional employees, since there are no additional benefits, training & equipment costs, and it doesn’t count towards retirement? I think that OT is something that all types of companies use as the base cost for each additional employee is quite expensive. The trick is to find the balance.

Feckin Irish Mouse November 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Killjoy – it is in the hands of the politicians (BOS) and what communites they value………Do they want to try and hang on to Lafayette & Clayton??? Personally I completely understand why Lafayette & Clayton would bale as SRVF is superior as far as service delivery, equipment, has a FEMA Rescue Team etc……..But………need to watch the Gang of 5 in Martinez as they will make the final decissions……I think this will clarify as to where Concord stands as far as importance to the County structure as a whole….Most of the time Concord is considered a minor play and Richmond is the “dominatrix” but with Richmond out of this picture…….Stay tuned as this could be politcs at its finest or worse..depending on how you want to look at it.

Anon November 8, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Dont forget that Contra Costa Firefighter took a 10% pay cut as well as new hires took an additional 10% pay cut to there base wage.

Also pension benifits have been cut substatially

Pete November 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Is it true that besides somewhat recent increases to their pension contribution that firefighters were also given an increased raise in order to offset the pension contribution increase? And is it also true that the more recent 10% pay “cut” was actually a 5% reduction plus forgoing two 2.5% increases? My salary was frozen for 2009 and 2010 but I never thought to call it a cut. Sure sounds a lot like the demagogues in government who will cry that a reduction to an INCREASE in spending on some program is somehow a cut.

Bob November 8, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I wish I could do my job for 2 days straight and then get the next 5 days off. And these guys want more money? Mercury news public employee salaries just look at how much these people are bring in a year and it isnt enough? I don’t support are troops raping other people’s countries for corprate profit either.

@19 November 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Absolutely. See how “not” Bohner works with the Dems.

Rob November 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

A Tea Party Paradise.

Anon November 8, 2012 at 1:36 PM

@ Pete

The fire Department employees for went a a 5% raise that they were in contract to get in 07 that got pushed back to 09. In 09 they pushed it back again, and than in 2011-2012 they gave up those raises, and took an additional 5% pay cut, as well as new hires start at 20% lower.

The only reason why the pension contribution is so high by the district right now is because of pension depoling, and unfunded liability expenses. This expense will gradually drop in years to come, as well as retirment benifits that have been reduced.

Anon November 8, 2012 at 1:39 PM

@ Bob…I agree…a lot of guys would do the job for a whole lot less than some of these folks get paid and be happy…not to mention they may understand that it’s their job to save for their retirement not place that burden on the backs of the taxpayers….Don’t even het me started on nepotism…my brother-in-law was asked point blank who he knew that would “sponsor” his application…most of the guys he went to class with had fathers, brothers, uncles and granfathers who were FF….he never stood a chance

Paul (formerly) in South Concord November 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Made this up, a while back.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

So the taxpayer pays 40% of salary towards firefighter pensions. How is this not insane? Looking at the CONFIRE salary data, the median salary (not including OT or other earnings) is right around $100K. Most companies in the private sector will contribute match up to 3% of salary in a 401K. So supposing a $100K salary, they will get 3% or $3000 from their employer. There are some generous companies out there that will match up to 6%, but from what I’ve seen that is definitely the exception. Meanwhile, the median $100K firefighter gets nearly $41K from the taxpayer. Per year. Am I wrong??? Again, if this is correct, how is this not completely disconnected from the laws of fiscal sanity?

Bob H. November 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Boy ,you told them.Next year when your house insurance goes through the roof, because our new protection has put us on a less than desirable rate scale, remember, you did it !!

Feckin Irish Mouse November 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM

ECC Fire = Brentwood, Byron, Oakely & Bethel Island. When Riuverview Fire collasped in the 90’s Pittsburg/Antioch joined ECCF but jumped ship to ConFire…….El Cerrito is a city run fire dept and Crockett-Carquines is its own thing…………………God this takes me back to my old payroll days of sorting bundles of checks for pick up

Taxpayer November 8, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Wow. So amazing the level of ignorance here. I know this will get blasted by the people who “really know” which means those who have no knowledge of the facts. First, the 25% is not the firefighters contribution. It’s 25% of the salary which accounts for the majority of the contribution to the pension. 48 hours of straight pay, 56 hour work week, no 16 hours of built in overtime. The fire department accounts for approximate 1% of the entire county budget. County Hospital? Anywhere from 60 – 80%!! Yet not one article or comment about the waste over there! No rank and file firefighters are retiring healthy or rich. Here’s the kicker for all of those who are only concerned about the money: Wait until your insurance rates go up. Guaranteed it will be a good bit more than $75 a year!

Anon777 November 8, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Poster #22 WHAT IF: Are you out of your f’ing mind??? $2k per household? HELL NO. I pay half that for a year of homeowners insurance!

Maybe if I made an average of $142k a year, I could afford the parcel tax, but not when I make LESS than HALF that per year. There’s NOTHING LEFT after federal taxes, state taxes, property taxes, medical insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, mortgage, student loans, car payment, utilities, gas, and food!

Anonymous November 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Dear Bob and NRA #1 fan:
You are almost certainly the same person, trying to look stupid and succeding.Should you need a Fireman you will probably need him real badly. I know your type- big in the mouth and quivering in fear when something big happens.

So go ahead and bad mouth the cops and firemen. Making them look small makes you look big (in your mind)

Dear Ignorant November 8, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Uh…”unspeakable horror and tragedy every damn day”? Dude, you are way out of line. Firefighters don’t see unspeakable horror and tragedy every damn month, let alone every damn day. Besides, they get used to it and make jokes about it. It’s a coping mechanism and I’ve done it myself whilst hoisting dead bodies out of steep places. You just need to chill out big time, bro. Firefighters signed up for that job, they get paid well for it and it’s not even as dangerous as a dozen other less celebrated jobs (like fisherman or roofer). They have unions and those unions do whatever they can to get the best deal for their membership. The taxpayers are required to say no at some point. That point has been reached. You may disagree, but it makes no difference anymore.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM


I think you missed the point #22 was making…

Long time Reader November 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

$64,000 dollar fences that need to have $5,000 dollar repairs every 2-3 months, free shuttles for non english speaking groups, required days off for all city employees (most of whom do all the work). I would say they can do without the new tax revenue. My husband and I are struggling on a two income home. No more taxes. Half our checks are going to taxes and bonds that we did not even vote for.

Mark November 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Several people have used the “insurance increase” angle to add a scare factor to this whole debate – claiming that our property insurance will go up when fire stations close. So I did a little research and that claim seems mostly unfounded. Across the country, property owners with homes less than five miles from their responding fire department pay homeowner’s insurance premiums based on the fire department’s rating. Properties located more than five miles from their responding fire department are not considered to be in a rated fire district, and therefore, are subject to significantly higher homeowner’s insurance premiums.

According to the map provided above by Paul, most of us have 2 or more stations within 5 miles, I personally have 5. So I’m not really worried that closing 8-10 stations is going to affect anything unless they close them all in the same area, which they won’t. Now since ConFire is one of the best paid, best trained and best equipped departments in the Country, I’m definitely not worried about their “rating” as a department.

So, the moral of the story is that those who try to scare us with increased insurance threats, can shove up it up their asses.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Perhaps you can clarify…I think you’re saying firefighters do contribute 25% of their salary to their pensions correct?

Then you go on to say that accounts for the “majority of the contribution to the pension.” Please reconcile that with what appears from posters here and CONFIRE budget which shows the “employer contribution” (read: taxpayer) is 40.8%.

And no rank-and-file are retiring “healthy” or “rich” according to you…and you can prove the health part how? If you want to play the disability game then we can also start talking about the rampant, proven fraud in this regard. And don’t know your definition of “rich,” but the linked list of $100K CONFIRE pensions shows these people are certainly not paupers in retirement…and do you know for a fact or can you prove that none of these people were “rank-and-file”? Think about it….a very good salary over 20-30 years compounded with the 3% @ 50 formula. Not too much of a stretch to surmise many rank-and-file firefighters do more than well in retirement.

WCreeker November 8, 2012 at 2:20 PM

‘decrease in property tax revenue’ — yes, they voted themselves fat benefits back in 2002 when they though the housing bubble gravy train would never end. How do property tax revenues compare to 1999/1998? Face it, the housing bubble messed up a lot of things.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 2:22 PM

re: above$100,000%20BY%20PENSION%20TOTAL%20as%20of%20June%201%202012.pdf

CONFIRE PENSIONS $100,000 and above as of June 1, 2012 Data
LAST NAME FIRST NAME TIER Monthly Pension with COLA Annual Pension
Maxfield William Safety A 18,598$ 223,176$
Little Allen Safety A 18,458$ 221,496$
Enos Jeffrey Safety Enhanced A 17,843$ 214,116$
Argo Michael Safety Enhanced A 17,760$ 213,120$
Palmer Timothy Safety Enhanced A 17,360$ 208,320$
Walker Clark Safety Enhanced A 17,319$ 207,828$
Cullen Robert Safety A 17,253$ 207,036$
Carpenter Richard Safety Enhanced A 16,909$ 202,908$
Dalton Ronald Safety Enhanced A 16,462$ 197,544$
Thude Larry Safety Enhanced A 15,436$ 185,232$
Huyssoon Joseph Safety Enhanced A 15,342$ 184,104$
Stice William Tier 3 15,032$ 180,384$
George David Safety Enhanced A 14,930$ 179,160$
Cisterman Bryan Safety Enhanced A 14,880$ 178,560$
Carpenter David Safety Enhanced A 14,796$ 177,552$
McCarthy Kevin Safety Enhanced A 14,696$ 176,352$
Miraglia Raymond Safety A 14,504$ 174,048$
McCullah Mark Safety Enhanced A 14,370$ 172,440$
Nunes Lawrence Safety Enhanced A 14,308$ 171,696$
Gesner Ronald Safety Enhanced A 13,660$ 163,920$
Nieland Kevin Safety Enhanced A 13,656$ 163,872$
Walden Herman Safety A 13,541$ 162,492$
Fender Gerald Safety A 13,371$ 160,452$
Streuli Albert Safety A 13,326$ 159,912$
Ferrara Mark Safety Enhanced A 13,257$ 159,084$
Warren,III Henry Safety Enhanced A 13,234$ 158,808$
Campos Roberto Safety A 12,958$ 155,496$
Aiello Vincent Safety A 12,802$ 153,624$
Hayden Keith Safety A 12,679$ 152,148$
Rodgers Lester Safety A 12,579$ 150,948$
Braz Paula Safety Enhanced A 12,566$ 150,792$
Garcia Anthony Safety Enhanced A 12,495$ 149,940$
Harguth Darrell Safety A 12,445$ 149,340$
Ellis Lowell Safety Enhanced A 12,409$ 148,908$
Hasey Timothy Safety Enhanced A 12,342$ 148,104$
Ericson William Safety Enhanced A 12,312$ 147,744$
Bedgood Calvin Safety Enhanced A 12,295$ 147,540$
Gray Gerald Safety A 12,266$ 147,192$
Gonsalves Chris Safety Enhanced A 12,236$ 146,832$
Roberts Guy Safety Enhanced A 12,218$ 146,616$
Thompson Dennis Safety Enhanced A 12,181$ 146,172$
Pehlke Arnold Safety Enhanced A 12,107$ 145,284$
Seiter Bradley Safety Enhanced A 12,093$ 145,116$
Viera Richard Safety A 12,044$ 144,528$
Vega Martin Safety Enhanced A 12,013$ 144,156$
Harrison David Safety Enhanced A 12,010$ 144,120$
Kramm Randy Safety Enhanced A 11,973$ 143,676$
Bruce Rodney Safety Enhanced A 11,909$ 142,908$
Minvielle Randall Safety Enhanced A 11,863$ 142,356$
Price Ronald Safety Enhanced A 11,808$ 141,696$
Campbell Paul Safety Enhanced A 11,775$ 141,300$
Babcock Steven Safety Enhanced A 11,733$ 140,796$
Silva Ronald Safety Enhanced A 11,700$ 140,400$
Aliotti Peter Safety Enhanced A 11,667$ 140,004$
Clausen Gary Safety Enhanced A 11,639$ 139,668$
Clausen Curtis Safety Enhanced A 11,525$ 138,300$
George Michael Tier 1 Enhanced 11,514$ 138,168$
Lewis William Safety Enhanced A 11,492$ 137,904$
Mulgrew John Safety A 11,479$ 137,748$
Hill James Safety A 11,441$ 137,292$
Chapman Richard Safety Enhanced A 11,438$ 137,256$
Reshatoff Jack Safety A 11,420$ 137,040$
Wilson Scott Safety Enhanced A 11,374$ 136,488$
Costa Richard Safety A 11,352$ 136,224$
Hansen Jeffrey Safety Enhanced A 11,337$ 136,044$
Leverton Susan Safety Enhanced A 11,306$ 135,672$
Burris Xon Safety Enhanced A 11,298$ 135,576$
Miller David Safety Enhanced A 11,243$ 134,916$
Hooper Donald Safety A 11,206$ 134,472$
Walker Ronnie Safety Enhanced A 11,197$ 134,364$
Johnson James Safety Enhanced A 11,171$ 134,052$
Stiglich John Safety Enhanced A 11,113$ 133,356$
Fank Patrick Safety Enhanced A 11,110$ 133,320$
Zimmerman Wayne Safety Enhanced A 11,099$ 133,188$
Moomey Ronald Safety Enhanced A 11,069$ 132,828$
Koch Timothy Safety Enhanced A 11,041$ 132,492$
Watts Frederick Safety Enhanced A 11,037$ 132,444$
Giambona Michael Safety Enhanced A 11,027$ 132,324$
Travis Steve Safety Enhanced A 11,006$ 132,072$
Nunes Patricia Safety Enhanced A 10,923$ 131,076$
Willet Randal Safety Enhanced A 10,888$ 130,656$
Hawkins James Safety Enhanced A 10,826$ 129,912$
Danielson Donald Safety Enhanced A 10,819$ 129,828$
Bridges Steven Safety A 10,806$ 129,672$
Passadore James Safety Enhanced A 10,800$ 129,600$
Gonzalez Bob Safety Enhanced A 10,738$ 128,856$
Brodie Stanton Safety Enhanced A 10,729$ 128,748$
Costello Anthony Safety Enhanced A 10,708$ 128,496$
Weisbrod Gary Safety Enhanced A 10,612$ 127,344$
Rahmer Daniel Safety Enhanced A 10,558$ 126,696$
Gehling Mary Safety Enhanced A 10,553$ 126,636$
Laatsch James Safety Enhanced A 10,495$ 125,940$
Primrose Joel Safety Enhanced A 10,478$ 125,736$
Borch Wayne Safety Enhanced A 10,454$ 125,448$
Clark Cholya Safety Enhanced A 10,447$ 125,364$
Prentice Dale Safety Enhanced A 10,431$ 125,172$
Ajlouny Jaad Safety Enhanced A 10,401$ 124,812$
Ruiz Gregory Safety Enhanced A 10,398$ 124,776$
Hess William Safety A 10,376$ 124,512$
Baker Lee Safety Enhanced A 10,363$ 124,356$
Boyle Francis Safety A 10,341$ 124,092$
Giles William Safety Enhanced A 10,321$ 123,852$
Brockett Lloyd Safety A 10,318$ 123,816$
Aiello Victor Safety Enhanced A 10,293$ 123,516$
Zine Edward Safety Enhanced A 10,272$ 123,264$
Banovitz William Safety Enhanced A 10,235$ 122,820$
Macumber Edward Safety Enhanced A 10,234$ 122,808$
Sawyer Charles Safety Enhanced A 10,166$ 121,992$
Morehouse Ronald Safety Enhanced A 10,158$ 121,896$
Marshall John Safety Enhanced A 10,124$ 121,488$
Watts Craig Safety Enhanced A 10,060$ 120,720$
Price Charles Safety Enhanced A 10,057$ 120,684$
DeSoto Donald Safety Enhanced A 10,045$ 120,540$
Clemens Dennis Safety Enhanced A 10,040$ 120,480$
Slack Steven Safety Enhanced A 10,029$ 120,348$
Wong Douglas Safety Enhanced A 10,017$ 120,204$
Baker Darrell Safety Enhanced A 10,010$ 120,120$
Mecum Dennis Safety Enhanced A 10,007$ 120,084$
Paulson Louis Safety Enhanced A 10,002$ 120,024$
Duarte Gerald Safety A 10,001$ 120,012$
Goss Gerald Safety Enhanced A 9,979$ 119,748$
Coley, Jr George Safety A 9,905$ 118,860$
Weyrauch Steven Safety Enhanced A 9,903$ 118,836$
Enea Samuel Safety Enhanced A 9,859$ 118,308$
Kuidis,Jr Edward Safety Enhanced A 9,826$ 117,912$
Waller Ralph Safety Enhanced A 9,825$ 117,900$
Tegner Douglas Safety Enhanced A 9,742$ 116,904$
Gay Richard Safety Enhanced A 9,735$ 116,820$
Crawford Robert Safety A 9,729$ 116,748$
Abrahamson Jennifer Safety Enhanced A 9,690$ 116,280$
Tipton Sandra Safety A 9,687$ 116,244$
Zaffonato James Safety Enhanced A 9,684$ 116,208$
Ward William Safety Enhanced A 9,684$ 116,208$
Newberry Terry Safety Enhanced A 9,674$ 116,088$
Pagliero John Safety Enhanced A 9,669$ 116,028$
Dunlap Martin Safety Enhanced A 9,667$ 116,004$
Rey Jr. Robert Safety Enhanced A 9,667$ 116,004$
O’Brien David Safety Enhanced A 9,555$ 114,660$
Steinhoff Daniel Safety Enhanced A 9,528$ 114,336$
Jessen Gregory Safety Enhanced A 9,510$ 114,120$
Martin Ronald Safety Enhanced A 9,507$ 114,084$
Christie Frank Safety A 9,448$ 113,376$
Peebles Larry Safety A 9,434$ 113,208$
Bava Stephen Safety Enhanced A 9,399$ 112,788$
Capra Robert Safety Enhanced A 9,382$ 112,584$
Rhoades Robert Safety A 9,371$ 112,452$
Bright Jeffrey Safety Enhanced A 9,344$ 112,128$
Stanley Roger Safety A 9,305$ 111,660$
Bell Roy Safety A 9,286$ 111,432$
Shoemake Duanne Safety A 9,277$ 111,324$
Davis Robert Safety Enhanced A 9,264$ 111,168$
Egan Thomas Safety Enhanced A 9,260$ 111,120$
Harvey Christopher Safety A 9,238$ 110,856$
Stevens Ronald Safety Enhanced A 9,216$ 110,592$
Webb Timothy Safety Enhanced A 9,215$ 110,580$
Stralovich Catherine Safety Enhanced A 9,212$ 110,544$
Walker Jack Safety Enhanced A 9,204$ 110,448$
Davis Ronald Safety A 9,186$ 110,232$
Begell Richard Safety Enhanced A 9,184$ 110,208$
Morton David Safety Enhanced A 9,177$ 110,124$
Gaffney Charles Safety A 9,135$ 109,620
Garbarino Allen Safety Enhanced A 9,128$ 109,536$
Tipton Stanley Safety A 9,118$ 109,416$
Orr John Safety Enhanced A 9,042$ 108,504$
Lewis Billy Safety A 8,990$ 107,880$
Hickey Joseph Safety Enhanced A 8,957$ 107,484$
Tye Timothy Safety Enhanced A 8,916$ 106,992$
Hartsock Bernard Safety Enhanced A 8,902$ 106,824$
Fuhrman Michael Safety Enhanced A 8,895$ 106,740$
Johnson James Safety Enhanced A 8,885$ 106,620$
Huff Garry Safety Enhanced A 8,853$ 106,236$
Dooley Richard Safety Enhanced A 8,841$ 106,092$
Shoemaker George Safety Enhanced A 8,832$ 105,984$
Thomas Rebecca Safety Enhanced A 8,828$ 105,936$
Massone Michael Safety Enhanced A 8,824$ 105,888$
Hopps Don Safety Enhanced A 8,818$ 105,816$
Accomazzo David Safety Enhanced A 8,797$ 105,564$
Kissick Edward Safety Enhanced A 8,794$ 105,528$
De Marinis Franco Safety Enhanced A 8,787$ 105,444$
Harris Eddie Safety Enhanced A 8,783$ 105,396$
Tovani Ernest Safety A 8,752$ 105,024$
Burke Delores Safety A 8,719$ 104,628$
Bertero Ana Safety Enhanced A 8,708$ 104,496$
Best Bennie Safety A 8,688$ 104,256$
April Steven Safety Enhanced A 8,657$ 103,884$
DelFiorentino Richard Safety A 8,651$ 103,812$
Greenlaw Russell Safety A 8,601$ 103,212$
Furlong Michael Safety A 8,592$ 103,104$
Irby Michael Safety Enhanced A 8,569$ 102,828$
Gromacki Richard Safety A 8,562$ 102,744$
Bailey Steven Safety Enhanced A 8,536$ 102,432$
Price Gary Safety Enhanced A 8,499$ 101,988$
Shackleford Bonnie Tier 1 Enhanced 8,482$ 101,784$
Ortland Ralph Safety A 8,482$ 101,784$
Wahl David Safety Enhanced A 8,481$ 101,772$
Toovey Vincent Safety Enhanced A 8,468$ 101,616$
Kendrick Scott Safety Enhanced A 8,468$ 101,616$
Geddes John Safety Enhanced A 8,424$ 101,088$
Hill Curtis Safety Enhanced A 8,397$ 100,764$
Clement Dave Safety Enhanced A 8,368$ 100,416$
Max Daniel Safety Enhanced A 8,333$ 99,996$

Residents wanted this to pass! November 8, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Measure Q was voted for in favor by a simple majority of central county residents. Unfortunately though, it fell just short of the 2/3 majority this particular measure needed to win. So technically, the majority of voters wanted this win, but the 2/3’s requirement caused the failure. Why did it need 2/3’s approval anyway??????????

@ NRA #1 fan and member November 8, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Yeah, well spoken keystroke commando. Love to see you and your neighbors try to put out a structure fire or locate your stolen vehicle. Let me know how preforming CPR on yourself works out for you. You are a dumb ass.

Well qualified only please November 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM

To the asinine folks who say anyone would be glad to do this job for less $$$ I say this: I don’t want just anyone doing this job!!! Emergency service personnel should be of high caliber, well trained, well qualified backgrounds (or the ability to achieve that status upon entry)! I don’t want any joe citizen coming to my aid in an emergency. You are all fools to say emergency personnel don’t deserve to be well paid with OUTSTANDING benefits. They do. That’s my opinion and I have felt thst way all if my adult life when I was given the opportunities to do adult things like vote, obtain higher education, and seek employment. I would live to have gone into the line of business myself but knew I could not handle the stress of such jobs. That is why not everyone can do the job. And many aspire and even apply to become firefighters and police officers but get weeded out along the way because they could not meet a standard necessary for these positions. And rightfully so! This is not serving up a burger at claim jumper or crunching numbers at Wells Fargo bank. It is EMERGENCY SERVICES!!! A job where you can never prepare for your work day because you never know what to expect! These people provide critical, life saving services and then some and have to do it by the seat of their pants. There is no other work like it. So how about this: The next person that wants to complain about their high pay and overly generous benefits please do this first: tell us what your job is and what your typical day is like. Not to mention the hours you work, your scheduled breaks, vacations, pay and benefits and then we can decide if you are getting what you deserve.

Fred P. November 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM

@#52 (and others)…. Nice contribution to the discussion.

Is that how you make yourself feel big – by putting down others’ opinions?

Why don’t you practice some tolerance and learn about what they’re saying – rather than blasting them because they don’t agree with you?

No wonder this country is so divided! Maybe you ought to look in the mirror.

BTW, you don’t “preform” CPR……. you perform CPR. Also, don’t forget that thousands of people (non-EMS) have been trained to perform CPR .

As others have noted – just how many structure fires does any one station respond to in a year (historically)?

Reality says... November 8, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Does anyone know the “call to rest” ratio for the local stations that are targeted to be closed?

I worked in SF for many years and I had an office that was .5 blocks from a fire station. Those guys were on calls one right after another. I heard them talking at the local sandwich shop one day about their “call to rest” ratio being high. I assume, maybe incorrectly, that it meant the amount of time they rest vs are out on calls based on their conversation.

I live near the Crystal Ranch station and honestly, I don’t hear them go out that often. I have probably seen them at Safeway more times then I have seen them fighting fires or rescuing people.

That number would be an interesting data point.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 3:05 PM

There are a number of jobs as dangerous if not more than being a firefighter. That’s not to take away from the job firefighters (and cops, etc.) perform, but it’s just stating a fact. The thing is, most of those other jobs, along with their pay, benefits, etc. is irrelevant to the faulty comparison you are trying to make. Why? Because most of those jobs are in the private sector and not paid for with taxpayer money.

Anon November 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Just to clarify about the retirement salaries listed above. This is all county employees.

Not just firefighters from Con Fire, and most of those from Con Fire are upper level management.

Take that 25% they contribute from there base salary (empoyee contributions towards there own pension). This means that at current wages and employee contributions, the employee themselves contributes over a $1,000,000 towards there own pension, over a 30 year career.

Sacto Rob November 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Up here in Sacramento, we’ve had fire station “brownouts” purportedly due to budget cuts. But during a recent single home fire in my neighborhood, 14 fire trucks pulled up on scene, including a fire department catering truck, which passed out coffee and cocoa to the firefighters, 90% of whom were standing around watching the five or six guys actually working on the small blaze. I suspect the union contract stipulates firefighers must be literally catered to while on scene. A few common sense cutbacks on such frills would keep a lot more fire stations open.

Diablo November 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I think I heard that logging is the most dangerous job out there, wonder how their pay compares to being a firefighter. I respect the job that F.D.’s do, I just don’t know of anything else that has as long of a waiting list for employment or getting paid while sleeping. Seen all kinds of adds for law enforcement, just never seen any for the fire department.

Know it all November 8, 2012 at 3:50 PM

They say they will close 8-10 fire stations which means when they tighten their purse strings and get some grants they will close about 4. They have fire stations that dont even get an emergency call once a day. Means the other stations will have to pick up the calls and it will take 3-4 minutes longer to get to a call. Usually fire departments do rolling closures which means there is a different one closed every day.

anon November 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

CC Fire District is county funded so the Measure Q passed last year for the City of Concord cannot be use for Fire Stations.

Secondly, the free shuttle is not being paid for by the City of Concord. It is being paid for by a grant awarded to the City of Concord for the shuttle.

Ms. Erable November 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM

@ Well qualified only please –
You’re 100% wrong. There are thousands of returning military and ex-military with advanced train in EVERYTHING a firefighter does. Get over your self.

@ Ms.erable November 8, 2012 at 5:04 PM

So what’s your point? If they are well qualified and do the job, then they should be compensated appropriately. That includes any ex-military that gets hired. You are 100% confused apparently.

KAD November 8, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Yes, I am worried about them closing which is why I voted Yes on Q. I can’t believe this was not passed by the voters.

Ms. Erable November 8, 2012 at 5:42 PM

@ #65 –
Ah yes the point. Didn’t think anyone would really need to be hand fed the obvious explanation.
There are an abundance of highly qualified people who would love a job and would no doubt be willing to work for a more reasonable compensation package.
We love our firefighters but they ain’t as special as they think.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Anon #59,

The pension list above was labeled as CONFIRE, are you saying it is incorrect? I saw a CONFIRE-“friendly” site discussing this list, and even there they did not dispute these were indeed all CONFIRE retirees.

And “most” are upper level mgt? How many…do you know this because you know the person and/or the rating next to their name? If it is a large number then I’d have to ask, how many upper level mgt people are needed in a dept of what, less than 400 people? Look at the retirement dates, the overwhelming majority have retired since 2000, which means many of these people were working during the same time period and just seems an inordinate number of upper level mgt types for such a relatively small organization.

Concord Roncord November 8, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Thanks to all the jackasses who voted it down. Keep getting your life outlook from Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Grover Norquist.

Ms. Erable November 8, 2012 at 6:32 PM

If you worried about fire protection keep your insurance up to date, maintain your trees, bushes and weeds and install a sprinkler system.

Don P November 8, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Dont forget these ” heros” are routeinly given free passes from cops for drunk driving. Have heard this first hand from several ff i’ve known.

Curious November 8, 2012 at 7:02 PM

In how many years will all of the services be cut to ZERO and ALL of our taxes will go to pay pensions?

Slugga November 8, 2012 at 7:30 PM

So how fast do you want them to get to your house when you dial 911? Oh, what’s that you say? You’d rather have $75? Thanks, idealogues.

OIFVET November 8, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Wow, reading a lot of these post make a lot of you sound like the democrats that voted for Obama. I’m not a FF nor do I want to because I enjoy sleeping in my own bed and I enjoy spending time with my family. Sometimes these are the things these guys and gals give up to do their job. I understand scarifice spending 10 years in the service spending upto 1 year away from my family at any given time. You all complain about what they do or what they do not do. But I bet if you have a heart attack, car accident or god forbid have a house fire guess who you will rely on, the very group you all are slamming.
As for BOB you don’t have to support anything, the FF the or the troops. I don’t blame you as you sit on the couch probably collecting unemployment and on Medicare cause your an angry person who has no self worth.

Ms. Erable November 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Wow, such nasty comments from people who didn’t get everything their way.
I’m reminded of a spoiled baby whose pacifier was ripped from it’s mouth. But the babies will outgrow the tantrums.

Vince Wells November 8, 2012 at 9:25 PM

The commitee to protect fire and emergancy services in Contra Costa lead the campaign for Measure Q. After reading the post in this thread, there is still a lot of misinformation despite our efforts. The vote required a 2/3’s yes vote. The majority of the citizens of the community supported the tax, but not the super majority. A colleague of mine compared it to sitting at a table and taking a vote on chicken or beef, and out of the 100 people at the table, 66 wanted beef and 34 people wanted chicken. Chicken it is!
Fire service in a community is a much needed service. As a fire fighter with over 17 years, I can attest to this because of the calls I have responded to in which we made a difference. With many of them being life or death. Those that have not needed us, can easily say we are not a necessisty for the community. I am one who is ok with that. What do we need the Navy Seals for, they never did anything for me? Here in California, we can ask why do we need FEMA, or Red Cross, or Urban Rescue Teams? I never used any of those services. ” I wasn’t around for the earthquakes”.
There is a reason why all of these agencies exists and why standards of response times, staffing, and training levels have been set. ” Why do they say we need to wear seatbelts in cars or wear life jackets in boats? Who came up with those rules? Sometimes we need to go back in time to be reminded of why we put fire stations in the community in the first place. Those that question our worth have a right to, but hopefully it is with proper education. As a firefighter who lives in Walnut Creek, I am very concerned about the impact of station closures and response times. I am a macho man, but I have children and a granddaughter who may be trapped in a vehicle on 680 waiting to for fighters to cut them out.
Who is responsible for educating the community about the importance of fire and emergency services?
Many people didn’t know what FEMA stood for until Katrina hit. No one was concerned about PG&E pipelines until San Bruno. The incidents and lessons learned go on. 2/3’s of the voters have not utilized our services, so it makes sense to me why the tax failed. What would be very disappointing is that if voters in the community that have family, or property, made their decision based on an editorial, tax payer association representative, and chose to ignore the chief or those that provide the service. Would you eliminate airport security if you heard they were over paid?

The Measure failed so we now live with the consequences, whatever they will or will not be.

sprout November 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM

@ 55 … I think you are missing the point that although firefighters are well trained in a variety of life and property saving skills, and while those are valuable, they are not exceptional. As @64 points out, there is an over abundance of highly qualified applicants, both military vets and non vets. For every position that opens up, probably more than twenty HIGHLY qualified applicants show up. Military vets, veteran paramedics, seasonal CalFire workers. The unlucky 19 go do something else. Maybe work at Claim Jumper or Burger King as you say. While most of us would like firefighters to earn a comfortable living so they can be happy and healthy in their personal lives which in turn should make them able to apply themselves fully while they are on the clock, I believe it is a mistake to shield compensation from supply and demand. If firefighter pay was subject to the free market as it is in more dangerous jobs like roofing or taxi driving, we would see pay fall to a third of what it is now, we wouldn’t be having a discussion about closing stations, and there would still be a horde of over qualified applicants climbing over each other to get these jobs. I don’t mind so much that landing a municipal firefighting job is like winning the lottery, they get paid extremely well, and somehow convinced us all that it makes sense that they should get paid for sleeping. (why can’t police work three days straight and get five off?) I mind that they are making six figures when there are workers willing to do the same job for five. Why not pay them seven figures? It doesn’t seem to matter whether we can afford it or not, or even if we could get more firefighters for less money.

Pete November 8, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Good grief, more of the same “they do such a hard job” tripe, as if we’re just supposed to genuflect at their feet and forget about out-of-control spending and the impending public pension tsunami we will all be facing. Yes, we get it, they do an important job. It’s dangerous. I resepct them for it, just as I do any number of OTHER dangerous occupations. But that’s not a license to just turn a blind eye to a compensation/pension model that is, without question, unsustainable.

And sorry to crush your rather lame characterization, but I’m not a Democrat, sure as hell didn’t vote for Obama, and did some time myself in our Armed Forces.

Dr. Dude November 8, 2012 at 9:59 PM

I am a doctor and I do not expect to earn as much in retirement as a firefighter, if those numbers posted by Pete are correct. WTF?????????? For that price, you could be sending trained medical doctors (just pick the buffest ones) to all of your emergencies. I have friends who are firefighters and yes, they witness difficult things but damn it so do we!!

Mark November 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

# 53, the reason parcel taxes require 2/3 of the vote is because it’s landowners, not renters, who pay the tax. Majority vote would be unfair.

True November 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I’m sorry it didn’t pass. If you have never had to call them your very lucky.
have had to call and was very greatfull they wear hear so fast when my husband couldn’t breath. Due to COPD , we didn’t know he had it at the time.

Gjets November 8, 2012 at 10:42 PM

whatever, let them close and make the FF get a real job

CCC Anon November 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Residents Wanted This To Pass! #53,

You asked why there is a 2/3 requirement for parcel taxes. The 2/3 requirement was part of Proposition 13. I don’t think there was any logic behind it except “we hate taxes”.

js November 8, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Well that was certainly a nice lecture. Patronizing, pretentious, while also striking those subtle tones of foreboding and derision. Doesn’t change the fact your pensions are unsustainable. Tell me, why shouldn’t you and your peers be in a 401K type retirement plan?

js November 8, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Tell us more about AB340, the watered down “reform” that applies to new hires on/after 1/1/2013 and will have little to no impact on current members.

REPEAL PROP 13 November 9, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Repeal prop 13. That alone would be HUGE for the rest of us living in CA here and now.

Feckin Irish Mouse November 9, 2012 at 7:42 AM

js – there is AB 197 that applies to current employees………….do your research.

Good Business November 9, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Start charging for service calls, who wouldnt pay a fee to have their life saved? problem solved. An amulance ride will cost you $800 bucks why dont the firefighters adopt this?

Saving peoples life is costs money, they need a damn business man in their organization.

@87 November 9, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Before prop 13 property taxes went up 10% year to cover costs. I that what you want? There was no cap.

TeamUSA November 9, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Hopefully no one will need the assistance of firefighters anytime soon.

You’ll know that Kris Hunt and her cronies at CoCoTax have their claws deep in the pockets of CoCoTimes staff like Lisa Vorderbruggen and various members of the grand jury (talk about impartial)…

I’ve learned that whatever she’s for, I’m against. She’s foul and unprofessional and she does well to use scare tactics to fend off the voters.

She may want to invest in a few fire extinguishers. As should you all.

js November 9, 2012 at 9:16 AM

AB197 was passed to correct two “errors” they dicovered in the drafting of AB340.

Like I said, negligible impact on current employees/retirees, which is why it will be years if not a decade+ before any real “savings” are seen. In large part this is why the unions only put up the facade of opposing this “reform”, because they knew it could have (and should have) been much worse for them, since they dodged the hybrid 401K bullet among other potential measures.

By unanimous vote, the Senate also passed a separate related bill, AB 197 (Buchanan), to correct drafting errors discovered in the legislation approved Tuesday by the Legislature’s Conference Committee. More details of the pension reform legislation, AB 340, can be found here.

Here is a good summary:

And here is the pertinent text of AB197, Chapter 297:

js November 9, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Actually, here’s the more reader-friendly summary of AB340/197:

Boots McGillicuddy November 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM

I am a Democrat. Voted or Obama, Miller, DeSaulnier, straight ticvket. I’ve never voted GOP in my life and I don’t think I’ve everr voted against a tax in my life. I voted No on Q.

I don’t want any more of my money going into the pockets of rich fire fighters. I’m sick and tired of driving to work on a Tuesday morning only to get passed by a big F-250 with a fire fighter union bumpersticker towing a boat on its way to Lake Berryessa, or a 5th wheel on its way to Tahoe.

I worked hard all my life, did everything right. Paid my own way through college, bought a house thats now underwater, never claimed unemployment in my life, and always pay my taxes. I can’t afford half the lifestyle of a high school educated firefighter, and I’ll be working until I’m at least 67 while they all retire fat and happy at 50.

It ain’t right, and until its fixed they won’t get a dime more from me. Let my worthless house burn, I don’t care.

js November 9, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Those of you whining about Measure Q not passing, there is something you can do. There’s something like 87000 of you that voted yes. So start a drive to get all those people to each write a $75 check to CCCFPD, here is their contact info:

They better hold on, because they’re about to be washed away by a tidal wave of cash!!!

Feckin Irish Mouse November 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Excuse me js – AB 197 has a huge inpact on current employees………….without “terminal pay” the average Sr Clerk retiring from CC County @ age 60 with 30 years will get a pension $2641.18 pr month before taxes and health care cost are taken………………….And to the insult that there have been no pay raises in 5 years and acutally they took a wage decrease/benefit cost increase…………….
So many of you are just sad bitter people that will piss and moan no matter what……………..Tell you what the next time there is testing for any City/County/State position apply and take the test………….until then quit whining. Oh and you too can have that very “generous” pension of $2641.18 pefore tax and health care deductions……….try to live on that in CC County…………….

Boots McGillicuddy November 9, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Captain Wells, I thank you for the service you provide, it is indeed a valuable one, but it is not one that deserves limitless compensation.

Last year you took home $103,636 base salary. You made an additional $21,000 in overtime. Adding up all ther other tax payer contributions to your pension plan and your healtcare plan etc, your total cost of employment to the people of this County was $207,884. Thats a lot of money.

You claim you work 56 hours a week. During those shifts do you ever watch TV? read books? work out? eat a meal? Do you get paid while you sleep?

the problem in CoCo County is not that we don’t give enough money to the ConFire, its that its badly allocated and is being misspent.

Question Askerer November 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM

When an old lady passes out at Aegis and needs some smelling salts, why the heck does an ambulance arrive shortly thereafter followed by a huge fire truck and then a Fire Department EMT vehicle? 25 people all rushing to one minor call.

Is this a case of “the tax payer is watching, look busy”? I think it might be. If we put a stop to all these redundant medical calls and leave those to EMTs like they do in the rest of the world, we’ll be able to easily fix the budget mess at ConFire. It will of course mean laying off fire fighters and that will never fly.

jtkatec November 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Question Askerer, when an old lady passes out at AEGIS and AEGIS calls the ambulance, is because AEGIS is scared of a lawsuit which may arise from some family member because AEGIS DIDN’T call the 911.

But there arises another question, doesn’t ambulance services and FD charge for each call? Insurance companies have clauses in their policies for Fire Dept service calls, which they reimburse the homeowner / business. So here’s a revenue stream that’s not discussed. How much is that revenue from billing on service calls.

Feckin Irish Mouse November 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

jtkatec – as far as I know the Health Insurance companies will only pay for the ride. But if they go out and you are DOA or die before they get you in the ambulance, it’s almost impossible to get insurance to pay. And if you have Kaiser don’t die during the ride as Kaiser will try to weasle out of paying for the ride….In the past the FD could only charge if it was their ambulance and it was for abulance service only. AMR will bill people if the insurance won’t pay…but AMR usually gives billing ins a couple of tries before billing the sick/injured party. It’s been years since I’ve dealt with insurance billings so lots could have changed but we would have bill and rebill and rebill and rebill to get things paid.

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?

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.

js November 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Fine by me, bootlicker.

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???????

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.

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.

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.

Concord guy November 9, 2012 at 4:55 PM

fire all the fat cat county workers ASAP!

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.

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.

Shiloh November 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

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

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

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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

And people call them selfless heros…

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.

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: