What is a Firefighter Worth?

by James McGowan
May 3, 2012

From the Valley Breeze Newspapers, May 2, 2012 (http://www.valleybreeze.com/)

Written by Tina Clarke, Proud wife of a Cumberland, RI, firefighter

There has been so much talk recently about things like containing costs, lowering taxes, and those who work in public safety being overpaid - particularly firefighters - that it could make your head spin. We've all done the "simple math," crunched the numbers, and it all seems to boil down to a simple question. What are firefighters worth?


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Comments (3)

If you think firemen are getting paid too much and should have their wages and benefits cut back then in the next case of emergency call a baseball,football or a basketball player

- dave mcbride | 12/8/13 6:43 PM

And that kind of thinking is why we should take care of those who do care about other people other than themselves

- longshoremark | 2/6/13 10:04 PM

This article appears to be directed to those who think firefighters are paid to much, or think their pay should be cut. At least in Holliston, everything I've read and written myself suggests the exact opposite. On the issue of benefits, it's interesting that the current pension and retiree heath insurance benefits are so expensive, the leaders of our government can't even bring themselves to charge taxpayers the real cost of providing them. Ask the firefighters in bankrupt Central Falls RI how they're enjoying the loss of their pension and health care benefits because Rhode Island, like Massachusetts never paid the real cost of those benefit programs. Now, Holliston is $45 million in debt and the State is billions in debt for retiree health insurance alone. Pensions are on top of that. If those who advocate to retain the current benefits can't even figure out how to cover the real cost, isn't it ok to consider alternatives that we can actually pay for? If I were a firefighter, and I had a choice to a.) be in benefit plans that are financially sound enough to actually provide my benefits or b.) be in benefit plans that falsely acknowledge my sacrifices by either leaving me high and dry when I need them most, or my kids further burdened with costs that have been kicked down the road for decades, I'd choose a.).

- Bill Dowd | 5/6/12 2:39 AM



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