My Observations on San Diego Firefighters

Guest Column Guest Column 68 Comments


Guest Commentary
by Mary Moran

Yes, everyone loves and appreciates firefighters when they are saving lives and homes. These amazing men place their lives on the line almost everyday. They are hard working! On a fire, often their shifts are 24 hours (with a few hours break for food and sleep) for up to 14 days straight. That’s extremely challenging physical work! Yet, did you know that a firefighter’s salary is relatively low?

It’s funny: in front of the TV, the leaders of our community are applauding the firefighters. They can’t say enough about how they are heroes, saving homes, saving lives, while placing their own lives on the line. Yet behind the scenes, people like Carl DeMaio are stripping the firefighters of their pensions AND death benefits (in case they die while saving lives, their family/children will not be taken care of).

“Pension Reform” has caused qualified firefighters to look elsewhere for positions in other fire departments. Also, the young firefighters are using San Diego as a training ground, and then they’ll move on to another fire department that offers benefits. Pension reform is actually wreaking havoc in our community, as there is now a shortage of qualified firefighters.

And why is it that the San Diego police were not stripped of their pensions via Proposition B? Was there a backroom deal between DeMaio and former Police Chief Jerry Sanders — in which SDPD pensions would not be touched in exchange for then Mayor Sanders’ help in supporting/promoting the Prop B Pension Reform initiative? Hmmm, makes you wonder doesn’t it?

How about some transparency in local government, the kind that DeMaio speaks of while he is out campaigning?!

Kindly say a prayer for our firefighters, and all first responders. Thank you.

# # #

Moran is the wife of a firefighter


Comments 68

  1. Like many other public servants we tend to forget about these brave men and women until we need them. Next time you are in a grocery store and see them purchasing their food goods for the week – take a moment to say WE APPRECIATE YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

  2. Are we seriously going to restart the Prop B debate? 60% of SD voters supported it. And your “facts” about stripping benefits are completely off base. It’s approved and implemented. Time to move on.

  3. Thanks, Mary. I wasn’t aware of the devastating effects DeMaio’s so-called “pension reform” had on the families and careers of firefighters. I was aware of his deal with Sanders to exempt Police pensions from the chopping block, but this was one unintended (intended?) consequence I hadn’t heard about before. As the wife of a firefighter, you have first-hand knowledge, and I’m grateful that you’ve shared it.

    One can easily debate whether these consequences were foreseeable. Personally, I think they were. Yes, we know our pension system was bloated and needed real reform to rid it of waste and fraud, But this so-called “reform” did much more than that, and it was pushed through with a complete disregard for these consequences I realize hind-sight is 20-20, but other cities had been through this same kind of situation and chose not to take the drastic steps that became this much ballyhooed “reform.”

    It was unrealistic, for example, to expect the police to not carry their share of the burden. It was a bad, poorly thought through plan, but DeMaio had to see it blustered through, not because it was best for the city, but because it was HIS plan. That kind of hubris isn’t something we need in an a representative who is supposed to have OUR best interests in mind and not his own personal career.

  4. Dear “Seriously” (not sure why you wont use your real name), Hillary feels the same about Benghazi, she would love for us all to “move on”. But the facts are the facts, and the facts don’t lie. If you know so much about Prop B, then tell us all why the SDPD were exempted. (and don’t say that it was addressed in the City Charter, we read it, and it wasn’t in the Charter). Thanks.

  5. Mary, this is SO true. I know first hand as my son is a Fire Fighter Paramedic. San Diego has “cut cut cut” fire departments, closed stations resulting in longer response times, hires their quota of unqualified recruits. This IS honestly what happens. FFers have been leaving SD in droves because of more reasons that can’t be mentioned but……ALL UNFAIR!!! If we all got up each day and put our lives on the line for the service of others, wouldn’t it be fair to protect those who protect us? As Fire fighters I know say, “The Firefighter doesn’t choose the job. The passion is within a Firefighter and the job chooses them.” And, those are the ones we want entering our homes, businesses, cars, schools. The ones saving our Loved Ones lives as the family watches them drive away in an ambulance. Not one hired to fill a quota or to move on after being trained. Pray and thanks be to God the BRAVE SOULS here are safe during this horrible tradegy.

  6. 72% of our nation’s firefighters are VOLUNTEERS. No pay, no pensions, same risks, same lifesaving service.

    So don’t tell me our firefighters are underpaid. For every opening there are 100 or more qualified applicants. It’s arguably the most respected occupation in America. Firefighting is the LAST government job that requires more compensation.

    Indeed, consider this fact:

    The average California firefighter is paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states (NOTE: Volunteers NOT included). CA cops are paid 56% more.

  7. The difference between police and firefighters is supply and demand. It’s a challenge to get qualified police officers — giving someone a gun, a badge and arrest powers needs more careful screening than firefighters. Also, many people hate police, so as often as not it’s a thankless job — unlike the universal appreciation and admiration for firefighters.

    Because of the shortage of qualified police applicants and competition with other departments, we had to pay our police officers the defined benefit plans they can get with other jurisdictions. Again, it’s supply and demand.

    But there is no shortage of qualified firefighters. In fact, San Diego (like many local governments), makes it difficult and expensive to apply — and allow only a narrow time frame annually when applications are accepted. Otherwise there would be an embarrassing and expensive flood of applications. This favorable supply-demand ratio means we don’t have to pay the pensions we must pay for our police.

    As for quota hiring, that is a separate issue. Indeed, if we are hiring unqualified people based on race, etc. as Sherie infers, that’s another reason we don’t have to pay these favored applicants juicy pensions and pay.

  8. Mary Moran is using inflammatory, dishonest statements — much to the delight of DeMaio-hater Karen Grube. Firefighters were not “stripped of their pensions.” Only the recent new hires are not in the defined benefit pension program — all firefighters (and indeed, all city employees) included under the defined benefit plan when they were hired are still in the plan.

  9. Thanks for your comments Richard. No need to attack me though. Again, the facts are the facts! Did you see the comment above from a mother of a firefighter? Do you know whats happening behind the scenes? Well, I do. Think about it: Why on earth would a firefighter want to work in SD if the City is not taking care of them w benefits when plenty of other Cities are – in addition to CalFire? In San Diego, there is a severe shortage of firefighters, as well as police. People like you are placing the Citizens at risk. Sure do hope that when you need emergency help, the response time is shorter than it is right now (due to lack of firefighters). And no. I do not want /need more money. My husband and I are fiscally conservative, and have saved well for our retirement. Your comment is mean spirited.

  10. And BTW Richard, elected officials should be the LAST government job that requires additional compensation. Not firefighters. Your comments are so unfounded and baseless, its laughable.

  11. Here’s a San Diego city firefighter hiring reform we need. Four, actually.

    1. Do what EVERY OTHER CITY IN THE COUNTY DOES — hire already qualified firefighters who graduate from accredited firefighter academies — primarily our community college programs. Let the students pay for their firefighter education. No need to start from scratch with a new recruit — putting him (occasionally her) though the city’s own firefighter academy totally at city taxpayer expense. If the city wants to do additional training on top of that, fine — use OJT or hold a short academy for new hires. That’s what other cities do.

    2. Not only do we pay for our SDFD new hires’ education, we actually pay them a SALARY to go to our free school. I think it’s currently about $2,500 a month — with zero commitment. TOTALLY unnecessary.

    3. To further add to the idiocy, our SDFD academy graduates — educated at city expense — are then free to go to ANY city for a job. There is zero commitment by these subsidized students.

    Assuming we continue this city academy madness, have the students sign for a loan for the city cost of their education. Then forgive the loan on a sliding scale — at least 10 years. The longer they work for the city of San Diego, the less they have to pay back.

    4. Expand recruiting of EXPERIENCED firefighters by recruiting firefighters in other states. Remember, our AVERAGE California firefighter pay is 60% higher than the pay for working paid firefighters in the other 49 states. Ideally the city should run such ads in January-February — especially in snow belt states! Our “shortage” of firefighters would go away overnight.

    BTW, the San Diego shortage is exacerbated by the long hiring and training period for San Diego firefighters. Hire trained “off the shelf” firefighters, and there’s almost zero lag time to replace departing firefighters. The shortage is due to city ineptitude, NOT a shortage of eager, qualified, trained firefighters.

  12. Mary, did your firefighter husband lose his pension with the voters’ adoption of the Prop B pension reform? Would you lose your death benefit pension if your husband dies? Of course not.

    So why did you write “people like Carl DeMaio are stripping the firefighters of their pensions AND death benefits”? NO ONE was “stripped of their pensions.” Only the new hires are covered under the Prop B reforms (the 401k-type pension plan). Thus is not your statement both inflammatory and dishonest? When you choose that low road, don’t be surprised at the mud you encounter.

    You also said that “did you know that a firefighter’s salary is relatively low?” It appears that you are making a generic statement — that every firefighter’s pay is relatively low. And compared to what?

    With this “low pay” assertion presented as a fact, you seem to be applying a weak “argument from authority” — making an (absurd) statement based on your extensive knowledge as the wife of a firefighter. When you do that, you open yourself up to ridicule.

  13. You also said that “did you know that a firefighter’s salary is relatively low?” It appears that you are making a generic statement — that every firefighter’s pay is relatively low. And compared to what?

    With this “low pay” assertion presented as a fact, you seem to be applying a weak “argument from authority” — making an (absurd) statement based on your extensive knowledge as the wife of a firefighter. When you do that, you open yourself up to ridicule.

  14. Thanks for your thoughts, Mary. I’m not a San Diego voter but would NOT have voted for Carl DeMaio for many reasons. I believe our firefighters earn their pensions, and would absolutely earn their death benefits if killed in the line of duty. It is unconscionable to strip our first responders of their benefits, especially when the politicians’ benefits keep increasing!

    My Dad was a volunteer fireman back in the day when Solana Beach had no paid firefighters except the chief (I think — they may have had a few paid ones, but the volunteers made up most of the fire fighting personnel). He did it for a number of years so I appreciate the intensity of the job they do, the very long hours they are called upon to serve on the front lines, and the danger in which they place themselves for the sake of their community — or now much larger areas where they may serve when needed).

    I admire them greatly and am so very thankful for their unselfish service to all of us when we need it. I am praying for the safety of all of our first responders, especially our fire fighters all over the county and on Camp Pendleton where they now have three very active fires burning. I can’t forget about them because when I look outside, I am seeing huge billows of black smoke from the biggest fire on Camp Pendleton, only a very few miles from us with the wind blowing this direction. But this isn’t about me — it is about our brave firemen, and again, they are so very appreciated.

  15. Richard, your attack comments are pretty funny, a little antiquated. 🙂

    Yes, that’s correct, a firefighters salary is relatively low, relative to the high risk they take almost every day. A firefighter makes less than $60k annually.

    My husband does not work for San Diego Fire, thankfully, so he was not stripped of the pensions/death benefits like the new hires who will use SD as a training ground and then move on to other departments as soon as they can.

    face it, Prop B / pension reform has failed the citizens of SD, placing citizens at risk and adding costs for high turnover firefighter training, and significant risks due to slower response times (not enough firefighters to answer calls strains the system).

    But, I know you are a big fan of Carl Demaio so you wont agree with me at all. All im saying is do your homework.

    And the bottom line is why weren’t the SDPD exempted from pension reform – oh, I’ll tell you – a backroom deal between Demaio and Sanders. Great transparency Carl, haha

    Sometimes it takes awhile, but the truth always comes out. And the truth shall set you free. (do you read the bible?)

  16. “72% of our nation’s firefighters are VOLUNTEERS. No pay, no pensions, same risks, same lifesaving service. ”
    Richard, the “volunteer” firefighters you speak of in SD ARE paid. Please do your homework!! You can ask Diane Jacobs if you’d like. Geez. When you make statements, make sure you can back them up.

  17. What Richard says is absolutely correct; supply/demand conditions suggest that firefighters are paid above market compensation and police officers are not.

    In LA, there are 40 plus applicants for every one firefighter job:

    The LAPD is having a problem hiring 350 cops/year:

    I”m not saying a firefighter’s job isn’t dangerous; I’m saying that so many people want that dangerous job that it’s silly not to adjust the compensation down for new applicants. Likewise, new police applicants should be enticed with higher compensation packages.

    Markets really do reveal the truth

  18. Mary Moran — My apologies. Initially I naively thought your column had to do with firefighters, pensions, compensation, etc. I didn’t realize that — as a fanatical social conservative who left the GOP largely because of gay Carl DeMaio — the ONLY reason you wrote your column was a desperate attempt to discredit DeMaio’s candidacy with lies and misstatements. How silly of me not to see the truth.

    THANK YOU for setting me straight. I found the following recent babbling post by you on your Facebook “page”. It says it all:

    “here is the update TRUE conservative candidate list to vote for. Keep in mind that the Republican Party endorsement does not mean the candidate is conservative. (i.e. Carl Demaio – a gay activist, practicing homosexual, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-gun control, pro-marijuana “catholic” – yes, the R Party endorsed him – ugh!”

    I see now from the responses to your column that this is an orchestrated effort by social conservatives that have little interest in, or understanding of firefighting compensation.

    Mary, I’m saddened to learn that — for you — apparently lying for what is deemed to be a good cause is acceptable to you as a Christian (well, that’s true for a few in ANY group, I suppose).

    You claimed that firefighter pensions were stripped away. They were not. You KNOW they were not. And yet you spread and defend this lie. How sad.

    Fortunately most of my social conservative friends are better than that. Even when we disagree, we value truth. You should be ashamed. Obviously, you are not.

    Don’t you read your Bible? Perhaps you lack reading comprehension skills. From your “volunteer” comment, I suspect that such is the case.

  19. What’s really funny is when some conservatives get so wrapped up in their contempt for DeMaio that they start spouting labor propaganda.

  20. So Mary Moran, who works for Kirk Jorgensen’s suicide campaign, writes an opinion piece that just conveniently bashes Carl DeMaio.

    Nice way to use a natural disaster for political gain.

  21. I had such a nice conversation with a man I have had both hammers thrown and have thrown…almost make one feel like there’s hope for the local GOP…then I see comments from RR like this…

    You are an angry, petty little man Richard that thinks your snarky “pseudo intellectual” pragmatism is supposed to the real “holier than thou.” …Keep throwing your flaming hammers at Republicans who used to stand rank and file with you and your “New ” generation…but if you think for one minute you and the likes of your kind are ingratiating yourselves with anyone..i.e. “17oh, those conservatives rubes will see the light after 3 Jun and come to our aid”…bullsh&t, you are dumber than you are petty and sanctimonious. …

    I’ll have that beer with Michael…even after some of the more ruffled discussions we have had…but you…I would piss on you if you were on fire!

  22. FF, can we then assume that in the case of anyone you think of lesser than RR, you would not piss on them if they were on fire?

  23. Considering all the arson lately, I’m going to make sure we have two beers. For Richard’s sake.

  24. …”would not”…damn I hate auto correct…the vehemence remains the same…I would NOT piss on him if he were on fire…

    On a more dire note, whether Jorgensen or Simon win or not, there is one thing that is painstakingly clear…The GOP has abandoned the same base that brought it’s very revitalizing success in 2010. From Rove, the RNC, the NRCC, state and local pundits, media, and power-elite, the “social conservative” (as inaccurate as that term is) is NOT wanted…the true conservatives, across the platform, are clearly now considered an impediment, nor are they to be considered in the San Diego political calculus (CA for that matter).

    What is equally as true; this will reverberate throughout Republican politics for years…if not decades (classic “divide and conquer”…is it concerted from within?). One may talk all they wish about “shifting” demographics and sliding morality, but the same like-minded people that brought us Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Scott Walker, Mia Love, and scores of others, and the same people with the ideology that recently ushered in Sasse and the win in N. Carolina, will be the same people that will have determined the “New GOP” is neither wanting nor courting them any longer. Some will accept this, and dive in the new waters of the New GOP; yet many will simply conclude the party no longer reflects their core values… As Reagan said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party…it left me…” So true for the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands (including many of the 80K that have already left) that are becoming increasingly disenfranchised by the party they once loved and supported.

    Some of you New Generation types are no doubt saying to yourself “good riddance” and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out…some of you may be wishing that the very people some of you have vilified and demonized will some how miraculously decide to “come back” ..I can share having met and interacted with hundreds of voters in San Diego County, the latter is a “wet dream”…there is no way, after seeing the concerted effort made by Rovites, New Generation Libertines, faux conservative media personalities and self-serving political elites and influencers, will these people support the GOP…That ship has sailed.

    Neel Kashkari? ( a recently former Democrat, voted for Obama, and spearheaded the TARP policies that bulged 100s of billions and added to the increasingly dangerous debt?) In fact, many use the GOP as the butt of a joke or the center of ridicule and focused ire.

    Kevin Faulconer? (who many consider only won because the Dems were SO inept and lost it out right, who is both against the sanctity of life and unique covenant of marriage?)

    Carl DeMaio? (who if he were not the new hood ornament for the desperate need for the GOP be be liked by the Cultural Stalinists, he would have been run out on rails for having stolen intellectual copyright from another journalistic source)

    Bonnie Dumanis (Bob Brewer is as qualified and experienced a candidate we will see in a decade, and his only draw back for the party is he is white, male, and heterosexual…remember, the New generation says we can’t be that party anymore…how inclusive)

    Really?…these recently GOP endorsed candidates, each who on at least one or more core Republican issues posses the same ideological positions as Gerry Brown, Bob Filner, Scott Peters, and other progressives are the BEST the party can produce?

    Of course not…these endorsees are not the product of a cogent, unified, or selfless political strategy or convicted party …they are the product of cronyism, nepotism, self-serving back room dealings, corrupt leadership…none of which are either the will of the committee, voters, or in the best interest of the supposed members or the proclaimed party platform.

    What is for certain; conservatives have seen behind the curtain…they now can clearly identify friend from foe…and the GOP and its power-enablers in San Diego County are most definitely the latter.

    If you don’t believe that, just ask RR or read his vile, detestable and purposely offensive comments toward a renowned Republican woman who was until recently a staunch and dedicated member of the GOP..what utter contempt!

  25. Putting aside politics, contempt, and urination for a second, there are a couple of breakdowns in the case you make, Mary.

    1. Aren’t you praising the firefighters for their work last week? By all measures and accounts the multiple fires and the response was top-notch and amazingly well-performed by the firefighters. So…San Diegans saved money through pension reform and didn’t sacrifice quality. Which are two things you are pointing out here, Mary. Right? If Carl was the driving force behind that, then he should be credited with the success.
    2. I believe you are in the “Prop 8 was voted into law by ‘we the people’ so it should stay” camp. So isn’t Prop B the will of “we the people” too? It passed with 65% voting for in favor (compared to 52% for Prop 8).
    3. You’ve made it clear in other places that you support Kirk Jorgensen. He voted to get rid of pensions for new firefighters, cap pay and benefits for firefighters, etc. Meaning he voted for Prop B. So are you still supporting Kirk? If yes, the argument you made here makes no sense.
    4. If Prop B negatively impacted the fire department as you say, why are you suggesting it should have included the police department too?

  26. “You’ve made it clear in other places that you support Kirk Jorgensen. He voted to get rid of pensions for new firefighters, cap pay and benefits for firefighters, etc”

    That was my thought this morning as well. Simon and Jorgensen then, would be equally culpable in the “pension gutting scheme” the author is criticizing.

  27. I see things have heated up since my last comments. Cowardly founding father (hiding behind his fake name) needs to be tested for rabies — he’s frothing and peeing like crazy (or holding his water — it’s not clear — and admittedly I’m not that clear on “love thy neighbor” Christian doctrine in this area of fire and pee).

    The desperation of Mary to discredit DeMaio for — of all things — PENSION REFORM — leads to stunning lies and misrepresentations. I can forgive such if it comes from ignorance, but Mary is NOT ignorant about firefighter compensation. She gets it. She LITERALLY gets it.

    For instance, she claims that “A firefighter makes less than $60k annually.” BREATHTAKING dishonesty.

    MAYBE one can get away with such misrepresentations without challenge elsewhere, but not here on SDRostra, and not with me. Founding Father, I apologize in advance for my “pseudo intellectual” penchant for using facts and URL references, but it’s the way I roll.

    Here’s an excellent source of info on local public employee pay in California — from an objective source. You can search for your jurisdictions in any government job category on this website. It’s quite easy to use.

    For our purposes, I’ve sorted out the local firefighters in San Diego County. Here’s that link:

    The average 2012 pay for a SDFD Firefighter I and Firefighter II is $111,263 — NOT Mary’s absurdly bogus “less than $60K.” Moreover, SDFD is the 4th highest paying fire department in the county — few of our firefighters are Dempsty Dumster diving.

    But that’s not all. San Diego uses 4 man trucks. Only two of the four positions are filled by FF I and FF II firefighters. The third position is the truck engineer, who is paid a modest premium to also drive and oversee maintenance of the fire engine. The fourth position is “Fire Captain,” who gets (in SDFD) $121,839 on average — and (if an “existing hire — most are) calculates his generous retirement pension based on a fire captain’s salary (usually at the highest step).

    Most local firefighters (if they stay on the job passed 20 years) function as a truck fire captain at some point — so most get that “captain” pension.

    Most San Diego County jurisdictions pay their FF I and FF II a six figure income annually. Mary knows this, but she’s SOOO anxious to attack DeMaio she has chosen to spread easily disproved falsehoods. Have you no shame, Mary?

  28. It’s funny. The most rabid opponents of DeMaio and “his kind” are complaining that they are being driven out of the party by the moderates. But it is THEY who so desperately want to drive out the more socially liberal contingent of the GOP.

    Seldom do I hear such hatred and attacks on GOP social conservatives from the moderates. There’s no one insisting that social conservatives should not be GOP candidates or hold office. Anyone recall DeMaio railing against social conservatives in this campaign?

    Most GOP moderates will support social conservative candidates against Democrats in November runoffs. But based on what we read here, it appears that these vehement DeMaio haters won’t vote for (let alone actively support) moderate GOP candidates.

  29. Richard,

    Are you actually such a dupe? …Carl has used you personally in ghost emails without your permission, you continue to support an exposed plagiarist, and the conservatives are the delusional ones?……and you’re either intentially obfuscating or certifiably pathological regarding the DeMaio sycophantic neo-progressives (“social liberals” and “moderates”) not attacking conservatives on Rostra. “Your love of the halfing’s leaf, has clealry slowed your mind…” Time to change the bong water!

    You, Details, Union Buster (what, no “coward” barbs at other discreet Rostrites….?..ackward), and all the faux-avatars that are allowed to sneak on the site (Foundless Father was a particular favorite) have been viceral and caustic, ad hominem attacks of “bigoted, homophobe, intolerant”, in themselves often intolerant and offensive of Christians and issues of faith…simply because they disagree with you, and they naively believed the GOP was in fact the party for sanctity of life and marriage…because people would not just bow to the wave of cultural Stalinism ushered in by the New Generation you and others seem so comfortable with. You are the one that has been abrasive, combative, and then selectively picks out “facts” to make some self-absorbed circuitous point..all with the sanctimony of a French nobleman.

    As for the “hit piece” on Jorgensen supporters…the “all-in” DeMaio sycophants and New Majority dupes continue to support perhaps the worst single congressional candidate displaying dangerously irresponsible and buffoon-like antics the GOP has produced in a generation..think not? Lets count the ways..1) YouTube video shows DeMaio himself actually tampering and then attempting to remove an opponents campaign sign..on that candidate’s own property…only to scamper away when confronted..2) The former mayor of San Diego has gone on the record demonstrating that Demaio has embellished on numerous occasions to tout “his” work, and “his” efforts, leading to the good mayor announcing in public as to his “reform” efforts; “DeMaio’s claims are bullsh*t.” ..and if not enough, 3) the coup de grace is the National Journal exposes Demaio to unmitigated plagiarism where it is revealed his one-trick pony “pension reform” spiel is found to in fact NOT BE HIS!…and you are STILL carrying the water for this guy…surreal.

    And the conservatives are the delusional ones?

    At this point, I wouldn’t expect to change your mind, or any of the die-in-the-wool DeMaio GOP establishment supporters; one might think, given the lack of character displayed, and clear absence of basic integrity that the GOP claims to demand for its leaders, you might come to the conclusion that your support for DeMaio is a sunken cost that in the end, you can at least salvage your dignity.

    Oh…and my “cowardly” nom de plume is only out done by your inability to figure out the worst kept secret on Rostra…well..the second worst secret…only to be out done by your “DeMaio really is a good candidate” support. I am as “cowardly” as you are apparently slow to the take.

    Face it, Richard (and Details), the real suicide mission is the snow ball’s chance in hell that DeMaio will actually be the the next congressman from San Diego. (Just as likely as Kashkari will be the next governor) Even if he clears the blocks in June (which respected sources observe that is NOT a fait accompli..and that Jorgensen is gaining surprising momentum..and no, NOT wishful thinking..) Peters will bury him with all the stuff aformentioned and a whole lot more that you dupes are whistling passed the grave yard with and row your boat down the Denial-Not just a river in Egypt!

    On another note- TA…UT has expose’ on Phillip Rivers endorsing Jorgensen..and the La Jolla Patch also has a featured article on Jorgensen…crickets on Rostra… or did I miss those too?

    Just in case…

  30. Michael,

    “Aren’t you praising the firefighters for their work last week? By all measures and accounts the multiple fires and the response was top-notch and amazingly well-performed by the firefighters. So…San Diegans saved money through pension reform and didn’t sacrifice quality. ”

    A couple of points:

    1. This was a major incident(s) which occurred predominantly outside the City of San Diego with response from firefighters from throughout the State.

    2. The sacrifice in quality will take time to manifest. As was pointed out, “pension reform” did not affect current employees. The concern is whether San Diego can continue to attract and retain the best of the best or will we eventually be left with only those who couldn’t earn a job working for an employer who provides better compensation.

  31. You know what ive noticed about liberals and moderates, is that they use personal attacks to deflect from the real issues, which is why were the SDPD exempted from Prop B?

    Face it, Prop B is failing, badly.

    And you can personally attack my beliefs all you want. Hey, if you’re attacking me, that means you’re not attacking someone else who may actually care about what you think.

    Now, answer the question – why were the SDPD exempt from prop B (besides the fact there was a backroom deal with sanders/demaio)?

    Politics aside, I sure do hope its not during your own emergency that you finally realize the actual facts and huge problems Prop B has created.

  32. And BTW, I do not work for, nor am affiliated with any one particular campaign. I support all true conservatives. And yes I feel the SDGOP are hypocrites in endorsing/supporting candidates who are not in line with the Party Platform. And yes my husband and I have left the R Party and registered NPP, and we are are encouraging others to do the same. Thousands are leaving the SDGOP.

    And yes I am a true conservative. I love God, and all that He stands for. Truly I will defend Him til the day I die.

    That’s my story and you can be sure i’m sticking to it. (unlike some leaders in the GOP who call themselves Christians, yet their actions speak otherwise – BUT one day they’ll stand before our Lord, and we’ll see what happens then – its a choice : choose well , your actions today have eternal consequences.)

  33. FF,

    You can save yourself a lot of time and words by simply pointing out that Richard Rider has one issue he is passionate about: He believes that because of unions, public employees are over-compensated and that this will be the ruin of society.

    If you agree with Richard on this issue, he will support you regardless of your actions or positions on any other issue.

  34. HQ, actually we had a roaring brush fire (doubtless set by an arsonist) spring to life 600 meters from my house in Scripps Ranch. The response by CITY FIREFIGHTERS was overwhelming — in a good way — both super fast and quite large.

    In addition, within a half hour a “bucket brigade” of 3-4 helos were making runs from Lake Miramar to the fire — about a half mile away. Together they CRUSHED the fire — no outside help.

    When we heard all the sirens and saw the black smoke soaring upwards close to our abode, I packed up to evacuate (well, to evacuate my wife and valuables), while I prepared to defend our defensible home — with the help of son Steve. But no further action was necessary on our part.

    Given that doubtless San Diego had already released units to the North County fires that were in full bloom at the time, our Scripps Ranch firefighting response was indeed impressive. What an AMAZING improvement from the disastrous 2003 and 2007 fires — when we had those wonderful 90+% pensions for 30 year firefighters.

    As to how to deal with transferring SDFD firefighters (a legitimate if overblown concern), the key is to shorten the hiring and training time to a couple weeks vs. a year or more. Hire “off the shelf” trained and ideally experienced firefighters — while saving a lot of training costs in the process. See my four reforms above.

  35. BTW, note that SDFD firefighters are the fourth highest paid ff’s in the county. While the SDFD pension is less, several other jurisdictions are paying $10K-$15K less in salary. That difference likely slows the scramble to switch fire departments.

    Here’s the PROPER link for that comparison. It was too long to work in my earlier post:

  36. Hypocrisy,
    We should pay firefighters as much money as it takes to have a functional department. Not a penny more or less. I’m not attacking the author or even her opinion. I am attacking her argument which she seems to be on both sides of.
    She may be right or she may be wrong overall, but in the article she wrote she contradicts herself and doesn’t make much sense.

    Do we have firefighters worthy of praise (like she points out) or did Prop B destroy that (like she points out)? If you are right, HQ, and Prop B will eventually erode our department, then Mary should have waited for that to happen before posting this article. If she is saying we currently have a dysfunctional and incapable fire department…there is an argument to be made that she is wrong about that.

    Are votes (aka the will of the people) not to be trifled with (like she asserts in other posts regarding Prop 8) or who cares if 65% of voters approved Prop B (like she points out here)?

    Here she indicates that people who supported Prop B should not be supported for public office, but she’s campaigning for Jorgensen who voted for and supported Prop B as a private citizen.

    If Prop B was horrible, why, Mary, do you wish it on the SDPD?

    Now after her last comment, I want to add…does NOT supporting Prop B makes you a “real” conservative or are you going against the Party’s platform?

  37. Supposed to be “Prop B” rather than Prop smiley face.

    Though I am now really interested in reading the text of Prop smiley face.

  38. Michael,

    “If you are right, HQ, and Prop B will eventually erode our department, then Mary should have waited for that to happen before posting this article.”

    Really? Close the door after the horse has left the barn?

    As to your other points, I think you are spot on, but then again, I never questioned those.

  39. Mr. Porter…

    That’s your big scoop? That an opposing partisan would have the audacity to use the media to shape public opinion? That politically passionate and concerned people would actually stimulate discussion regardless of a source of journalism’s political leaning?

    Wow…that’s heavy…so, when Mr. DeMaio goes on Fox and says it isn’t about his sexuality until he needs it to be about his sexuality, or says he wants the people to decide, except when the people decided (Prop 8), and acts the victim because those on your side of the aisle are apparently brutalizing him with homophobic slurs and euphemisms…that’s not worthy…but Ms. Grube’s opposition to DeMaio for his stances on sanctity of life and marriage make her a homophobe. That’s newsworthy?

    Brilliant! Nowhere does the link between the New Generation and the Progressive left get a better illustration than what you presented.

    Thanks for the clarity!

  40. At this point, yes. Only because voters already voted on it.

    The time for Mary’s article is before the vote or after the damage is clear. Not just because DeMaio is running for Congress. And not in the same article where you talk about what a great job the firefighters just did.

  41. Brian Brady, Los Angeles FD provides benefits to their firefighters, hence the wait to be employed by them. SD is being used as a training ground by recruits. Once they build their resume, they will leave SDFD. Its already happening. High turn over costs due to excess training, and added risk to the community due to inexperienced personnel will be the results of Prop B.

    Michael, you’re so sweet to compliment me so. But, no one has yet to answer my question, why the SDPD was exempted from Prop B. (besides the backroom deal between demaio/sanders)

    And Michael, the firefighters who battled the recent fires came from across the state, not just SD. Yes, they collectively did a great job. Worthy of all praise. BUT they were not exclusively from SD.

    SD would have been very shorthanded indeed!

    Gentlemen, you will soon see the devastating affects from Prop B. And then Carls “one trick pony” Reform will implode.

    Good day.

  42. Richard, you have no idea what youre talking about “hiring off the shelve” to save training dollars. You seem to think that anyone can be a firefighter (volunteers etc…) , but they are highly trained in many aspects of not only fighting fires, but emergency medical, car extrication etc….

    NO qualified young firefighter will want to work with SD (except to build their resume and then get hired elsewhere after a couple years) when they can go practically anywhere else (like CalFire) who offers them benefits.

    You are not dealing with reality. Get out from behind your desk and go talk to SD firefighters. They’ll give you a real dose of what’s actually happening.

    Prop B failed, period!

  43. Well as long as this stream of comments appears as disjointed bird walking, let me further add to it with this comment.

    I’m a bit surprised Carl hasn’t separately posted his 4:54 minute interview here with Bill O’Reilly from last week. So here it is at:

    The interview goes rather well up until 3 plus minutes into it and then it appears DeMaio is caught trying to play and have both sides of the gay marriage issue as is cogently pointed out by Bill O’Reilly. A pox on that Bill O’Reilly fellow. How dare he points out that the will of the people was heard loud and clear when voting in favor of Prop 8 and then slapped down by the courts.

    Granted this is but a snippet in the campaign but I do find it interesting that Carl is playing the game of selective journalism. That is, post everything favorable to you and totally ignore all the rest.

    You go Carl. Continue to think you are really bamboozling everyone within the Rostra echo chamber not to mention the voters. Well, at least not all the informed voters knowledgeable about all your goings on and shenanigans thru successive election cycles.

  44. Rider you do score some points on the Fireman serving our city/county. I however am surprised you would violate the City issued Evacuation Orders. Shame on your criminal behavior.Shame.
    I spent May,14th on the San Marcos Fire line shooting photos. When the cops drove by issueing EVACUATION ORDERS I complied as they are Law.

    I watched several ignorant people ignore the EVAC ORDER. These people do place first responders in dangerous positions. I am sure you and your son are brave men, but simply think of the consequences next time your area comes under attack.

    I watched a lot of fire fighting last week . Even took some snaps of the FEMA DC 10. She even attacks at night, simply awesome.

    Your stats on fire pahy took my breath away. It really takes $410,000 a year to employ 4 fireman on a pumper? WOW. Rider you are so on target.

    Having walked the walk, Ill now talk the talk. Any monkey could do the same job on the line as our fireman. Any Monkey can cut brush and hold a three inch hose.

    Rider, notice the firemen wearing the Red Nomac? They are all state inmates. Dollars a day state prisoners. lol. They get released from prison on a trustee status and complete fire school in one week. 40 years ago I supervised these inmates with CDF (now Cal-Fire) and nothing has changed but the color of the NoMac worn.

    In 1958, in the Injaha Fire we lost two officers and ten inmates. These inmates had no pensions. They loved action and freedom. They would have taken City jobs at half them pay. Im sure today we could fill all vacant slots with eterans for half the pay, As you know our vets served the country for far less than a city Fireman.

  45. Mike, you are so very ignorant. Its truly laughable.

    You have no idea of the extensive training a firefighter receives in order to keep the community safe.

    Such disrespect you have for our first responders. Where does that come from? Do you secretly want to be a hero but were rejected?!

    How bout you join them on the next fire line and see how YOU do?
    Youd probably wet your pants in fear, and run away crying like a little girl, while the real men are walking into the flames.

    And BTW, the inmates in orange are cutting fire lines, not fighting the actual fire.

  46. Mike Erl, perhaps you are being factitious in your chastising me for not leaving when the evacuation order came. You were not clear.

    Regardless, the city of San Diego has made an informal decision not to enforce mandatory evacuations. Other cities made the same determination — in suburban areas.

    Do you know of even ONE such city arrest in the 2003 or 2007 fires? Just ONE? I don’t.

    In the boonies, staying and fighting for your home poses some risk for rescuers. Not so in suburbia. MANY people chose to stay and defend their homes. A significant number of Scripps Ranch homes were saved in the 2003 Cedar fire — but very few were saved by firefighters, who showed up HOURS late.

    Moreover, in suburbia, not one person who stayed behind died, or was even seriously injured. Suburban firefighting is all about fighting EMBERS, not a wall of flame (except along brush lines not sufficiently cleared from people’s homes).

    Besides, it was never clear in EITHER call for evacuation that it was mandatory in the legal sense. No one seems to think it was — not even the police. Indeed, the retired SDFD CHIEF stayed and defended his home, even after receiving the evacuation call.

    Sometimes one has to realize that the law is an ass. Well, sometimes is an ass. And let me assure you that — if it happens again — I’ll stay if I’m still reasonably functional in the ember “whack-a-mole” battle.

  47. Mike Erl — a picky correction. The salary outlay to “man” a four person SDFD truck is a bit over $450K, not $410K.

    Moreover, that counts only the paycheck — not the benefits. Depending on whether it’s an old or new SDFD hire (most are old), the benefits cost 40% to 55% of the base salary plus bonuses (but not overtime) — about triple the average private sector job. A guesstimate would be that’s about $160K for a four man truck.

  48. Mary, it is YOU who don’t know what you are talking about — or are lying. With you, it’s difficult to say which is the case.

    There are schools that deliver fully qualified firefighters “off the shelf.” Community colleges have fire academies, and that’s where most of the NON-city of San Diego hires come from. If your hubby firefighter works for another agency, ask HIM where they get their new firefighters. As I understand it, ONLY the city of San Diego has its own free fire academy — and pays students $2500 a month to go to the school.

    Moreover, with our sky high pay in California (60% higher than the average for the other 49 states), it would be easy to poach quality, experienced firefighters “off the shelf” from other states — but a recruiting effort would have to be made.

  49. In my opinion Carl is the best thing that has happened to the SD GOP in years and Mr. Crimmins is the worst.

  50. Mr. Crimmins did you ever think the voters were informed when you ran many failed congressional campaigns? 3,4, or was it 5 times?

  51. Richard, do you really want an inexperienced rookie “off the shelve” calling on your medical emergency? I don’t think so.

    Just fyi., in most fire agencies they have a “reserve” program – THIS is where they recruit new hires from – these hired reservists have proven themselves to the firefighters, who will run calls along side them.

    What you gentlemen should retain is that firefighters run many other calls other than just fire. In fact, the majority of their calls are medical. They are highly trained and sophisticated in dealing with many aspects of trauma, in order to save lives within that “golden hour”.

    SD will not be able to retain its firefighters. They are using the city to build their resumes, and are leaving as soon as another department (with benefits) hires them.

    You can squawk all you want. Time will tell. You will soon see the blatant failure of Prop B Pension reform.

    Good day to you. Stay safe out there.

  52. Richard, you can call me a liar all you want, I know you like to deflect from the real issues by attacking me personally (this is what liberals do constantly, yawn).

    But my responses are based on facts. Maybe not the facts you want to hear, but nonetheless, they are factual.

  53. Mary, are you telling the truth when you make the absurd claim that “A firefighter makes less than $60k annually”? Yes or no.

    You haven’t retracted your statement, so I’m assuming it’s a lie you feel committed to — facts notwithstanding. As the wife of a firefighter, you can’t claim ignorance. Some Christian YOU are!

  54. Mary, a “rookie” is likely only one of the four (maybe 2 of the 4) ff’s who show up for a fire/medical emergency — in addition to (in San Diego) the two medically trained ambulance crew that are called to a medical emergency. And I’m fine with that. You don’t want rookies to be hired?

  55. All the nonsense about our supposedly underpaid civilian “public servants” — firefighters or otherwise — melts away when compared to our nation’s military.

    A retiring 30 year Commander/Lt. Colonel (a rank most officers don’t achieve) gets as a pension in 2013 about $71,500.…/FinalPayHigh3Result.aspx

    Yet the average 30 year firefighter (the equivalent “rank” of AT MOST a petty officer 2nd class — E-5) who has a defined pension gets significantly more — too many have six-figure pensions.

    BTW, I’ve always enjoyed the fact the guy in charge of a fire truck holds the “rank” of Captain. Talk about grade inflation!

    A police captain commands scores of officers. An army or marine captain often commands 100 men or more. A navy captain commands hundreds if not thousands of sailors. The firefighter captain? Four people — including himself! Sometimes 3 — such as the Poway Fire Department, which uses 3 man trucks.

  56. Dear disrespectful one (Richard), yes, I stand behind the $60k salary remark. You’re so funny using the word “absurd”, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Believe me, the six figure pensions you address are for Fire Chiefs, and are “far and few between” for the majority of fire personnel.

    Although I’m sure Jerry Sanders will be earning much more than the average firefighter when he double-dips into his pensions.

    Regarding your “rookie” comment, I already explained to you the “reservist” program within most fire agencies, who may be hired permanently once they have proven themselves.

    Lastly Richard, lets just hope and pray that the Fire Captains and Firefighters you degrade (who may call on your medical emergency one day, or be in a position to save your home) don’t read this thread consisting of your disrespectful comments.

    Be safe.

  57. So, Mary, you are genuinely concerned because I — a taxpayer who pays for firefighter services — might be left to die by offended firefighters who read my comments? Boy, what does THAT say about your confidence in your selfless firefighter heroes? A more thuggish, criminal behavior is hard to imagine.

  58. Well, thanks for admitting that you are a committed liar. Ask ANY firefighter if your “under $60K” is valid. Ask your own husband.

    Have you ANY evidence — ANYTHING to verify this made up figure? I guess this is just a faith issue — facts don’t matter to you.

  59. Mary, you DID touch on one good idea — the reserve firefighter program. But most cities don’t offer this — unlike the reserve police programs that are widespread.

    I’ve been pushing for such a reserve program for all fire departments, but the union firefighters (well, their unions) are adamantly opposed such a training and auxiliary capability.

    There may be several programs in the county, but the only one I know of is the North County Protection District. I wish this program we the rule rather than the exception — it’s a great concept.

    Indeed I would like to see San Diego area fire departments not oly adopt but greatly expand this reserve function — for call-ups when local brush fires threaten. But, as I said, I don’t think hardly any progress has been made in this innovation.

  60. BTW, Mary, I don’t “degrade” our firefighters — I just think they are paid far, FAR more than is necessary. If expressing such thoughts is justification for our heroes letting my house burn down and my family die — well, I really don’t know what I can say about that.

  61. Dear Richard, I’ll say three things before I sign off and bid you all farewell.

    1. My evidence of a firefighters salary is my husbands paycheck.

    2. I never said that firefighters would leave your house to burn and family to die. You see, firefighters are true professionals, they are heroes, they would never do such a thing. Would they respect you? No.

    3. Prop B is a failure. Period. You shall soon see.

    Now, time for me to talk with voters.

    Take care. God bless you. God bless America.

  62. Mary, your sweeping statement that (presumably California, or perhaps in San Diego County) firefighters earn less than $60K annually is based on your HUSBAND’S PAYCHECK?? Wow, that’s some research!

    Moreover, I’m confident you are talking about his paycheck after deductions — those pesky taxes, union dues, automatic payments and pension contributions, for instance. And perhaps your hubby, unlike 97+% of firefighters, works no overtime. Give me his district, and I’ll give you what your husband is REALLY earning (perhaps he doesn’t tell you!).

  63. Mary, you wrote:

    “Lastly Richard, lets just hope and pray that the Fire Captains and Firefighters you degrade (who may call on your medical emergency one day, or be in a position to save your home) don’t read this thread consisting of your disrespectful comments.

    Be safe.”

    Any sensible reading this statement is that it’s a warning to me — “degrading” firefighters might some day cost me my home or my family’s lives.

    If you are afraid that our tough guy firefighters can’t take criticism, maybe you’re right. I’ve seen amazing responses from firefighters who are so used to being praised that any criticism is viewed as blasphemy and an insult to their manhood.

    A while back some obviously drunken firefighter or cop (could not tell which) called me at home at midnight to yell vile insults, coupled with veiled threats similar to but more explicit than the one you made above. Fortunately such a union thug response is rare — the overwhelming majority of public safety employees ARE good people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *