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https://twitter.com/espressosoldo/status/1253837512528855054

Firemen don’t have all that many fires to fight in recent years, but they still like to drive around in their fire trucks with their lights flashing.

 
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  1. Given the ‘real’ fire danger in California the state needs a lot more aerial firefighting assets. It just takes too long for road bound fire engines to deploy. When Santa Rosa was on fire in 2017 it took hours to get SFFD trucks on scene. It was basically over when they finally arrived. Helicopters cost more but they can get there when it still matters. Of course smoke and weather can ground aerial assets so local fire departments should have bulldozers more than pumper trucks. A fire containment line can save more structures than a puny fire house from a pumper truck.

    I hate to bring it up by events like 9/11 only served to get a bunch of NYFD personnel killed. They are useless in fighting highrise fires. Evacuate ASAP is the only real option.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    Regarding California high-risk areas, I suggest sprinklers as well. Sprinklers work.

    https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Suppression/ossprinklers.pdf

    Signing-off from California, where the dive boat’s “roving night watchman,” sleeps.
  2. “Firemen don’t have all that many fires to fight in recent years…”

    And you based this observation on [what], Mr. Sailer. I’ll cut you some slack and take it you wrote this utterly exhausted from remodeling your closet.

    Source –> https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics

    From 2009-2018, there has been a 2.5% decline in the number of fires fought by firemen, a 20.5% increased in deaths (though injuries were down 17%), and a 90.6% increase in the amount of money lost.

    Source –> https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/FD0144A044C84FC5BAF90C05C04890B7.ashx

    Public fire departments responded to 1,318,500 fires in 2018, only 1,000 fewer than in 2017. In 2018, there were 387,000 residential structure fires, accounting for 78 percent of all structure fires, an increase of 8,000 fires from 2017. (However, structure fires peaked at 1,098,000 in 1977 and have been trending downward over the past 40 years).

    Every 24 seconds, a United States fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 63 seconds, and a home fire occurs every 87 seconds.

    Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury every 35 minutes, and a civilian fire injury in home fires every 41 minutes.

    Source –> https://www.fox43.com/article/news/deadly-house-fires-in-the-u-s-increasing-data-shows/521-6097c684-1549-4532-9493-c323864ab362

    The number of fire related deaths has been steadily increasing in recent years (which I imagine keeps firemen busy).

    Source –> https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/08/14/wildfires-have-gotten-bigger-recent-years-trend-is-likely-continue/

    Wildfires have gotten bigger in recent years (which I imagine also keeps firemen busy).

    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for providing references. But since we are talking about the 21st century (i.e. post-2000 vs. pre-2000), perhaps a longer baseline is appropriate. Your first link referenced this page:
    https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Fire-loss-in-the-United-States
    I don't think ashx files embed here so you will probably need to click through to see the number of fire incidents from 1977 to 2018. And keep in mind the population of the US has increased from 220 million to 330 million over that period.

    https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Images/Research/Report-page-graphics/Fire-Loss-report-2019.ashx

    The PDF report at that link is worth a look. One thing I did not know is that communities under 2,500 people have a per capita fire rate 3-4x that of all of the five categories over 10,000 people.
  3. Heh. In my state, it’s the law that firemen, emergency and police must all respond to every emergency call, no matter what the emergency is.

    So if you call an ambulance because you fell off a ladder and broke your leg, a fire truck shows up just in case.

    • Agree: The Alarmist
    • Replies: @Tony
    More gov't waste.
    , @EdwardM
    Sounds like a brilliant success by the EMT, police, and fire unions.
  4. @unit472
    Given the 'real' fire danger in California the state needs a lot more aerial firefighting assets. It just takes too long for road bound fire engines to deploy. When Santa Rosa was on fire in 2017 it took hours to get SFFD trucks on scene. It was basically over when they finally arrived. Helicopters cost more but they can get there when it still matters. Of course smoke and weather can ground aerial assets so local fire departments should have bulldozers more than pumper trucks. A fire containment line can save more structures than a puny fire house from a pumper truck.

    I hate to bring it up by events like 9/11 only served to get a bunch of NYFD personnel killed. They are useless in fighting highrise fires. Evacuate ASAP is the only real option.

    Regarding California high-risk areas, I suggest sprinklers as well. Sprinklers work.

    https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Suppression/ossprinklers.pdf

    Signing-off from California, where the dive boat’s “roving night watchman,” sleeps.

  5. Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).

    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Firefighting is an excellent career unless you are the guy that is trapped and killed in a burning building or gets a lungful of incredibly toxic smoke produced in modern fires of houses and offices packed full of synthetic toxic burning materials, and dies young or is incapacitated for life. Most retire healthy, but a few pay the price.

    It IS a good career but you do face that chance.

    Power utilities, the railroad, water and wastewater departments, the airport department of most really big cities, underground drilling/excavating (the Sandhogs of NYC are utterly nepotistic but other areas have contractors you might get into) and several other infrastructure fields also are good.

    Elevator mechanic is one I never thought of until I went to aircraft mechanic school. Believe it or not that's where they get new hires. If you are willing to start in flyover country, move to the Northeast mid career and wind up in LA or Las Vegas, it's a great career path-so long as you don't fall down a shaft and get killed.
    , @Redneck farmer
    Unless you live in an area dependent on volunteer fire departments, like I do.
    , @Polynikes
    I agree on the perks of the job you listed. But most people are on to that gig. They are hard jobs to get, and they practice affirmative action in any decent sized city.
    , @prosa123
    All that's true, the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places. Typically, fire fighter candidates have to apply during very narrow time windows, score high on civil service exams, and then wait years to get called for interviews.
    , @SafeNow
    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat... a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)
    , @Dr. X

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.
     
    Between nepotism and affirmative action, he's gonna have a hell of a time getting hired.

    If he's a white kid with a father or uncle on the FD, or a black transgender, hell yeah... good advice.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    Wow, looks like we have a severe fireperson shortage. We need import a bunch of immigrants who will do it for minimum wage and no benefits.
    , @Anon
    I have a close relative who has been a Marin county (ca) fire fighter for a couple of years. No fire fighter family connections/white guy. Went the paramedic/fire fighter route. Was making 45k 6 months out of high school driving for AMR (ambulance). Now his base is 90k plus. Owns his own home in Sacramento. Works a 48 hour shift then 5 days off. To get known he volunteered around the Bay Area and did all the certifications. From talking to him, the best way to get hired is do well on the tests and come across as the kind of person other people want to be around for 48 hours straight. Chiefs start to watch for the young guys coming up that aren’t jerks and you get recommendations when slots are going to open.
  6. Response like that isn’t so bad for structure fires. There was a shed fire in my neighborhood last year and they send about 20 pumpers. Overkill in retrospect? Maybe, but everyone is glad the fire just destroyed the shed.

    The real problem is that they send the ladder truck just about everytime someone skins a knee.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    There was a shed fire in my neighborhood last year and they send about 20 pumpers. Overkill in retrospect? Maybe, but everyone is glad the fire just destroyed the shed.
     
    Overkill would have been an airtanker and smokejumpers. Otherwise, it's just another day in bankrupt municipal America.
  7. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    Firefighting is an excellent career unless you are the guy that is trapped and killed in a burning building or gets a lungful of incredibly toxic smoke produced in modern fires of houses and offices packed full of synthetic toxic burning materials, and dies young or is incapacitated for life. Most retire healthy, but a few pay the price.

    It IS a good career but you do face that chance.

    Power utilities, the railroad, water and wastewater departments, the airport department of most really big cities, underground drilling/excavating (the Sandhogs of NYC are utterly nepotistic but other areas have contractors you might get into) and several other infrastructure fields also are good.

    Elevator mechanic is one I never thought of until I went to aircraft mechanic school. Believe it or not that’s where they get new hires. If you are willing to start in flyover country, move to the Northeast mid career and wind up in LA or Las Vegas, it’s a great career path-so long as you don’t fall down a shaft and get killed.

  8. anon[539] • Disclaimer says:

    Some months ago in downtown Seattle I saw a firetruck, ambulance and two police cars at an intersection attending a woman on the side walk. Watching the scene, I came to understand she had fallen off her bicycle (not hit by a car – just fell off her bike). After determining she wasn’t actually hurt, the cops straightened her handle bars for her and she got on her bike and rode away.
    I wondered how many thousands of dollars it cost the taxpayers to straighten those handle bars for the fair lady. In our society an almost-skinned knee is an official emergency.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh, man, don't get me started - I don't want to get ranted at by the anti-cyclites here. In this particular city I lived in, I was on a nice long down-grade in a bicycle lane, so to speak, but parked cars with doors that could open any time were on the one side.

    It was very similar, but without the firemen or ambulance guys yet - just a lady cop was there attending to some bum who may have passed out or worse. The lady cop had blocked the bike lane and another lane, and cars filled the rest of the street.

    I don't blame her, as you have to park somewhere. However, as I moved over to the near 15 ft wide sidewalk to keep my speed up, the cop lady yelled at me as I passed "get off the sidewalk". I used my one piece of sign language that I know, with my other hand on the handlebar, rear brake lever, and shifter. Actually, I'm sure I yelled the same thing, in case she wasn't deaf. I had too much speed to catch any retort of any sort.
  9. @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    Unless you live in an area dependent on volunteer fire departments, like I do.

  10. Firemen have the most over appreciated job in government. They work 10 days a month then receive a six figure retirement in their 50’s. As far as danger, the guy at your local 7/11 is in greater danger when he goes to work. Steve’s right, there’s not many house fires anymore.

  11. @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    I agree on the perks of the job you listed. But most people are on to that gig. They are hard jobs to get, and they practice affirmative action in any decent sized city.

  12. @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    All that’s true, the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places. Typically, fire fighter candidates have to apply during very narrow time windows, score high on civil service exams, and then wait years to get called for interviews.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    ... the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places.
     
    That's only if you don't follow Achmed E. Newman's simple advice: Be Black.
    , @Anonymous
    People know firefighter is a good job so they apply a lot.

    If you really want to be a firefighter you research different departments and apply to many area wide or nation wide, you get a fire science degree, you work out hard so you can ace the physical agility and fitness tests, and you schmooze with fire guys to get in to find out who is hiring when so you can sneak those applications in in the tiny, politically oriented windows.

    Blacks don't do this, of course. Nor do they do well on the tests even if they do study, but the physical part is doable by those in good shape. But they get hired in anyway because, well, the departments have to have a few. A few black firefighters actually earn the respect of their peers, most are useless loads.
    , @SteveRogers42
    And be female or POC.
  13. Usually in Chicago, the Paramedic truck is accompanied by a small size fire engine. I presume to block the ambulance from being hit by a car when it is stopped to pick up the patient.

  14. @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat… a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8U1ZRQLk_s
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    When I was a kid, our family dog climbed out an upstairs window, jumped across a corner and got herself stuck on the roof. Mom called the fire department and they got her down -- an Irish Setter sitting on the roof in Huntington Beach.
    , @vhrm
    (unlike cops who often shoot dogs dead unnecessarily.

    I like cops in theory much more than i do in practice...)
    , @anarchyst
    Here are two stories of firefighter arrogance, and is a good reason why “qualified immunity”should be abolished for ALL public workers and officials:

    A firefighter from a certain southeastern Michigan community claimed to have a “arson dog”–one that could detect accelerants. This “firefighter” and his dog were instrumental in ruining many peoples’ lives by his testimony alone. Insurance companies LOVED this guy as he was able to get them out of paying (valid) claims.

    People were denied valid insurance claims and prosecuted for arson merely on the testimony of this “arson dog’s” handler.

    Those who were “burned” (no pun intended) by this supposed arson dog’s “handler” had no recourse, because of “qualified immunity”. The firefighter (and fire department) could not be sued.

    Finally one citizen who had been accused of arson fought back by suing to prove the “arson dog’s” ability. The dog was found to have NO special ability. The “arson dog” and his human master’s career was finally over. How many innocent people were convicted of arson and lost everything they owned??

    This "firefighter" and "arson dog" handler retired with his gold-plated pension without any repercussions for his criminal, dishonest scam behavior.

    Another case was that of a plating plant that caught fire. The owners had a fire department “approved” fire plan in place which involved shutting off utilities and shutting down processes in an orderly fashion.

    The firefighters that responded to the fire pushed the owner out of the way, and told him that they were going to do things “their way”. The building burned to the ground.

    A firefighter’s job (for at least 98% of the time) is not inherently dangerous. This does not take away from the seriousness of their job, which is to be commended. but, firefighter arrogance can be just as dangerous as police arrogance. THIS is why firefighters should be included in the abolition of immunity for public officials.
    , @David
    About twenty years ago I was rescued (I wasn't in danger, just couldn't figure out how exactly I was going to get home) off Baffin Island by the Canadian Coast Guard. Some natives inhabiting nearby Broughton Island had set their sled teams loose on the big island for the summer and the dogs, 50 or 100 of them, kept me company for a few days. In polar bear country, that kind of company is very welcome. (If a husky takes your cup, it'll take about an hour of ignoring them before the dogs lose interest and drop it.)

    As the rescue boat nosed into a very small inlet, the officer on the bow asked me if I needed to take my dogs. They were prepared to received all those dogs aboard if I'd asked them to.
  15. If toddlers and kindergarteners understood what property tax is about, I don’t think they’d get as excited about seeing the ladder trucks go hauling ass down our road with the lights, siren, and horn as they do now.

    It’s the Millennial ambulance drivers who bug the crap out of me though. They’ll get to an intersection, and instead of taking one good look to clear it, then gunning it through, they sit there 10 seconds dicking around. In the meantime, some poor broke-ass black dude who may or may not really have chest pains is waiting for that taxpayer=funded ride to the ER. In the meantime, I’m late to meet my friends at the coffee shop… these myopic motherf__rs!

  16. @prosa123
    All that's true, the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places. Typically, fire fighter candidates have to apply during very narrow time windows, score high on civil service exams, and then wait years to get called for interviews.

    … the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places.

    That’s only if you don’t follow Achmed E. Newman’s simple advice: Be Black.

    • LOL: JMcG
  17. There will be plenty of work for firemen in our Safe New World.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
  18. @anon
    Some months ago in downtown Seattle I saw a firetruck, ambulance and two police cars at an intersection attending a woman on the side walk. Watching the scene, I came to understand she had fallen off her bicycle (not hit by a car - just fell off her bike). After determining she wasn't actually hurt, the cops straightened her handle bars for her and she got on her bike and rode away.
    I wondered how many thousands of dollars it cost the taxpayers to straighten those handle bars for the fair lady. In our society an almost-skinned knee is an official emergency.

    Oh, man, don’t get me started – I don’t want to get ranted at by the anti-cyclites here. In this particular city I lived in, I was on a nice long down-grade in a bicycle lane, so to speak, but parked cars with doors that could open any time were on the one side.

    It was very similar, but without the firemen or ambulance guys yet – just a lady cop was there attending to some bum who may have passed out or worse. The lady cop had blocked the bike lane and another lane, and cars filled the rest of the street.

    I don’t blame her, as you have to park somewhere. However, as I moved over to the near 15 ft wide sidewalk to keep my speed up, the cop lady yelled at me as I passed “get off the sidewalk”. I used my one piece of sign language that I know, with my other hand on the handlebar, rear brake lever, and shifter. Actually, I’m sure I yelled the same thing, in case she wasn’t deaf. I had too much speed to catch any retort of any sort.

    • Replies: @Simon Tugmutton
    A risky practice. I was once chased on my bike by an aggressive terrier -- I fended it off (harmlessly) with my right foot and the owner shouted: "Hey, what are you doing?"

    I shouted back, over my shoulder: "I'm kicking your dog!", whereupon he went batshit and started running after me. I increased my speed (he was a pretty fast runner) but 200 yards on the chain came off my front sprocket ...
  19. @SafeNow
    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat... a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)

  20. @Corvinus
    "Firemen don’t have all that many fires to fight in recent years..."

    And you based this observation on [what], Mr. Sailer. I'll cut you some slack and take it you wrote this utterly exhausted from remodeling your closet.

    Source --> https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics


    From 2009-2018, there has been a 2.5% decline in the number of fires fought by firemen, a 20.5% increased in deaths (though injuries were down 17%), and a 90.6% increase in the amount of money lost.
     
    Source --> https://www.nfpa.org/~/media/FD0144A044C84FC5BAF90C05C04890B7.ashx

    Public fire departments responded to 1,318,500 fires in 2018, only 1,000 fewer than in 2017. In 2018, there were 387,000 residential structure fires, accounting for 78 percent of all structure fires, an increase of 8,000 fires from 2017. (However, structure fires peaked at 1,098,000 in 1977 and have been trending downward over the past 40 years).

    Every 24 seconds, a United States fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the nation. A fire occurs in a structure at the rate of one every 63 seconds, and a home fire occurs every 87 seconds.

    Nationwide, there was a civilian fire injury every 35 minutes, and a civilian fire injury in home fires every 41 minutes.
     

    Source --> https://www.fox43.com/article/news/deadly-house-fires-in-the-u-s-increasing-data-shows/521-6097c684-1549-4532-9493-c323864ab362

    The number of fire related deaths has been steadily increasing in recent years (which I imagine keeps firemen busy).

     

    Source --> https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/08/14/wildfires-have-gotten-bigger-recent-years-trend-is-likely-continue/

    Wildfires have gotten bigger in recent years (which I imagine also keeps firemen busy).
     

    Thanks for providing references. But since we are talking about the 21st century (i.e. post-2000 vs. pre-2000), perhaps a longer baseline is appropriate. Your first link referenced this page:
    https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/US-Fire-Problem/Fire-loss-in-the-United-States
    I don’t think ashx files embed here so you will probably need to click through to see the number of fire incidents from 1977 to 2018. And keep in mind the population of the US has increased from 220 million to 330 million over that period.

    https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Images/Research/Report-page-graphics/Fire-Loss-report-2019.ashx

    The PDF report at that link is worth a look. One thing I did not know is that communities under 2,500 people have a per capita fire rate 3-4x that of all of the five categories over 10,000 people.

  21. @Lars Porsena
    Heh. In my state, it's the law that firemen, emergency and police must all respond to every emergency call, no matter what the emergency is.

    So if you call an ambulance because you fell off a ladder and broke your leg, a fire truck shows up just in case.

    More gov’t waste.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar


    So if you call an ambulance because you fell off a ladder and broke your leg, a fire truck shows up just in case.
     
    More gov’t waste.
     
    Perhaps we should do what the "socialist" Danes and Norwegians do-- use private fire departments.


    https://shop11861.hstatic.dk/upload_dir/shop/26196_5786.w610.h610.fill.jpg


    Actually, they're in 46 countries now, including ours.
    , @obwandiyag
    Yeah, and what's with this government trying to help people during the epidemic? What's up with that? Governments should just let people die. It's the libertarian way. Die, motherfucker, die.

    What a wonderful ideology.

    And poor Vietnam, where everything is government, has had 0, count 'em, zero, deaths from the coronoavirus. Those nutty communists. Why won't they let people die? Government helping people is a fate worse than death. When your are dying, just say to yourself, thank god the government didn't try to keep me alive. Freedom is more important.

  22. @SafeNow
    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat... a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)

    When I was a kid, our family dog climbed out an upstairs window, jumped across a corner and got herself stuck on the roof. Mom called the fire department and they got her down — an Irish Setter sitting on the roof in Huntington Beach.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    When I was a kid, our family dog climbed out an upstairs window, jumped across a corner and got herself stuck on the roof. Mom called the fire department and they got her down — an Irish Setter sitting on the roof in Huntington Beach.
     
    She needed her own Golden Gate.



    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5uHwzJuLSHg



    "...it took an expensive trip to the vet's..." I guess the NHS has its limits!
  23. @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    Between nepotism and affirmative action, he’s gonna have a hell of a time getting hired.

    If he’s a white kid with a father or uncle on the FD, or a black transgender, hell yeah… good advice.

  24. @Tony
    More gov't waste.

    So if you call an ambulance because you fell off a ladder and broke your leg, a fire truck shows up just in case.

    More gov’t waste.

    Perhaps we should do what the “socialist” Danes and Norwegians do– use private fire departments.

    Actually, they’re in 46 countries now, including ours.

  25. @Buzz Mohawk
    When I was a kid, our family dog climbed out an upstairs window, jumped across a corner and got herself stuck on the roof. Mom called the fire department and they got her down -- an Irish Setter sitting on the roof in Huntington Beach.

    When I was a kid, our family dog climbed out an upstairs window, jumped across a corner and got herself stuck on the roof. Mom called the fire department and they got her down — an Irish Setter sitting on the roof in Huntington Beach.

    She needed her own Golden Gate.

    “…it took an expensive trip to the vet’s…” I guess the NHS has its limits!

  26. Firemen in the 21st Century

    Shouldn’t that be fire drones?

    • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    I wonder if they'll create Drone Nurses to flirt with the Drone Firemen on Friday nights at O'Drone McHannigan's Authentic Drone Irish Pub.
  27. Are you alluding to the CDC’s overkilll with that comment?

  28. @Tony
    More gov't waste.

    Yeah, and what’s with this government trying to help people during the epidemic? What’s up with that? Governments should just let people die. It’s the libertarian way. Die, motherfucker, die.

    What a wonderful ideology.

    And poor Vietnam, where everything is government, has had 0, count ’em, zero, deaths from the coronoavirus. Those nutty communists. Why won’t they let people die? Government helping people is a fate worse than death. When your are dying, just say to yourself, thank god the government didn’t try to keep me alive. Freedom is more important.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    When your are dying, just say to yourself, thank god the government didn’t try to keep me alive. Freedom is more important.
     
    A million Americans are asked to do just that every year. Usually accompanied by a (completely illegitimate) libertarian argument.




    https://geneticliteracyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/66d5a40a439bbc3f6ff0a27852d72bb3-1024x927.jpg
  29. @Reg Cæsar

    Firemen in the 21st Century
     
    Shouldn't that be fire drones?


    https://dronenodes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/firefighting-drones.jpeg

    I wonder if they’ll create Drone Nurses to flirt with the Drone Firemen on Friday nights at O’Drone McHannigan’s Authentic Drone Irish Pub.

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  30. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123
    All that's true, the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places. Typically, fire fighter candidates have to apply during very narrow time windows, score high on civil service exams, and then wait years to get called for interviews.

    People know firefighter is a good job so they apply a lot.

    If you really want to be a firefighter you research different departments and apply to many area wide or nation wide, you get a fire science degree, you work out hard so you can ace the physical agility and fitness tests, and you schmooze with fire guys to get in to find out who is hiring when so you can sneak those applications in in the tiny, politically oriented windows.

    Blacks don’t do this, of course. Nor do they do well on the tests even if they do study, but the physical part is doable by those in good shape. But they get hired in anyway because, well, the departments have to have a few. A few black firefighters actually earn the respect of their peers, most are useless loads.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    In NYC litigious females have been added to the mix of oppressed firefighter applicants. Of course all firefighter venues have been opened to them by a compliant Federal judiciary!
  31. As every small boy in America knows, a large fire truck is a thing of beauty.

  32. I volunteered for a few years in the ’00s. A few thoughts, in no particular order of importance:

    1. Uncontrolled structure fires, fortunately for everyone, are much rarer nowadays. Sprinklers keep the fire contained where they’re installed, and automatic fire alarms (which alert 911 without human intervention) get the fire department there much quicker.

    2. This has made firefighting less exciting for the firefighters. I don’t think this really hurts paid departments much (more on them in a minute) but it definitely cuts down on the pool of potential volunteers.

    3. It’s also led to firefighters being sent on calls where they’re marginally useful. Paid departments need to justify their budgets and volunteer departments need to have something not-boring to do, so there’s little resistance within fire departments to anything that’s going to increase their call volume.

    4. I’m not sure that’s all that bad, compared to the alternatives of reduced staffing or increased time sitting around the station.

    5. It’s really fascinating how the IAFF can negotiate such ridiculous pensions and fairly generous compensation for a job that’s literally done for free in much of the country. I suspect this is because their endorsement can make a difference to politicians in the cities where paid departments predominate, and because no one really wants to deny firefighters whatever they ask for as long as it seems affordable, but I haven’t looked at their negotiations in detail.

    6. Because of the generous pay and abundance of people who can do the job, it takes a *long* time to get hired. Serious volunteers I knew who wanted to make a career out of it would regularly apply to every paid department within 300 miles.

    • Thanks: res
  33. @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    Wow, looks like we have a severe fireperson shortage. We need import a bunch of immigrants who will do it for minimum wage and no benefits.

  34. Anon[319] • Disclaimer says:

    In my FL city, the city FD and county FD respond to every medical call. Only the county can transport patients. And most medical calls are to one of the several nursing homes to pick up an elderly resident off the floor. According the their own reports, medical calls in my city are 99% of all calls.

  35. When I was 20 y/o, I was half-way through my BS in Computer Science. Nonetheless, as a back up plan, I took my city’s civil service firefighter exam when testing opened up. I scored very well, and a month later the Mayor called my to his office to offer me the job paying $8/hr (1984, Boston Suburb).

    I turned him down, completed my degree, and, despite a couple of layoffs over the years, am still working in the private sector. My peers that accepted that job back in 1984 regularly enjoyed higher wages and retired in their mid-40s!

  36. Living on Long Island has given me an unusual perspective on volunteer fire departments. With a combined population of 2.6 million, often quite densely populated, Nassau and Suffolk counties rely almost 100% on volunteers. Each community no matter how small has its own department, and many of the departments are far larger in terms of both personnel and equipment than actually warranted for fire protection. Many departments have tower ladders that are substantially taller than any of the buildings in their communities. Firehouses tend to be large, lavish structures that function as much as social clubs than as actual firehouses.
    One amusing consequence of all this duplication of effort is that the departments in Nassau and Suffolk, which as I noted have a population of 2.6 million, have more fire engines than NYC and LA combined. Or not so amusing, as all the equipment and firehouses and massive training requirements negates whatever cost savings as might be gained over using paid county departments. At least that is apparent from the obscene property taxes.
    About the only positive thing is that fire engines generally do not respond to medical calls. In some communities the ambulance service is part of the fire department and in others it is separate. The ambulance services are mainly volunteer, supplemented by some paid members in some towns.

  37. Firemen don’t have all that many fires to fight in recent years, but they still like to drive around in their fire trucks with their lights flashing.

    Ain’t that the truth!

    A year ago, my kids and I were headed to La Michoacana for some cheap Mexican popsicles, and we saw a brush fire behind the fire station next door. It was about 50 feet from the back wall of the station. Five minutes later we saw the fire engine hurrying through the parking lot — lights flashing and sirens blaring — only to turn the wrong way! Ten or fifteen minutes later they found their way back to the fire.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    Kennett Square? You’d think someone would remember where he’d set the fire.
  38. Firemen don’t have all that many fires to fight in recent years, but they still like to drive around in their fire trucks with their lights flashing.

    They’ll be available to burn books. That’ll come in handy soon.

    (I see that Buzz Mohawk beat me to it. Touche, sir, touche.)

    By the way, that movie had a great score by Bernard Herrmann.

  39. @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh, man, don't get me started - I don't want to get ranted at by the anti-cyclites here. In this particular city I lived in, I was on a nice long down-grade in a bicycle lane, so to speak, but parked cars with doors that could open any time were on the one side.

    It was very similar, but without the firemen or ambulance guys yet - just a lady cop was there attending to some bum who may have passed out or worse. The lady cop had blocked the bike lane and another lane, and cars filled the rest of the street.

    I don't blame her, as you have to park somewhere. However, as I moved over to the near 15 ft wide sidewalk to keep my speed up, the cop lady yelled at me as I passed "get off the sidewalk". I used my one piece of sign language that I know, with my other hand on the handlebar, rear brake lever, and shifter. Actually, I'm sure I yelled the same thing, in case she wasn't deaf. I had too much speed to catch any retort of any sort.

    A risky practice. I was once chased on my bike by an aggressive terrier — I fended it off (harmlessly) with my right foot and the owner shouted: “Hey, what are you doing?”

    I shouted back, over my shoulder: “I’m kicking your dog!”, whereupon he went batshit and started running after me. I increased my speed (he was a pretty fast runner) but 200 yards on the chain came off my front sprocket …

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Haha, bad day, huh?! Did the guy catch up?
  40. @obwandiyag
    Yeah, and what's with this government trying to help people during the epidemic? What's up with that? Governments should just let people die. It's the libertarian way. Die, motherfucker, die.

    What a wonderful ideology.

    And poor Vietnam, where everything is government, has had 0, count 'em, zero, deaths from the coronoavirus. Those nutty communists. Why won't they let people die? Government helping people is a fate worse than death. When your are dying, just say to yourself, thank god the government didn't try to keep me alive. Freedom is more important.

    When your are dying, just say to yourself, thank god the government didn’t try to keep me alive. Freedom is more important.

    A million Americans are asked to do just that every year. Usually accompanied by a (completely illegitimate) libertarian argument.

    • Agree: Ron Mexico
  41. @SafeNow
    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat... a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)

    (unlike cops who often shoot dogs dead unnecessarily.

    I like cops in theory much more than i do in practice…)

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @The Germ Theory of Disease
    I used to know a bunch of cops who were very funny -- some in the grim, mordant way you'd expect, others in a kind of Dadaist way you wouldn't. I also knew some firemen who were very good guys, but none of them were ever funny. Not "not funny" like stoic and noble, just not funny like Not Funny.

    There's a sort of meaning or distinction in the notion that cops are funny and firemen aren't, but I'm not sure what it is. Maybe just that cops see much weirder things on the job than firemen do, so their stories are better.
  42. @vhrm
    (unlike cops who often shoot dogs dead unnecessarily.

    I like cops in theory much more than i do in practice...)

    I used to know a bunch of cops who were very funny — some in the grim, mordant way you’d expect, others in a kind of Dadaist way you wouldn’t. I also knew some firemen who were very good guys, but none of them were ever funny. Not “not funny” like stoic and noble, just not funny like Not Funny.

    There’s a sort of meaning or distinction in the notion that cops are funny and firemen aren’t, but I’m not sure what it is. Maybe just that cops see much weirder things on the job than firemen do, so their stories are better.

    • Replies: @Neuday
    Nobody's happy to see a cop show up, but everyone's happy when a fireman does. The firemen I've known have been backslappy chuckleheads, while most of the cops I've known have seen enough human detritus to have a dark sense of humor, presumably as a coping mechanism.
  43. I thought the Cannucks had more sense.

  44. @vinny
    Response like that isn't so bad for structure fires. There was a shed fire in my neighborhood last year and they send about 20 pumpers. Overkill in retrospect? Maybe, but everyone is glad the fire just destroyed the shed.

    The real problem is that they send the ladder truck just about everytime someone skins a knee.

    There was a shed fire in my neighborhood last year and they send about 20 pumpers. Overkill in retrospect? Maybe, but everyone is glad the fire just destroyed the shed.

    Overkill would have been an airtanker and smokejumpers. Otherwise, it’s just another day in bankrupt municipal America.

  45. @ben tillman

    Firemen don’t have all that many fires to fight in recent years, but they still like to drive around in their fire trucks with their lights flashing.
     
    Ain't that the truth!

    A year ago, my kids and I were headed to La Michoacana for some cheap Mexican popsicles, and we saw a brush fire behind the fire station next door. It was about 50 feet from the back wall of the station. Five minutes later we saw the fire engine hurrying through the parking lot -- lights flashing and sirens blaring -- only to turn the wrong way! Ten or fifteen minutes later they found their way back to the fire.

    Kennett Square? You’d think someone would remember where he’d set the fire.

  46. Several small city communities are easing the pension load by making all the firemen into cops. In Michigan it is tough because of the state certs with many hours of instruction needed for both, but by raising pay and sending a person already certified as a cop or fireman to the other academy course and paying them while they go, it works.

    Plus I think the cops firemen like driving the big SUVs they need to haul all their fire stuff in the back

  47. @Simon Tugmutton
    A risky practice. I was once chased on my bike by an aggressive terrier -- I fended it off (harmlessly) with my right foot and the owner shouted: "Hey, what are you doing?"

    I shouted back, over my shoulder: "I'm kicking your dog!", whereupon he went batshit and started running after me. I increased my speed (he was a pretty fast runner) but 200 yards on the chain came off my front sprocket ...

    Haha, bad day, huh?! Did the guy catch up?

  48. @SafeNow
    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat... a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)

    Here are two stories of firefighter arrogance, and is a good reason why “qualified immunity”should be abolished for ALL public workers and officials:

    A firefighter from a certain southeastern Michigan community claimed to have a “arson dog”–one that could detect accelerants. This “firefighter” and his dog were instrumental in ruining many peoples’ lives by his testimony alone. Insurance companies LOVED this guy as he was able to get them out of paying (valid) claims.

    People were denied valid insurance claims and prosecuted for arson merely on the testimony of this “arson dog’s” handler.

    Those who were “burned” (no pun intended) by this supposed arson dog’s “handler” had no recourse, because of “qualified immunity”. The firefighter (and fire department) could not be sued.

    Finally one citizen who had been accused of arson fought back by suing to prove the “arson dog’s” ability. The dog was found to have NO special ability. The “arson dog” and his human master’s career was finally over. How many innocent people were convicted of arson and lost everything they owned??

    This “firefighter” and “arson dog” handler retired with his gold-plated pension without any repercussions for his criminal, dishonest scam behavior.

    Another case was that of a plating plant that caught fire. The owners had a fire department “approved” fire plan in place which involved shutting off utilities and shutting down processes in an orderly fashion.

    The firefighters that responded to the fire pushed the owner out of the way, and told him that they were going to do things “their way”. The building burned to the ground.

    A firefighter’s job (for at least 98% of the time) is not inherently dangerous. This does not take away from the seriousness of their job, which is to be commended. but, firefighter arrogance can be just as dangerous as police arrogance. THIS is why firefighters should be included in the abolition of immunity for public officials.

  49. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    I used to know a bunch of cops who were very funny -- some in the grim, mordant way you'd expect, others in a kind of Dadaist way you wouldn't. I also knew some firemen who were very good guys, but none of them were ever funny. Not "not funny" like stoic and noble, just not funny like Not Funny.

    There's a sort of meaning or distinction in the notion that cops are funny and firemen aren't, but I'm not sure what it is. Maybe just that cops see much weirder things on the job than firemen do, so their stories are better.

    Nobody’s happy to see a cop show up, but everyone’s happy when a fireman does. The firemen I’ve known have been backslappy chuckleheads, while most of the cops I’ve known have seen enough human detritus to have a dark sense of humor, presumably as a coping mechanism.

  50. Firemen HAVE to be trained paramedics. They HAVE to be able to perform emergency procedures ,on the spot , and have the right equipment and know how to use it. They HAVE to be trained to be out of bed and fully functioning within minutes. The firetrucks and other vehicles HAVE to be driven and used periodically to stay functional. The drivers of these huge and expensive machines HAVE to practice driving them in all sorts of weather and conditions. These machines are impossible for the average driver to use safely and effectively. So, rather than have two sets of public employees handling essentially the same emergencies, why not have one? Finally, consider this. If a military unit sees that it is facing enormous odds against an enemy, and has no chance of achieving any meaningful goals, they stand down and wait for reinforcements. If the police are even confronting one lone barricaded , armed, dangerous, suspect, they wait for reinforcements. If Firefighters come upon a burning building, ready to collapse, and someone says that there is a child trapped inside, THEY GO IN! They don’t wait until their safety is guaranteed before they act. God bless our Firefighters. They deserve every penny.

  51. Some random thoughts:

    –Their professional schedules are often 24 hour days, so most sleep at the fire station, eat, etc. Have a lot of down time that way. Then after X days there they get Y days off. Many have second jobs or around here, work their small farms, ranches. Some get to be good cooks, since they generally do that in the station

    –The risks are usually low but when not, it is a horrible way to die. Smoke inhalation, burns, falling debris, etc. Plus they are expected to go into burning places for rescues. A heroic thing.

    — On the downside, they are highly macho outfits, usually. Known to run over people, bicyclists, etc and crash into vehicles on runs. They can and do kill others. Have competitions with other fire stations to be first on a fire. Also, this clannishness means (often) interoperability with communications with other fire stations/crews and EMTs or cops. This was a big issue on 9/11. So this tribal/clan mentality is dangerous but a legacy. Near the large city where I live, five were killed because of commo problems with fire scene supervisors. Takes “years” to solve simple problems like this.

    –Firemen generally hate cops, and vice versa. This goes back centuries. Bad for the public.

    –Firemen have a reputation, in large cities anyway, for stealing stuff from fire scenes, stores, etc. Not often private homes. An undisclosed issue on the 9/11 locale. They figure (as per legend) that the stuff is “ruined” or insured so why not pocket some jewelry, etc. ? Don’t know if this is still as common, with all the cameras, as it once was.

    –Yes they are usually overpaid for the jobs, lush retirements, etc. But it is hard physical work and can be dangerous in a lot of ways (rescues, floods, poles, holes, cave-ins, etc.) The volunteer guys I know are more Gung ho and average joes. Often ex military firemen. They do much the same work for almost no rewards.

    — Some firefighters are arsonists, though they screen for it. Like school teachers who are pedophiles, it comes with the territory. Rare though.

  52. Anon[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Let me repeat a comment I made in the past.

    There are lots of reasons why being a firefighter is a good deal (especially in an affluent city or anywhere in the State of California).


    1. Typically their base salary (attained after a few years) is in the 90-100K range. Very good benefits, strong union, and lots of vacation too.

    2. They work a one-day on, two-day off schedule. Some work two-days on, four-days off schedule. So lots of time for hobbies, relaxing, partying, starting your own band, getting a side job, etc. Even when they’re on the job, there’s a lot of downtime and fairly low stress.

    3. Very generous pension (50% of peak salary after 20 years on the force). Lots of fire fighters even “double dip” by getting a 50K/yr pension and working a second job.

    4. Very strong job security. Rare for there to be layoffs.

    5. If you test well, you can test up into senior level positions. Some of the higher-ups in the organizations actually have considerable prestige in their local city govts.

    6. For a kid who can’t enter an elite career track (finance, law, medicine, consulting) and doesn’t want to go the entrepreneurship route, climbing the ranks of a FF department can be a good option to attain prestige and power. The competition is less fierce too.

    I’d strongly advise any young man to consider a career in firefighting.

    I have a close relative who has been a Marin county (ca) fire fighter for a couple of years. No fire fighter family connections/white guy. Went the paramedic/fire fighter route. Was making 45k 6 months out of high school driving for AMR (ambulance). Now his base is 90k plus. Owns his own home in Sacramento. Works a 48 hour shift then 5 days off. To get known he volunteered around the Bay Area and did all the certifications. From talking to him, the best way to get hired is do well on the tests and come across as the kind of person other people want to be around for 48 hours straight. Chiefs start to watch for the young guys coming up that aren’t jerks and you get recommendations when slots are going to open.

  53. @Anonymous
    People know firefighter is a good job so they apply a lot.

    If you really want to be a firefighter you research different departments and apply to many area wide or nation wide, you get a fire science degree, you work out hard so you can ace the physical agility and fitness tests, and you schmooze with fire guys to get in to find out who is hiring when so you can sneak those applications in in the tiny, politically oriented windows.

    Blacks don't do this, of course. Nor do they do well on the tests even if they do study, but the physical part is doable by those in good shape. But they get hired in anyway because, well, the departments have to have a few. A few black firefighters actually earn the respect of their peers, most are useless loads.

    In NYC litigious females have been added to the mix of oppressed firefighter applicants. Of course all firefighter venues have been opened to them by a compliant Federal judiciary!

  54. In NYC litigious females have been added to the mix of oppressed firefighter applicants. Of course all firefighter venues have been opened to them by a compliant Federal judiciary!

  55. @prosa123
    All that's true, the problem is that it can be extremely difficult to get hired in most places. Typically, fire fighter candidates have to apply during very narrow time windows, score high on civil service exams, and then wait years to get called for interviews.

    And be female or POC.

  56. “Fire” departments are featherbedders in this day and age. House fires are miniscule in number due to better construction, the proliferation of smoke alarms, and the massive reduction in smoking. So in order to justify their existence, they scramble hook-and-ladders and pumper trucks to piggyback with the ambulance on every medical aid call. If some snowflake in a college dorm wets the bed, xir is guaranteed not only the three medics to respond and validate xir’s existence, but four or five “fire”fighters as well.

    Of course, this gives the “fire”fighters plenty of time to grip-‘n-grin with the public and sponsor all sorts of charity schemes. In my state, there’s some sort of campaign called “Fill The Boot”, where these living anachronisms charge out into traffic that’s stopped at stoplights to wag a big boot under the driver’s window and beg for money for whatever boondoggle strikes their fancy.

    But everybody loves the “Fire” Dept. They have the best propaganda machine since Joe Stalin.

  57. @SafeNow
    Great post. All I can add to these advantages of being a firefighter concerns the prestige aspect. To me the highest respect and prestige attaches not just to firefighters who have climbed the ranks, but also to the newest rookie. In addition to everything else they do, they save the family dog or cat... a member of the family. In a way this represents the best of what America is about. (By the way, the USCG also saves the dog.)

    About twenty years ago I was rescued (I wasn’t in danger, just couldn’t figure out how exactly I was going to get home) off Baffin Island by the Canadian Coast Guard. Some natives inhabiting nearby Broughton Island had set their sled teams loose on the big island for the summer and the dogs, 50 or 100 of them, kept me company for a few days. In polar bear country, that kind of company is very welcome. (If a husky takes your cup, it’ll take about an hour of ignoring them before the dogs lose interest and drop it.)

    As the rescue boat nosed into a very small inlet, the officer on the bow asked me if I needed to take my dogs. They were prepared to received all those dogs aboard if I’d asked them to.

    • Thanks: vhrm
  58. @Lars Porsena
    Heh. In my state, it's the law that firemen, emergency and police must all respond to every emergency call, no matter what the emergency is.

    So if you call an ambulance because you fell off a ladder and broke your leg, a fire truck shows up just in case.

    Sounds like a brilliant success by the EMT, police, and fire unions.

  59. Donald J. Trump Retweeted:

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