Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Standard-Examiner Letter: "Compensation For Firefighters "Clarified'"

Come on, Mr. Johnson! Look at the realities of the work that firemen and police officers do!

By Brett

No one has commented on Mark Johnson’s letter to the editor, “Compensation for firefighters clarified,” that appeared in Tuesday morning’s Standard-Examiner, so I will.

Mr. Johnson, Ogden City does have quite a few good, dedicated, courteous and helpful employees, but they also have some that are rude and bad employees. To compare the wages of the firemen (and police) to the employee who sits safely behind a desk is like comparing apples to oranges! I think it is an insult to the City’s firefighters and police officers to try to compare the two. When was the last time an employee sitting behind his desk doing his job was shot to death, or had a burning roof fall on him, or inherited health problems because he/she was doing his/her job?

An Ogden City employee from director to custodian is not held in the same esteem as a firefighter. You should remember that when it comes budget time. If justice were really done, all directors and managers would take, at least, a 20% reduction in pay and John Patterson should take a 30% cut so that the firefighters and police could be paid closer to what their worth. And the directors and managers would still be paid more than they are worth!

Come on, Mr. Johnson! Look at the realities of the work that firemen and police officers do! They keep us, the citizens of Ogden safe while risking their own lives. Police officers never know what they will have to face when stopping a car. When was the last time that YOU risked your life for an ordinary Ogden citizen?! And you make double what most firemen and police officers make with all your expense accounts on top of your salary!

Put our taxpayer dollars into the wages of the firefighters and police officers, who are on the job helping, saving and serving the citizens of Ogden, many times at the risk of their own lives. The fat cats on Ogden City’s payroll should not receive any kind of pay increase – they are already paid too much!

I am not the spouse of a firefighter or police officer, just a citizen who appreciates the real workers on the Ogden City payroll.


what will it cost us said...

Good point, plus the last time I was at the water dept while waiting to be helped I noticed a city employee playing video games on their city computer.

How about filling those empty police positions and paying a living wage. If that is the best the chiefs can do maybe really retiring those double dippers and getting some new younger folks in there with new ideas. How many home invasions this week in Ogden?

Jennifer Neil said...

Patterson mentioned the entry level firefighter's wage range -- failed to mention the guys & gals that have been there 6+ years are still being paid entry-level pay ... the new guys see that and they leave for greener pastures

How bout that?


Ben said...

I don't know what police force you are referring to, but all I ever see police doing is issuing moving violations. The one time a friend had his home broken into, police got the license plate number of the burglar from a neighbor, but did not press charges because they did not find any stolen property in the perps house, and subsequently did not have evidence. Case dismissed. Nice police work. I see an old lady j-walking. Better arrest her.

Dorrene Jeske said...

I understand that we all have had different experiences with police officers. When our home was broken into, the police were to our home in less than five minutes after the alarm company notified them (we weren’t home). Don’t say that it was because I am on the council, that wasn’t the case. When I arrived home, and the officer was filling out his report, he asked what my name was, and I told him. His response was, “Don’t you work for Ogden City?” Another time when there were a couple of people acting very suspiciously early one morning at our neighbor’s home across the street, I called the dispatcher because I had heard one of them say, “It looks like nobody is home.” The police were here in just a matter of minutes. That happened before I was on the Council and I was just another citizen to them.
I met with a couple of officers after I was on the Council , and they are just as disgusted with having to meet a quota as we are at the thought that some of them were hired as traffic cops. One of them had been hired as a detective, and the year before he had solved 90% of his cases, but he did not receive the designated increase in pay that all other employees received because he was doing his job and did not have the time to write a the number of tickets to meet the quota. The officers would much rather be doing their job than writing tickets, but they must meet the quota each month or after three or four months, they are dropped from their unit. If they continuously fail to make quota, then a reason to dismiss them is found. A number of officers are forced to make quota in order to keep their jobs – don’t blame them, it is out of their hands, but they have supervisors and one head honcho dictating the rules.
I went on a “ride along” one night, and the officer with whom I rode, was called to back up another officer who had made a traffic stop and the man in the car was yelling obscenities and threats before the officer reached the car. I know one of the officers who answered the call to the home of the resident who died of carbon monoxide poisoning and suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning along with the other two officers. They almost died and have had a lot of health problems because of it.
As I have become acquainted and got to know our police officers, I think that we have a great bunch of guys and ladies and an outstanding police force. I am sorry that others in Ogden haven’t had the opportunity to get to know them as I have.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: "police got the license plate number of the burglar from a neighbor, but did not press charges because they did not find any stolen property in the perps house, and subsequently did not have evidence." If the alleged thief had already gotten rid of the loot, and there was no evidence of the crime to be found at his home, what did you expect the police to do? Manufacture it?

I don't think it's the police who decide whether to take a criminal case to court. It's the prosecutors who decide, and they won't try a case there if there is not enough evidence to win it, for obvious reasons.

And as for their writing traffic citations, good. As I walk and drive around Ogden, watching people flat run stop signs without so much as slowing down [particularly near Ogden High] and run red lights, and speed down residential streets, I wish they wrote more of them. While the quota system is odious and not an efficient way to allocate police time, writing traffic tickets is part of the department's job.

FWAA said...


Well, they spent almost $2,000,000 of our tax dollars on yet another beautiful and lavishly equipped fire station up in the Ogden Valley near Huntsville. The "old" one at Eden built only a few years ago was just too far away from the Huntsville area they said.

After the new station was dedicated, the only house fire in twenty years burned down a frame house less than a mile away before they could respond.

Bout ten years ago we had a major wildfire which was started by some clown burning his trash at the Damn keeper's home next to Pineview Damn.

I happened by as it began and the trash fire was only about a quarter acre or less in size going into the scrub brush.

A firetruck, presumably from the Eden station, was parked with a couple of guys just hanging out watching it burn rapidly up the hill side. Five days later the fire had burned itself out and most of the mountain was in ashes.

I asked why they weren't doing anything? To which they replied basically, "It isn't big enough yet." Then made some lame joke about needing the training and overtime and besides there buddies were inbound.

My point...we are already overpaying and overbuilding fire "fighting" capability. Especially considering I have never seen nor heard of a single fire in which the home was saved. These overly emotional old boys in cowboy hats and shit kickers consistently overplay their relative importance by glooming onto 9/11 heros and such.

Now money for insurance premiums? That is a whole different matter.

just another humble servant said...

I don’t really like to attempt to educate people who don’t know the ins and out of Firefighting, but I will attempt.

First of all there are NFPA standards for staffing of fire apparatus. The standard is NFPA 1710 you can find it on the National Fire Protection Association web site. The recommended staffing level for an engine is four, they also recommend response times to fires, medical emergencies etc. that will result in a timely and effective mitigation of the emergency. However the local politicians, and citizens complain about taxes, we don’t want more taxes, and the local leaders don’t want to raise taxes. Now we are in a bit of a pinch, because now you have only two people manning an Engine Company in most of the Weber County Fire District when NFPA recommends four. In Ogden City we have three persons manning an Engine Company most of the time, sometimes two. But back in the day, not so long ago Ogden had four person Engine Companies. We never lost a house back then. Ogden was the best Fire Department in the State. Now Ogden is nothing more than a training ground for firefighters with a staggering turnover with people leaving to other departments across the Wasatch Front.

There are also OSHA regulations that do not allow Firefighter entry into a house fire with an IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health) so if you have a two or three person Engine Company entry is not allowed until we have a RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) in place. That means we are waiting for another Engine Company to arrive fromm across town. We are not allowed to enter, because our employer, the City County, the taxpayer will be levied a huge stiff penalty if there is a death of a firefighter when a RIT team is not in place.

So the politicians, cut staffing, and as the county and city grows, the funding to place Fire Stations in strategic locations to maximize response times is not keeping up with growth. There’s not a whole lot two or three firefighters can do when the job calls for a minimum of four to mitigate the problem.

So it appears that us taxpayers have lower taxes, the politicians get re-elected because they don’t raise taxes, and they cut funding for firefighting. You get exactly what we pay for. You might as well piss on the fire for what we have to work with, but please don’t blame the Firefighter for the tax cuts and staffing cuts, and the laws.

In 1985 Ogden City General fund paid 100% of the Fire Department budget. Today it pays approximately 55% of the Fire Department Budget because of innovations by the fire service to implement Paramedic, and Ambulance service, hence the funding of cross trained EMT’s and Firefighters being able to perform medical and firefighting with fewer employees, and funding the department through the revenue generated by the medical service provided.

I would say if you are not happy with the service the Fire Department provides, the next time you have a medical emergency, or fire, you should call Mark Johnson. I am pretty sure that as much as he values the firefighters he could do a better job. Marks’ motto is “do more with less”. He’s only trying to accommodate the politicians, and the taxpayers.

So do you want an effective Fire Department or lower taxes? You decide.

If you need any education about the Fire Service, please feel free to call a Firefighter, not a Chief, they answer to the politicians.

just another humble servant said...

Oh, I forgot one more thing. To be able to do wildland firefighting you have the firefighters have to have the proper traing and hold what is known as a Red Card Certification.

That cost taxpayers money also, any suggestions where we can come up with the funding for that while we are making cuts to the budget?

FWAA said...

Just another humble servant...

You bet ya!!

I understand all the absolute bullshit you iterate above. It all comes from Unions.

Eliminate grants from and public tit sucking of the Feds. (that is us by the way.) Go to a right to work situation without any of the Union bullshit which is destroying our "Union" .... ironically.

We as a community have always done more, far far more using far far less tax money when men were men and as such served the community often as volunteer firemen(women).

Your "explanations" of the bullshit our County and City Fire Departments use to rationalize their incompetence is known and realized. Just not respected. You want respect? You want to serve? You want to command higher salaries and EVEN more retirement benefits?

EARN it! No whining...earn it bub.

Just my own take ya understand.

Fireman Joe said...

FWAA-Never heard of a house being saved? There's been more than one house fire in the valley in the last twenty years too.

What task do you propose we eliminate first on the fireground, fire attack, search and rescue, ventilation?

FWAA said...


Fraud Waste and Abuse (FWAA) says:

I would like you and all your brethern/sisters to stop with the jargonistic and jingoistic bullshit talk, stop whining, and put out the freaking fires. No hiding behind union regulations and bureaucratic bullshit.

Man up!

If you need to spend millions learning to put dirt on a gas fire and water on a wood fire, get out of the profession. You are just plain old stupid and can not be trusted to piss on a match.

Just do the job...for a change, without the constant whining and bilking taxpayers.

We are frankly very sick and tired of all of you, in any profession, who have been destroying our Country by being unionized brain dead greed heads.

Perhaps a "ladder attack" would be in sticking....oh nevermind.

Fireman Joe said...

FWAA-There are eight firefighters on duty between the two stations in the valley, just enough to start an initial attack.

Would you prefer to go back to just the station in Eden?

The day the A-frame burned half the crew was at Snowbasin on a call, next in engine from Eden or Ogden?

Ogden City Fire ran over 19,000 calls last year, how many volunteers will you need for coverage?

Fireman Joe said...

FWAA-plain english 2 guys using a hose spraying water, a guy running the pump, 2 guys looking for victims, 2 guys ventilating smoke, a guy in charge.

Your house is on fire and your kids are trapped-would you rather have all these tasks take place at once or whenever they can be done? Utility's, water supply still other tasks that need to be done.

FWAA said...

Oh Yeah! 19,000 calls.

Last time I watched a junior high football game and a kid had the breath knocked out of him (from a really good block).

There were three mongo fire trucks, two smaller bread truck sized fire trucks, three police cars, and an EMT crew. That's what 3+2+1 (forget the cops) = six! Yeah! That's six "calls" for a preteen with the wind knocked out of him.

Brilliant! Your 19,000 calls are as bull shit as your rationalizations.

Oh, and you are right about there being more than one house fire within a mile. There were actually two homes within a mile both of which burned to the ground. Very good dude!

How many volunteers you ask? Oh, about five per community would do a much better job with collateral training and disaster preparation being a huge plus.

Face it. Your scheduling, regulations, rules, responsiveness, efficiency, proficiency, readiness all suck pond water. Your excuses, rationalizations, regulation reading, ineptness, and also inconceivable incompetance and lack of common sense grouped at the top of the "management" chains are manifest and legendary.

Nothing personal ya understand, but this is reality.

Fireman Joe said...

FWAA-The station door is open when you want to experience reality.

FWAA said...

Fireman Joe

Funny you should mention it.

A neighbor called saying my barn and house was on fire. Looked out the window and sure enough smoke billowed out of the barn and from under the eves.

As soon as my heart pounding allowed I called 911 and raced to do whatever I could to save the animals and such.

A neighbor from across the pasture showed up huffing and puffing as we figured out the actual fire was from some pyro nut case who likes to burn tree trimmings and such at the water's edge. The wind had come up, re ignited the huge fire sending smoke and lighted ashes into the barn stocked with hay.

Three large fire trucks screamed onto our lawn, accompanied by two more smaller trucks and an EMT unit. None within distance to do any good putting out the fires.

The neighbor and I meantime had gotten a couple of 5 gallon buckets and were standing in the cold water tossing buckets onto the fire as about six "firemen" fully decked out in their firefighting slicks stood by watching and making jokes.

So who would I rely on to put out a fire you ask? My neighbors and friends of course. The others can not be trusted it seems. But really good old boys...full of stories, jokes, and excuses. The station door is bettcha!

bribery will get ya anywhere said...

FWAA Just do the job...for a change, without the constant whining and bilking taxpayers.

It's not the Firefighters who are bilking taxpayer. It's the inept Politicians, funded by the realtors associations that are bilking the taxpayers.

Wannabe developers like Mayor Godfrey,wasting money on Ice towers, veledromes, golf courses, and penny arcades. Hopping into bed with criminal developrs in trouble in California for tax evasion.

The list goes on and on.

FWAA said...

I agree. The list goes on and on.

How about let's just not "re-elect" anyone. For any office. Chief of Police, Senators, Representatives, Commissioners, Fire Marshalls and Chiefs, Mayors, all of them... Let's just flush the whole dam crowd. The "Empire Building" which always seems to result absolutely has to be "overseen" by an informed, mature, adult citizenry at the polls.

My apologies to "fireman Joe" and "just a humble public servant" as I know he/they actually means well and believes what he/she has been brain washed to think.

But we need public servants who have the capability to "think for themselves". Not just regulation reading freaks and idiots like this Patterson person. No one ever tell him "you don't ever do more with less. You can only do less with less." The key is managing what constitutes the "less" and its is not always money, money, and more tax money.

Again sorry,

Biker Babe said...

Stop feeding the F-WAH troll, you guys.



gofwaayourself said...

I didn't know Glen Beck read the local blogs.

Shame on you, FWAA. Those horrible, greedy firemen that might save your life someday. Oh, I guess they'd be better without unions and it went to the lowest bidder. Worked out great with thiokol and their successes with the challenger shuttle.

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