City Government

Fire Wages Revealed, Bennies Compared

The Daily Paper and others reported last week that Boise City and the firefighters union had settled on a labor contract.
Those agreements are conducted in secret and the citizens are just asked to pay the bill. That’s the way it is and there are good points and bad with such a system. However, we thought it worthwhile to share the wage and benefit details with GUARDIAN readers.

A rookie firefighter starts out at $40,752 a year and tops out at $59,172. A captain–the “crew boss” on a three person fire engine–makes $66,072 and the battalion chiefs who are shift commanders of about 7 stations make $73,044. There are only two or three firefighter ranks–chief and deputy chief–that are not union positions.

If the GUARDIAN could give the chief its two cents worth just twice, he would make an even $100, 000. As it is, he checks in with an annual salary of $99,999.96.

The attached charts were provided by Team Dave staffers at the mayor’s office. They show benefits packages of the Fire, Police, and general city employees–who pretty much have to all use the same doctors, hospitals and pharmacies available in Boise.

We are all aware the cops and firemen are heroes and city workers are underpaid.

FIRE WAGES Download file
FIRE BENEFITS Download file

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Can I just let everyone know that a boise firefighter has a 56.5 hour work week instead of a 40 hour work week, straight time. So, that makes some difference.

  2. Boisean,
    Thou does protest too much! You say the 56.5 hour week “makes some difference.” LOGICALLY firefighters are being paid to sleep part of the time (even if awakened) and they have lots of days off…something you also need to let everyone know.

    The G man merely posted a salary schedule, no need to defend it.

  3. I’m not protesting at all. I’m not sure why you would think that? Just the facts. Sleeping or not, its time away from family is time away. Mr “Logic” ,if the time at work is more, how can time off be more? Work and not work is just grouped together differently. Goodday to you

  4. Firefighters work 24 hours on 48 hours off. However, that is a little misleading. Boisean, while they are away from their families for the 24 hours, they only have to work from 8am to 5pm unless they have a run, unless things have changed, and I cannot imagine why they would have.

    All training, testing, etc is done from 8-5 only and I don’t think if their shift falls on Sunday, they do anything other than answer calls. I could be wrong on that. It used to be Saturday and Sunday, but I believe that Saturday now counts as a workday for training purposes.

    Yes they work harder than most (at least in most of the fire stations), but the vast majority (something like 80%) of the calls they respond to are medical. With the advances in building codes, there are very few fires anymore.

  5. Sara, some of what you say is true, but going on ” runs” is the main purpose of being a firefighter. You make it sound like that is easy or not enough. Fires are not as rare as you think and medicals do make up alot of what we do. Medicals are were a well trained firefighter can make a real impact on our community. they both are very important I’m not sure how I have misleading on the work schedule. If I am working (way from my family, giving the city my labor), I am working. I guess it’s like a secert serive man protecting the President. If he doesn’t Physically stop someone from killing the President everytime he works he is not ” really working” I take pride in my job. I am very thankful for it. I want to give the city a good employee in return for my pay. I don’t think I deserve special treatment. I love what I do.
    I just started this thread because the salary is for 216 hours a month not the standard 160. Thats all.

  6. chessplayer
    Apr 28, 2008, 4:16 pm

    One needs to read the entire contract and factor in Kelly Days and Book Time as well as Regular Duty trades, into the hours worked figure. There is a good amount of time paid for, wherein no actual work takes place.

  7. Ah Boisean, going on a run is the job you are paid to do but there are also issues of training etc that must be dealt with and I notice you don’t dispute the 8-5 or Sunday issues which I raised. And actually fires are pretty rare in the context of being a firefighter v an emt. Most of what the fire department does now is medical – 80% is most and is getting very close to all.

    And while you are away from your family for 24 hours, you do get to act like it’s your home away from home. For example, firefighters have been known to fix their cars at the station, build bookshelves with power tools they’ve brought from home, work out on exercise equipment and my personal favorite (not) sell their used cars in front of the stations.

  8. Yes, chessplayer read the contract. There is no more book time(in the pass one could “bank” overtime one worked to be used later), regular duty trades are one shift for another, no day off just a switch and kelly days are one every three months to make up for holidays we have to work and other employees get to have off. Look I’m not complaining I just want facts straight. I really hope the people we serve don’t feel like we are ripping them off.

    EDITOR NOTE–Boisean, you opened this can of worms. We were simply trying to put numbers to the % and poke fun at the chief making 4 cents under $100K. No one has compared benefits of cops, firefighters, and city workers.

  9. Dave , Point taken. thanks for the little shake. I started this just to straighten out monthly pay deal, and felt like I had to justify my job. Good evening everyone

  10. My how protective we are to the firefighters.
    Sorry but I think their a bit over paid when you look at the wages and the benifits they recieve.

  11. Since the Fire Union and Police Union both have POS-HMO Blue I am assuming their health insurance is with the same company. Or am I wrong. I guess one could be Blue Cross and one Blue Shield. Looks like the city workers have something else. Whatever the case, you would think that the city would have the same for all city employees, police, fire and the rest. And all would have the same choices and good benefits instead of 2 choices for the police, 4 choices for fire and 4 choices for the rest. Who knows if any of the choices are the same?

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