Sunday, July 23, 2017

Detwiler Fire Overwhelms Calfire comment

     This comment is signed Chadwick  (Sierra Sentinel comments are in parentheses)

   "As a former firefighter, I will say that you are completely wrong about CalFire. CalFire fights fires very aggressively as long as safety protocols are in place.

   Yes, resources have their right to refuse an assignment, but that's not politics, that's firefighters realizing if they carry out an unsafe assignment that they won't be going home to their families.

   I understand some fold are upset that they lost property during fires, but blaming CalFire for your loss is ridiculous.

   Did you do your part to protect your property  Did you have defensible space? 

   Yes, private dozers were probably not allowed to be used on the fire.  There is huge liability letting people with no Fire safety training operate equipment on fires.

   If people want to use their equipment on fires, they can contract with CalFire and take appropriate safety classes.

   As far as pay goes, entry level firefighters barely make above minimum wage.  They work a 72 shift when not on a fire and 24 hours shifts when on assignment.  They work in hot temperatures in awful conditions away fro their homes and families for weeks. 

   While on fires they are fatigued and eat poorly.  They go through all of this and risk their lives for strangers for little pay.  Your $130,000 dollar salary estimate is off.  $100,000 a year for a Captain or Chief may be more accurate, but they work a ton of overtime for that money.

   It is also true that CalFire firefighters sleep in motels. If you had ever worked a 24 hour shift in the conditions stated above and then been asked to rest in a tent or hose bed of a fire engine and then asked to work several other 24 hour shifts, you may understand why the state pays for this expense.

   The state wants their firefighters to get good rest so they are safe and able to work in the dynamic fire environment.

  Point and case, perhaps you should go through all of the trading required of a firefighter and go to work for CalFire.  Then you may understand that fires don't just go out.  It is a dynamic environment that changes rapidly.

  (No one is forced, either to work for CalFire or to work any overtime offered. And is it not possible the state is not just being generous to it's Captains, but the UNION demands the high pay?)

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