Oroville is rethinking fire department management – Chico needs to do same

13 Jul

I got this video from a reader, and I got such a kick out of it, I had to post it.

Yes, there’s crude language, I’m sorry if you find that offensive. But I’ve had conversations like this with members of Chico Fire, including a guy who told me, “wait until your fat husband has a stroke… we won’t be there to carry his fat ass to the amubulance…”

As this video points out, firefighters don’t even make the Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs list. You can google that yourself, I found several different lists that put even landscape maintenance workers ahead of fire department employees in terms of risk, injuries, and deaths on the job.

A firefighter hasn’t died in Chico since the 1970’s. The biggest issue we’ve had here was the mold at Station 5.

In fact, if you look at the report the city puts out every year, you find the average Chico Fire employee spends more time escorting ambulances – that don’t pay – than they do putting out fires.

Look, I know we need them, but do we need them to be working 48 hour shifts, getting paid to sleep, shower, eat, and do their grocery shopping in the ladder truck? We need to rethink our fire management, like Oroville is doing right now.

6 Responses to “Oroville is rethinking fire department management – Chico needs to do same”

  1. Stephen Jackson July 13, 2021 at 6:48 am #

    I enjoyed the video because it needed to be said. Municipal fire fighters have traditionally been paid more, usually in overtime, than any other position in government. Since pensions continue to be the driver behind failing government budgets, its pretty reasonable to look at the top paid pensions and see if we’re actually getting our money’s worth.

    • Juanita Sumner July 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm #

      I agree, this is a conversation that needs to be had. Over half Chico’s pension deficit is Public Safety. Their salaries are not sustainable,the pensions are tanking our economy.

      I find the video accurately depicts the sense of entitlement we’ve encouraged among our public safety employees for too long.

  2. Stephen Jackson July 13, 2021 at 6:52 am #

    I realize this is a bit outside of the Chico Taxpayers forum, but please consider the salaries of those at county government level as well. I went to 25 County Center Drive yesterday to take care of some business with County Counsel (the lawyers that represent Butte County). Their office is “closed to the public” yet if you look at salaries, they come in as some of the highest paid officials in our county. Working from home, out of touch to the public they serve, all at taxpayer expense. When will our county wake up and demand better from local government…?

    • Juanita Sumner July 13, 2021 at 1:45 pm #

      I agree with you here too. I have followed the county salaries, particularly the Behavioral Health Department. I also just found out, the County Supervisors recently approved using a big chunk of campfire relief money to pay down the county pension deficit. They approved a pension obligation Bond in 2008, but they still have such a bad pension deficit that they have to take money from fire victims.

      Yes, Chico is just part of a bigger scenario.

  3. Jim July 15, 2021 at 9:00 am #

    Municipal fire departments as well as school districts are a holdover from the 19th century.

    It makes much more sense for cities to contract out to CalFire. They would get better, more flexible fire protection at lower cost.

    • Juanita Sumner July 15, 2021 at 10:21 am #

      That is definitely a conversation that needs to be had in Chico.

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