Yes, firefighters CAN have a dangerous job. Fire prevention in the last few years has become so good that the majority of assistance calls are medical in nature. This is a good thing but please get off the soapbox that firemen "constantly run into burning buildings." The Pleasanton FD were not first responders to the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Speaking of pensions -- did you know that ANY firefighter in California who retires on a disability will collect their entire pension tax free for life? Their current pension structure will pay them 80% of their final earnings (with raises every time a new contract is negotiated) for life -- TAX FREE. Now you see why every firefighter starts the evidence trail from day one about every "injury" adding toward their eventual "disability" retirement.
Speaking as one who values hard work, I have never had a problem with paying public safety officers a more than average salary. I object to the excessive benefits package, particularly the tax free pensions and medical coverage, that has contributed to a hard line on the part of city managers throughout California. This is not unique to Pleasanton and it needs to stop. A two tiered system is a start since no current employees are willing to get off the gravy train.
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