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Pasco County Professional Fire Fighters

What is a firefighter worth?

 

Letter Originally posted in the Valley Breeze

What is a firefighter worth?

There has been so much talk recently about things like containing costs, lowering taxes, and those who work in public safety being overpaid - particularly firefighters - that it could make your head spin. We've all done the "simple math," crunched the numbers, and it all seems to boil down to a simple question. What are firefighters worth?

I guess that depends. We live in a country that seems to have forgotten what our priorities are. A man can be a skilled athlete who happens to throw and catch a football well, and make millions and millions of dollars to do so. And we as a society are not only OK with that, but we gather in front of our televisions and cheer that man on. Meanwhile, a firefighter kisses his children goodbye before every shift knowing the harsh reality that it very well could be the last time he will see them, and he is fighting tooth and nail for decent health coverage and substantial pay to support those children.

He is the man that you call when your elderly father has a stroke. He is the person that will extract your 16-year-old son from a mangled vehicle on the highway in the middle of the night. He is the person that will be there in a heartbeat when your newborn infant stops breathing. He is the person who is exposed to countless dangerous scenarios and has seen horrific things during his career that would psychologically haunt most of us for the rest of our lives. We trust him to save our homes and belongings in the event of a disastrous fire, and we trust him to keep us breathing and our hearts beating when we face our most critical moments. What is he worth to you?

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Firefighters face higher cancer rates

One of the most dangerous occupations in the world is becoming even more hazardous for its workers — but a new study suggests that the people we expect to protect us are not being adequately protected against the risks of their profession.


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State Pension plan is not in trouble

The Florida Retirement System remains strong.

Recovery underway for state pension fund

Florida's pension plan has almost recovered from a beating it took at the hands of financial markets starting in the late summer of 2011, the state's top money manager said Monday.

The latest quarterly report by the state's investment consultants shows the State Board of Administration narrowly beat its performance benchmarks, restoring the value of the pension fund to about $118.5 billion. That still left it about $10 billion below where it was at the start of the fiscal year, but that deficit that has all but been erased in recent months.

From the Current Read More


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