It’s sad that it takes a multiple line-of-duty death to get an editorial like this published. Unfortunately, editors usually will not permit pro public sector editorials, especially since most newspapers are owned by large corporations.
Finally, I must comment as I am getting so sick of hearing about ignorant people threatening our pensions and benefits. Was hired in 1982 at 22 w/Martin County Fla. as the seventh career firefighter in the county. We formed our local (2959) in 84 with about 10 firefighters. When I retired with 25 in 2007 we had 267 on the street and ran between 18 and 20,000 calls a year. I loved my profession and would do it all again. I remember running structures, major accidents, brush fires and codes alone from time to time if there were no volunteers available.(nothing negative about them as they were good and did their best, but times were changing) In 25 years (became a LT in my fourth year) I rarely had more than 2 on my engine, yes just a driver and myself, and the drivers, though very skilled were never officially certified DEs. Some rare and fortunate days I would get a third. No trucks with air cond. until my 15th year and no kellys until year 18. We fought tooth and nail and did not recieve decent pay until year 15, which put us close to neighboring counties. (Started in 82 at 4.95 an hour) Point is I am NOT complaining, but am concerned they could take away my retiree health ins. which we so needed as my wife is very ill and "lives" at the doctors office. I was very fortunate to recieve a pension far beyond what we ever thought we would get, but with my brothers and sisters we were the first generation of career firefighters in ths county and worked hard with and for very little and simply ask for our pensions and promised retiree benefits and also do not change what those now working will recieve. I will now end. Apologies for going on so long, but this has been festering for a while and I needed to get it out. as I said I went out as an Lt. and have an A/S in fire science. I want to now get back to work. Anything I could do for the IAFF? Would be proud to work to help our organization. Somebody let me know. Scott Potter email@example.com 772-546-8362
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