Every year The Bee publishes lists of top city wage earners, and police and firefighters receive backlash for their earnings. It never ceases to amaze me that people feel those who are saving their lives and protecting their families should earn less.
There are some facts everyone should consider. A firefighter's salary is based on a 56-hour week, not the typical 40 hours. The starting pay for an entry- level firefighter position is roughly $17 hourly. This is less than most comparable cities. Police and firefighters earning these published wages are working large amounts of overtime, upwards of 80 hours per week. Anyone putting in 25 hours of overtime per week would receive an inflated paycheck. Overtime is necessary, as firefighters lost nine positions and police 25 positions due to budget cuts.
These men and women constantly put their lives in danger. They are shot at, poked with needles, exposed to hazardous materials and diseases, rush into burning buildings and cars, and sacrifice time away from their families to protect you. Think they deserve less? Tell that to the widow explaining to her children that Daddy isn't coming home.