Letters to the Editor

Firefighters on OT work two jobs

I read the article ("$110K city salaries double," Feb. 28, Page A-1) about firefighters and policemen salaries. I am a retired fireman from San Jose, and I think the article is unfair and seems to present firemen and policemen in a negative light.

You noted several firefighters who had made more than $100,000. For at least the second year, you neglect to mention the number of hours worked away from family and home. A firefighter's normal work week was 56 hours in San Jose. If he or she chose to work an overtime shift, that was another 24 hours at the station; the total could approach 80-plus hours a week. That represents two weeks worth of work for a full-time employee in any other profession. Take any occupation that pays fairly and multiply the hourly wage by 80, then by 52 (weeks in a year). What do you come up with?

I did not complain about the high number of hours spent on the job because it was such a good job and I enjoyed it, as I'm sure firefighters in Modesto do.