Local News

City is beginning to lose firefighters, chief says

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Javier Mainar said Wednesday that firefighter retainment problems are starting to crop up, though the situation doesn’t yet resemble the staffing crisis in the city’s police department.

In a presentation to the City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Department, Mainar said San Diego no longer offers competitive compensation when compared to nearby cities.

sdfdThe SDFRD recently lost two firefighters with more than 10 years experience and, on the other end of the scale, two departed for other departments partway through a fire academy, the chief said.

“The concern I do want to share is attrition to other agencies,” Mainar told the committee members.

“We have seen what we believe is the beginning of a trend that is going up,” he said. “We’re hearing it not only from folks who are turning us down for job offers, but also firefighters who are leaving our department and are telling us that they are going to another agency, and it’s typically because of compensation or benefit issues.”

Mainar said voter-passed Proposition B, which bars most new municipal employees from entering the city’s pension system, will be a challenge for hiring in the future because no other surrounding cities have made similar changes.

New police officers still get to join the pension system, but firefighters and lifeguards did not receive the same exemption.

The department typically loses nearly 49 employees per year, or 5.3 percent of its workforce, according to the presentation. Some years are higher because of changes to pay or benefits, the chief said.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said the department is budgeted for 863 firefighters and has 77 vacancies. Zapf and fellow council members Marti Emerald and Mark Kersey said it was important to halt the growing retention problems before they become as bad as what the SDPD faces.

Police officials say nearly 10 officers a month are leaving for greener pastures, and that nearly half of those on the force will be eligible to retire in four years.

Frank DeClercq, the head of San Diego’s firefighters union, said the city has to decide whether it will be a competitive employer.

He said three firefighters recently left for Oregon, which he’s never seen before, and six went to Orange County. With many employees living in southern Riverside County, it’s just as easy for them to commute to Orange County as it is to San Diego, he said.

DeClercq said he could foresee “a mass exodus” unless compensation practices change in San Diego.

The report was for the committee’s information only, so no action was taken.

——- Story by City News Service reporter James R. Riffel

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

9 Comments to “City is beginning to lose firefighters, chief says”

    Dee said:
    June 26, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    It's not brain surgery…if they don't like it here…..bye-bye.

    thechurchofchrismartin said:
    June 27, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Insulting for these public employees to be complaining when they sit around three-quarters of the time really doing very little. Yes, they are brave and run into burning structures to save people, but I think they saw the cops yapping abut their pay and decided to jump in on the bandwagon to get more, more, more!!

    Fox News Sucks said:
    June 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Ignorence at its finest. Easy to say bye bye now, until your family member is sick and you get some second rate firefighter showing up at your door. It is nice to see that many think firefighters sit around 75% of the time. They aren’t sitting around while they are responding to over 130,000 calls a year. Just more uneducated, worthless comments. Strong work!

    Brisbane Roofing said:
    July 7, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I simply could not leave your website before suggesting that I really loved the
    usual info a person provide in your visitors? Is going to be again ceaselessly in
    order to investigate cross-check new posts

    Youth Sidney Rice Jersey said:
    July 8, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    They are the outright leaders in the market blogthreads, CheapNfl Jerseys Sunglasses, In addition, they also appreciate the object.
    El reto consiste, adems, en hacer este navegador lo ms pequeo posible para que pueda evitarlo;
    y un arquitecto holands imprimir una casa en 3 D utilizan una tcnica conocida como” barrera de paralaje”.

    Propuse este mar de arena lleno de esqueletos
    de barcos varados porque no me quito de la cabeza
    de los usuarios.

    http://ecohost.com said:
    July 8, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    There is a lot more. It is ideal for tracking and hunting.
    It’s also important to look good for the summer, silk makes the Oak Man sweat too much. La patente describe un modelo de Cincinnati Bengals deportivas Ver Sport adecuado para disfrutarlo con las mximas garantas. Tanto si eres deportista y usas cincinnati bengals graduadas como si necesitas proteger tus ojos de accidentes y lesiones, VerSport dispone de una montura adecuada.

    best natural anti aging skin care products said:
    August 3, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Hi to all, it’s really a nice for me to pay a quick visit this site, it contains precious Information.

    buy pure green coffee said:
    October 17, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I was more than happy to find this great site. I wanted to thank you
    for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
    I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you book marked
    to see new stuff on your site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisement

Advertisement