Arcata Fire swells top-heavy ranks; their money rolls in right out of your pockets!

Both the Times-Standard and News Channel 3 ran pieces earlier this week which described how Arcata Fire continued the proud tradition of top-heavy fire department employment by promoting two new Battalion Chiefs, two new Fire Captains, and even added 3 more firefighters to compensate.

THC went ahead and checked the most recent employee salary records over at TransparentCalifornia, and we were not surprised to learn that Arcata Fire seems hell-bent on making sure that half of their firefighting workforce be composed of Captains. Which, we must say, seems pretty damn overkill. They’re already well on their way there.

Via the 2015 compensation records for the Arcata Fire Protection District, we counted 11 people classified as Fire Captains. Total paid firefighters for AFPD (including Chiefs, Captains, Firefighters, and members of the strike team; not including volunteers or administrative staff) came to a grand total of 36.

So just under 1/3 of their firefighting force are captains. All of those captains receive in excess of $100,000 per year in compensation. Keep in mind that those numbers are from 2015 – AFPD has added more upper-level staff in the interim.

Quite a racket, to say the least.

H ere are the salaries and total compensation from 2015 of those who were promoted last week in the big AFPD “we’re getting even more money now” celebration:

New Battalion Chiefs:

fire-captainsNew Fire Captains:


Mind you, those salaries and benefits are surely getting a nice big bump this year; the one full-time Battalion Chief on the books in 2015 brought in over $182,000. Fire Captains were pulling at least $125,000.

We recently went over how Austin Allison wants to give Eureka’s Firefighters even better contracts than they currently have to the detriment of the rest of Eureka, and it’ll be no surprise that Arcata’s Firefighters have essentially the same sweet deal, if not sweeter. Check out their MOU covering all the perks: Arcata Fire MOU

So what’s the common theme here? Well, our fire protection districts keep swelling their upper ranks . Last we checked, there haven’t been any complaints about level of fire service in the area, and there sure as shit haven’t been any discussions about improvements or expansions to those fire services, nor about what benefit having so many top-level administrators/firefighters provides to the public.

What is certain is that our taxes keep getting drained to support “essential” services like giving people raises and funding sweet pension plans with no visible benefit or necessary structural improvements.

We’ll just leave this here…


Times-Standard: Arcata Fire District to celebrate promotions, recruits

News Channel 3: Three new firefighters, several promotions celebrated at Arcata Fire District

Transparent California: 2015 AFPD Salaries and Compensation

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3 Responses to Arcata Fire swells top-heavy ranks; their money rolls in right out of your pockets!

  1. Rob McBeth says:

    Good post we need to break down the contract vacation suck leave etc it appears to be very generous! Surprise !!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Rusty says:

    AFD since the early 1970’s has suffered from too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Having been raised by a fireman, with all the training, on call, late night early morning calls they deserve great pay and benefits for the risks they take, however 182,000 $ is extremely excessive. Compounding the drain on financial resources is the retirement benefits. Hey they work hard and put their lives in danger to protect and serve but they can do it better with more firefighters and less Chief administration and State mandated red tape. Just look at a picture of the old Arcata main station and what it looks like now. What used to be all fire trucks and equipment is now dominated by office’s and administration.


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