Humboldt Bay Firefighters fudging the numbers amidst their demands for higher salaries

As we mentioned last week, Humboldt Bay Fire Protection District’s  firefighters are demanding a raise.

Like clockwork, one of the fire union’s representatives put out an opinion piece which bemoans just how hard and unfair life is for firefighters. You can read that opinion piece here: Local firefighters are getting burned

Matt McFarland, author of the opinion piece, says that “Humboldt Bay Fire line staff has gone 10 years without one single pay increase — not even for cost of living. In that same 10 years, the average cost of living has increased 19 percent.”

We’d invite you again to check out the article we wrote last week about the reality – between that article and reading the Memorandum of Understanding between HBF and it’s union employees, you’ll see that the claim about raises is completely false.

So, to counter that bullshit claim with some actual numbers, here are two links; one is to a list of HBF salaries from 2013, and the second is the same list from 2014.

2013 HBF Salaries

2014 HBF Salaries

We challenge you to find a single fire-fighting employee that worked a full year whose base salary did not go up from 2013 to 2014.

There may very well be a few in there, but we got tired of looking after cross-checking over 20 of them to find that, indeed, every single one of those we did check received more in 2014.

The opinion piece in the Times-Standard does have one good thing to say, though. It’s this:

“At Humboldt Bay Fire, the wage gap between captain (the highest rank represented by our union) and fire chief is a whopping 120 percent. Across the state, the average gap is around 50 percent.”

We’ve looked at the ridiculously high percentage of upper-level firefighters in Humboldt before. And we agree that they are getting paid way too much compared to lower-level firefighters, and we’ll also say again that there are way too many of them.

But we refuse to be taken in by the dog and pony show put on by the fire union when every single firefighter at HBF took in over $100,000 in total compensation more than three years ago – and those pays have definitely gone up since then.

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7 Responses to Humboldt Bay Firefighters fudging the numbers amidst their demands for higher salaries

  1. Anonymous Too says:

    Firemen lie about their pay to gouge the rest of us. That’s sickening. I used to like firemen.


  2. Rusty says:

    It’s not Matts fault. He’s a product of his environment, he was raised by a living, breathing, firemans union building Legend. John McFarland.
    It’s nothing personal, it just business, only with our money.


  3. B. Botkin says:

    I’d like to see THC or any other anonymous assholes try to complete one shift at a local firehouse. If it were up to me, we’d raise property taxes and give fire & police 20% raises across the board.


  4. Rusty says:

    Hmmmmm…let’s compare front line combat soldier hazard pay and yearly fireman’s salary and benefits.
    A typical army sergeant with four years service makes a base pay of less than $30,000 a year, add $250.00 per month while on a combat status plus the benefits of dehydration, scabies, oh yeah being blown to bits.
    A career in fire fighting is a noble one but, when salary, benefit and staffing rules are written up with sweetheart overtime deals and over the top executive officers pay that’s where the tax payers are getting shafted.
    Easy fix…. three shifts, just like any other public service 24 hour job, police officer, highway patrol man.
    The sleep over at the station 24 hour shift is a throw back of a now Antiquated system of staffing used to garnish more pay.
    A fresh crew every eight hours makes way more sense and will cut the pork out of the picture.
    Can you imagine knowing that a law enforcement officer is sound asleep in bed when you need help???
    Makes perfect sense.
    Remember back when service board members voted themselves full benefits for life, remember the city of Bell ?
    The MRU’s have got to go, the ridiculous state mandates have got to go.
    Common sense staffing and a robust volunteer turn out worked fine till the greed sat in.


  5. Old timer says:

    The link to the pay and benefits do not reflect the current mix of City of Eureka and Humboldt #1 FPD, merged together to become Humboldt Bay Fire Joint Powers Authority. The links only show HFD#1. For true comparison, you will need to look at the City of Eureka pay and benefits for the same time period.


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