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  #1  
Old 09-17-2016, 14:51
gwilliams gwilliams is offline
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Default Blasting the 48/96?

http://www.statter911.com/2016/09/17...ers-job-cushy/

Seems like this columnist has wrote previous articles, I'll try and find them.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2016, 16:13
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

gwilliams- Thank you so much for posting this. CAFF.com is calling on our members to please read this article and contact this author at her email address or leave a comment. Its ill informed and slanted journalism like this that blasts and hurts our state's firefighters.

I'll re-post the article below, but members, please read and respond to this.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/16/spdn0916diamond/

Quote:
Several years ago I wrote a column entitled, “Why I want to be a firefighter.” The reasons were obvious – good pay and health and dental benefits, time-and-a-half for overtime, lots of vacation days and holidays — and the perk of sleeping on the job. Retirement pay includes lifetime health insurance for the firefighter and spouse and almost equals the working salary.

Yes, I’d climb ladders or drive hook-and-ladder trucks for this kind of work.

Well, guess what? The job benefits are even better now. Under a pilot program already embedded in the Palo Alto firefighters’ contract, there’s a new staffing schedule – two 24-hour working days and four 24-hour off days. It’s referred to as the 48-96 program. I plotted that out on a calendar, and with this schedule there occasionally are weeks when firefighters work weekends and then get five days off Monday through Friday.

Cushy. Most of us work five days and get two days off.

I know a firefighter’s work can be dangerous at times, especially when confronting blazes. But 80 to 90 percent of the calls the department now get are for medical reasons – accidents, heart attacks, emergency transportation, etc. The rest are fires and hazardous materials calls. And thanks to smoke detectors, the number of big fires has substantially decreased here and around the country.

I talked to a few firefighters and so far they like this new schedule. It will be great when the Palo Alto City Council finalizes it, they said. One told me that if he works a day or two overtime, this four-days-off plan entitles him to more off time. Another pointed out it would cut his long commute to once a week — drive in for a 48-hour Monday-Tuesday shift, then home for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The plan also allows firefighters to swap days for their convenience.

Many other cities, including San Jose and San Diego, already have adopted similar schedules.

Of course, it’s the International Association of Fire Fighters that is pushing for 48/96 schedules, and cities apparently are going along with the flow. Why? The ditto effect. Firefighters in City X get this plush new schedule, and all of a sudden firefighter locals in other cities want to adopt it. City officials can encounter subtle threats if they don’t play, such as the standard line that all the great firefighters could leave for departments with greater benefits.

I talked at length to Rumi Portillo, Palo Alto’s new chief people officer, formerly known as the human resources director, who provided most of this information. She said some city administrators feel this new schedule will benefit cities more than firefighters because studies show overtime goes down when there are fewer schedule objections. Those studies show it’s good to have the same firefighting crew together for 48 hours, and it certainly reduces the commute time.

I can’t rationalize a 48-96; to me it’s ludicrous. But city councils seem to be blessing it. Work 10 days a month and get 20 days off. Spend on-the-job time buying groceries, sleeping in the station most nights, polishing up the fire engines, exercising, playing cards, and getting handsomely paid for all this.

Like I said, I want to be a firefighter.
Email Diana Diamond at DianaLDiamond@gmail.com.
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2016, 17:21
gwilliams gwilliams is offline
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

Does anyone here work or know anyone that works for Palo Alto?

Perhaps they could email her asking to do a ride along.
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Old 10-09-2016, 16:33
woodbag woodbag is offline
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

Shes an uneducated reporter trying to make a story where there isn't one.
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Old 10-10-2016, 14:47
Jacksdad Jacksdad is offline
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

She must not be a math major. Let's say the average banker works 8-5 with a 1-hr lunch. So, an 8-hr day. x 5 =40 hrs per week, x 4.25= 170 hrs per month.

On the 48/96, we work 240 hrs a month. Tell me where the ludicrous part comes in? Tell me where the cushy part comes in?

She needs to visit a busy station in San Jose and wake up 5 times after midnight for a commercial fire alarm, a traffic collision where a college kid was driving drunk, or a grandparent is in cardiac arrest. Then let's talk cushy.

I sent her an email outlining what I've shared here. Respectful, but frustrated.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2016, 17:27
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

10 days a month (give or take) equals 240 hours on duty.


Firefighters sleeping in fire stations is a problem? Maybe you think they should pitch a tent in the park and sleep there!

Oh but Tom, the guys and gals are getting paid to sleep!

Yes and no. Depends on how you look at it.

They are being paid to be there if anyone needs them. Maybe we could send them all home after 5 pm and then call them back if a call comes in. They all should be back at the station, I dunno, 30 minutes maybe an hour? How about all those firefighters who can't afford to live in town? They should be back at the station in a couple of hours, maybe, maybe not. Can you wait that long?

Hey! Everyone is back at the station but the engineer so we can't go to the call. The engineer had to run his kid into the ER for a fever. He's been in the waiting room for three hours and they haven't seen his kid yet. Busy night.

They are not sleeping at home and they don't wake up at home to Cheerios and Mickey Mouse Club House (It's Fun Inside!) on TV after sleeping in. They can't go out with the family to a baseball game, out for pizza, go to a kid's piano recital or go see a movie with the wife/husband/significant other.

Still don't like the idea that they get paid to sleep? Try this on for size:

They don't get paid to sleep but don't get to home until the end of the shift. So, they are sleeping for free but can't go home. Feel better?

Everyone eats, even you get breakfast at home before you go to work. Then you get lunch. If you start work later you get a dinner. So what's the problem with guys and gals working a 24 hour shift and getting two meals? Would you rather the fire station/fire department shuts down and everyone clocks out for lunch and dinner?

Oh I'm sorry, everyone just left for lunch/dinner but they will be back when they are finished. Please call back after 1/9 pm. Good luck with your car fire/heart attack/chemical spill.

Then there is that shopping for groceries item. How can they eat if they don't have anything to cook or prepare? The guys and gals decide what it is they want for lunch and dinner, maybe get some staples too (milk, coffee, mayo, ketchup, peanut butter, bread, mustard, etc.) and pay for it all out of their pockets (just like you do at home).

They play cards at the station? Horrors! What ever happened to 8-ball, Monopoly and Yahtzee? And here I thought they all did nothing but polish brass (instead of the fire engine) drink coffee, sit around a potbelly stove and play checkers!
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2016, 20:40
Jacksdad Jacksdad is offline
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

I like your way of thinking Tomdz. Did you happen to email that to Mrs. Diana?
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2016, 07:28
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

Jacks:

No.

Over the years I've discovered that writing, calling/leaving a message for a columnist or reporter doesn't usually bring a reply. Contacting the editor or editorial board gets more done, if anything gets done at all.

In all fairness I've written or e mailed two columnists who were very interested in what I had to say or offer and they have adjusted their follow-up articles accordingly. In that same light I have spoken with two other reporters to either give them the correct scoop or to be the subject expert on the topics of their articles. Never have contacted me and they still remain off target.

I gather that just like any radio talk show most reporters and columnist choose the hot topic path that keeps them employed and it doesn't matter what the truth or facts are.
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:54
BigDaddyFire BigDaddyFire is offline
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

Sad really that so many journalists just have a "bent" instead of the truth...
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2016, 19:12
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Default Re: Blasting the 2/4?

Don't get your Diamonds mixed up. A and E at the end of the name.

One works in DC and the other ones works Northern California. The North gal is the one who wrote the article in the discussion.

Ms. Diamond has been around a long time has a background writing for newspapers and magazines. She has been an editor and been a member of editorial boards and has a writing related BS degree. NOT an educated journalist in any fashion.

She did a lot of non-profit stuff too. Her bent is gubbermint and right now Palo Alto. She doesn't seem to have a history of going after firefighters and she writes three articles a month. Now getting paid to write only three papers a month is indeed a cushy job but I'd give her a D minus on research and references. Cherry picking style of writing for sure.
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