Generous retirement well deserved

Dear Editor,
I, too, have had thoughts on the subject of firefighter
retirement pay increases. However, my opinion differs from yours. I
believe that our firefighters and police officers are a team and
should be treated as equals. Yet our police officers receive 3
percent at 50 and our firefighters don’t. I believe that a person
who is willing to put their life on the line on a day-to-day basis
should be well rewarded.
Dear Editor,

I, too, have had thoughts on the subject of firefighter retirement pay increases. However, my opinion differs from yours. I believe that our firefighters and police officers are a team and should be treated as equals. Yet our police officers receive 3 percent at 50 and our firefighters don’t. I believe that a person who is willing to put their life on the line on a day-to-day basis should be well rewarded.

I served my country and was deployed three days after 9/11. I had no time to prepare for anything. I remember being on that flight telling myself that I need not to worry about my family or friends. Although I was thousands of miles away, I remember thinking if some life-threatening situation arose, our firefighters and police officers would do everything they possibly could to make everything okay, including giving their life to save another.

I have been on firefighter ride alongs on numerous occasions. I have seen our firefighters at their best. I have seen them restore life to a man whose family thought there was no hope for him. I have seen them rush into a burning home with no hesitation and save it from demise, and once again give hope back to another family. I have also seen our firefighters have to deal with situations in which they have given their all and wish they could do more, but have come up short. I can tell you that the pain they expressed I would not wish on the devil himself. These firefighters have seen more than one’s fair share and will always carry the visions of the tragedies they’ve experienced with them. Sadly, due to burning materials exposure and adrenaline to their hearts, their mortality rate is shortened considerably.

You have to ask yourself, can we really compare riding a desk job for 40 years to putting one’s life one the line everyday, saving lives, homes and always being the people everyone can count on for thirty years?

Let’s break it down. The average Gilroyan working a 40-hour week, works 160 hours a month. A firefighter works 10 24-hour shifts a month, which adds up to 240 hours and months. Do the math, in 40 years a person who works a 40-hour week would work 76,800 hours. In 30 years, a firefighter works 86,400 hours. Now can you compare them? I don’t think so. I think we should be praising this increase with open arms and continue to treat our firefighters and police officers not as public servants, but as they should be, heroes.

Michael Galvan, Gilroy

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a

well-penned letter.

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