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dept. rankings

i'm sure this question has been asked in the past, but i was just wondering if there was a place to find a listing of fire department rankings...

mainly the pay rankings. it would be interesting to see who the highest paid departments in CA, and even the country are

Right off the bat I can tell you that the highest paid department in California and the country is Oakland. You might want to try a search on Firehouse Magazine's annual run surveys. If they don't offer that information online, then you might be able to order a backorder issue or ask around for some back issues. The annual run surveys, volunteer dept. surveys, department apparatus compliments, and salary surveys are rather interesting, even if just for bragging rights. -2112

Besides Firehouse magazine, the California State Firefighters Association (CSFA) also publishes an annual salary survey. However, it is similar to the firehouse magazine survey in that not every department in the state or the U.S. is represented. Firehouse magazine might only have 10 to 15 departments in California listed while the CSFA annual salary survey (only available to members) usually has anywhere from 40 to 60 or so departments represented.

Also, when comparing salaries, don't just focus on the salary listed. Every department is different. Some departments, like the Sacramento City Fire Department, appear to have a low monthly salary. But then if you look closer at their compensation package, you see you can get an additional 7.5% for being an EMT, 7.5% for also being a paramedic, 7.5% for having a 2 year degree, 7.5% for having a 4 year degree, etc. The next thing you know, you are getting an extra 30% above the top step salary.

Some departments like mine do not pay EMT incentive or educational incentives. We prefer to just have a "one-lump sum" for everyone, so it looks like we pay higher than other departments. We also (like many departments) pay the 9% PERS retirement contribution out of our bi-monthly check. Some departments even pay their own medical benefits out of their pay checks. Why? Because that gives them a higher monthly salary having it all lumped into one. The higher monthly salary allows you to retire at a higher wage, get overtime at a higher wage, etc.

The point I'm trying to make is that it is good to look at the different salaries, but you can't just compare one department to another based on the monthly salary. Their could be various discrepancies that might make a department look like they're getting highly paid or not-so highly paid.

One more thing, the CSFA website is