LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Roughly 150 firefighters and their families are protesting proposed budget cuts at City Hall.

Council members could vote to cut $58 million from the Los Angeles Fire Department’s budget on Friday.

The cuts would permanently eliminate eight engine companies and four ambulances.

The firefighters’ union says lives will be lost and public safety will be jeopardized if the cuts are approved.

However, the fire chief, who supports the plan, says it will save the city $200 million over the next three years.

No fire stations would be closed and no jobs would be eliminated under the plan, which would take effect July 1.

Comments (60)
  1. bernie Miller says:

    I think they should… I know there are other ways to cut line items in the budget without touching those two service sectors…

  2. bernie Miller says:

    I would love to see the budget and its breakdown.. Let me at it and watch how i save jobs and money…

  3. el rey says:

    blame their unions . cut whatever needs to be cut.

    1. Ron says:

      ABSOLUTELY, blame the UNIONS. BIG THANKS to the FIRE CHIEF, that stood up to the union and said $200 million could be saved over 3 years, without closing any fire stations or lost jobs.

      BUT of course, the UNION pulls out their same old DECEPTIVE ads that say, “Lives will be lost and public safety will be jeopardized”. SAME OLD LIES. THE UNION USES IT FOR EVERY proposed cut. Just remember, they are only and ALWAYS crying WOLF !!!

  4. Robert S. says:

    Stupid, non caring legislators, and a fall in taxes have caused the problem all over the United States. Money does not grow on trees. Till the public learns that they must vote, vote carefully, this will continue to happen. The people wo vote really should not, and the people who should have don’t!

  5. Robert S. says:

    Taxable income for most states have fallen sharply, and with schools forced to educate all the new immigrants, along with other states services have also caused the problem. Many do not pay taxes, and thus another shortage of state money. We need to be a lot sharper and stiffer with our money, or this problem will continue.

  6. Robert S. says:

    Everybody wants a big piece of the pie, but no one wants to work and apply themselves to the system. Everybody seems to think they are owed something, and this is a large part of why there is nothing left in the pie plate!

  7. Gabe says:

    There is no longer a need for excessive staffing of fire fighters all making in excess of $75,000 annually and a retirement plan that pays 90% of their salary after they retire.

    Think about it, when was the last time you watched a house burn town in your neighborhood or anywhere else for that matter.

    Observe the next time you see a traffic accident, you see 1 to 2 huge fire trucks with around 14 firefighters all standing around. Normally the 2 paramedics are providing the care while the rest stand around doing nothing.

    Most paramedic/firefighters in the City of LA earn over $100,000 annually.

    1. Astonished says:

      Your kidding me right? I wish your neighborhood a lot of luck when your fire department gets cut. I’ll respectfully ask your local department to forgo responding to you should you need them, since you think they are superfulous!

      I’ve witnessed what firefighters can do and do every day. Me, I vote to keep them around. I don’t want to go to any funerals for friends or families who died because there was no fire department.

      1. madtaxpayer says:

        our military risk their lives but get little pay and there are plenty more riskier jobs than firefighting and compensations are not even close to what firefighters got!
        a high school diploma and body fat under 19%, willing to take risk worth $50,000 in my world. let’s privatize firefighting business and see how much firefighting jobs really worth!

    2. Ignorance is bliss? says:

      Sunset Beach… I watched 3 of them burning down yesterday, as well as watched many of the FF’s from OC and HB risking their lives. Thanks though.

    3. kaiser says:

      Excessive staffing? Firemen standing around? Name me one other occupation (other than the police department) where you could be killed on the job on any given day. Most firemen die within ten years of retirement as a result of health issues from their occupation. These people put their lives on the line for us everyday. What do you do for a living, Gabe?

    4. Ron says:

      CUT THE FAT. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE UNION LIES !!! Every time you hear ANY TV ad saying we can’t cut fire or police because…..remember that their pensions are and will eat us alive.

      See what Gabe said above and pay attention each time you are out.

      I personally have seen fire crews in Buena Park/Fullerton area at a regional park on Rosecrans. When I would be there on a daily basis, I would see a crew there, just killing time and relaxing. The fire station was down the street.

  8. Robert S. says:

    The state of California has run out of money trying to serve a public that is way too demanding of a falling tax dollar, yet even the Federal government is bleeding dollars to death, and there is certainly not enough money to stop the hemoraging! People are going to have to use their heads, and stop letting graft and corruption kill off the good benefits for everyone!

  9. Astonished says:

    If anyone wants to look at the full budget you can find it at http://www.lacity.org. It’s right there on the face page.

    But you should really look at the article “LOS ANGELES, BROKE AND BROKEN” published in the LA Weekly. http://www.laweekly.com

  10. Robert S. says:

    A big examlle of this is San Antonio, where Upper management of the fire department, has been paying its upper management overtime that was never worked. Nice work if you can get it, as up to onehundred thousand and up just went out for some, and that was just overtime for a special few within the department, not counting their regular pay!

  11. Jamaican Josh says:

    Gabe, if you are so aware of what firefighters do, where are your numbers of people they save? We are going to have some type of major catastrophe and with cuts like this, we are all going to be hurting. They need to stop providing for people especially the illegal alien population we have. That should save millions! So Gabe, since you are a psychic and you know excessive staffing is no longer needed, do you think you could give me the next winning Lotto numbers?!

  12. Robert S. says:

    Now we wonder why financial systems are failing all across the country, and that is of course the norm. nowadays! The greed is destroying our country….people need to make everyone accountable in city, state, and Federal government, with out doing harm to the public servants who generally work so hard to keep this dear country from falling apart!

  13. Robert S. says:

    God bless the school teachers all over this great country that are having to do more with less! They have an impossible job as it is! I know a lot of teachers who buy school supplies out of their own pockets,cause the children that come to school have nothing! I know of several more that bought Easter chocs. for their student, and some spent fifty bucks a class or the kids would not have had any Easter at all! This is only a small part of what teachers do for their kids! One of the other things they do is care!

    1. Ron says:

      Robert S., you are right, teachers do a great job and have taken so many jabs from uninformed people. The things that you mentioned above, are some great examples of their caring for all kids.


  14. Jamaican Josh says:

    Think of when America drafted back in 1940 and how the people pulled together for the whole country. It was a team effort back then. Now it’s all about the individual. The illegal aliens are a huge strain on the economy from schooling to hospital care, but people tend to ignore it. Not only do they disrespect USA they demand rights in a country they illegally entered. They do not assimliate. Enough is enough. Cut off all illegal aliens from my tax dollars and keep all American jobs!

  15. cole shaefer co. man says:

    JUST DO IT! it needs to be done, we are all struggling while they stand around and do very little! yeah polishing the truck and getting it ready for when a emergency happens. WHAT ABOUT DOWN TIME? stupid things happen to stupid people! JUST DO IT! even the FIRE CHIEF said so;

  16. It's not rocket says:

    x govner arnold had it right, add a small fee to fire insurance even better would be to make homes over 1 million pay a slightly larger fee homes over 2 million and so forth,. with all the multi million dollar homes in Los Angeles that would add up. also high rise condos and office complexes would be included at a higher rate.
    It’s fair because these fires are the most expensive to fight and their owners have the most to lose.
    why dose every little guy with a min. income have to help pay for joe billions office and home protection. cutting the overall capacity is just another way to step on the average mans head. In the event of a massive demand on the F.D.
    joe billions will get his place protected first and if there is a lack of capacity the average joe’s home will go down. It you think that will not happen you live in a dream world.
    As for the pay issue These Men could make more in the private sector,
    they are the best america has to offer, you want a second rate fireman fighting with second rate equipment?
    In case you have forgotten ,all kinds of experts are talking about a major Earthquake in L.A.l soon. If ever there was a time to beef up fire services instead of tearing them down it is now.Yet what will happen?,,nothing because none of the powers that be have the guts of a x govener.
    I hope arnold would be open to a L.A. mayor bid!!!!
    after all the N.Y. Mayor is a national Leader, Why not L.A.

    1. alex says:

      Finally, someone who makes sense and offering a solution!!!

    2. Ron says:

      ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARNOLD is a SLEAZEBAG for cutting Fabian Nunez’s son’s murder sentence. Only the Nunez family would vote for him for ANYTHING !!!

  17. Scott says:

    My questions
    1, Call is the volume of the 8 Engines?
    2, Are the Ambulances Paramedic or BLS (Basic Life Support)?
    3, Why can’t LAFD cut all Ambulances and use the LA or Ventura County model (Private Ambulances for transport)?
    There are many ways of saving money, with out a loss of services.

  18. Rob says:

    Why do firefighters work 24hr shifts Why do we pay for them to eat and sleep.If a firefighter calls in sick we pay for a 24hr overtime shift for his replacement.Let them make three shifts save the overtime and hire more firefighters.

    1. Ron says:

      Good point, Rob.

  19. Duh! says:

    Interesting how they are protesting the budget cuts when their own Union had them vote against the three propositions that would have prevented the need to have the budget cuts in the first place.

    They voted for this.
    As the saying goes, “You’ve made your bed, now sleep in it.”

  20. LA Resident says:

    Their union is out of control! Do you know anybody else that gets to work out of a frat house 3 days a week and earns in excess of $100k annually, not to mention their excessive overtime and pensions. We are all doing more with less and that is exactly what these guys (and their union) need to accept!

  21. JT says:

    Firefighters get paid to sleep, work out at 24 Hour Fitness, shop at the supermarket, and sit around at the fire house discussing what part of Idaho they will retire to on their $100,000 pension at age 50. Remember that 75% of firefighters in the US are volunteers and work for free. They do the same work as the overpaid “professionals”, but after incident they go back to their real jobs. They are the REAL heroes.

  22. arnold says:

    The children will be penalized, the public will be at risk, it goes on and on. Let’s be honest-it’s all about their over bloated jobs/pensions. They could care less about the public/children. Thats just a smoke screen.

  23. Resident says:

    You need to ask why is it that there are volunteer firefighters across America, but not in LA? Why are there reserve police officers in LA, but no volunteer firefighters. It’s because of their union.
    We are paying excessive amounts of money to support a union that doesn’t want to allow volunteer firefighters and is apathetic to how the City gets the budget balanced as long as it doesn’t affect their piece of the pie!

  24. madtaxpayer says:

    Only privatization of firefighting business will provide good service to the community and fair compensations to the firefighters.
    anything else will just further politicize the issue and tie it up with other public sector unions, such as teachers’ union.

    1. Ron says:

      Let’s do it. Privatize all firefighting in America. GET RID OF the UNIONS and the HUGE PENSIONS.

  25. Matt Woods says:

    It’s hard to form a reasonable opinion with this little information, maybe through reorganization they can provide the same service with less overhead. The same goes for other sectors of public service. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a city worker earning their pay.

    1. Ron says:

      WOW, could we privatize ALL public sector jobs???? What would that do to the UNIONS? And the PENSIONS? LET’S DO IT !!!!

  26. No Leadership in Chief Peaks says:

    Courage, Integrity, and Pride. That’s what it says on the side of a LAFD fire engine. All you need to do is look at Chief Peaks and his lack of leadership in running their department to know that those are just words with no meaning. Leadership starts at the top. The mayor, chief, city council, and union should be ashamed of themselves for playing politics and lying to these firefighters and citizens of LA. Funny how the LAPD doesn’t have these problems isn’t it?

    1. Ron says:

      Are you talking about the chief that had the @alls to speak out against the UNION and speak the TRUTH? If that is Chief Peaks, then he deserves a MEDAL for COURAGE, INTEGRITY and PRIDE(in a job well done).

  27. Colin says:

    I hope they cut MORE from the firefighters! They have gained a “better than thou” attitude here in LA and need to be knocked down a few pegs–after all, we ALL must work together and tighten our belts during this difficult economic time. The Firefighters at station 78 in Studio City spend most of their day lounging at Arts Deli while they suck on the teat of our tax dollars. And, when Station 78 isn’t working on their suntans, they’re blasting their horns and sirens at ALL hours of the night (even when there is NO traffic on the road). Clearly they don’t know what the “Pride” in their slogan stands for!

  28. David Anders says:

    I, too, live in Studio City and Station 78 has turned a once peaceful and quiet neighborhood into downtown Beirut!!! The obnoxious and unnecessary overuse use of Horns and Sirens shows they have no respect for others. I think the budget cuts must affect ALL ends of government. And, if it includes firefighters they shouldn’t be so selfish and accept the cuts like everyone else. Personally, I’d love to see station 78 closed…alas, that won’t happen but hopefully they’ll get the message people aren’t pleased with them!

  29. frank says:

    And when station 78 doesn’t come rescue you after the next earthquake because of budget cuts (or whatever station services your area), don’t come whining to us.
    Privatizing the fire department is a joke. Who’s going to want to risk their life for the lowest bidder? No thanks. I’d rather the fire fighters union work with the budget group to get a compromise going.

    1. Ron says:

      Frank, obviously you ARE a union member. There is no FAIR way to work with any UNION. The deck is STACKED in their FAVOR, with a FULL HOUSE of politicians, in their POCKETS.

      If WE TAXPAYER/VOTERS do not privatize firefighting, then make it 3 shifts, like someone else suggested, and get rid of the union, reduce the PENSIONS and pay. And in this ECONOMY, there will STILL be PLENTY of people to TAKE those JOBS.

      Want to bet on that?

  30. JT says:

    75% of the firefighters risk their lives for FREE. They are called volunteers, and they are the real heroes.

    1. Frank says:

      When can the fire department count on you to volunteer, JT?
      Any person willing to put their life on the line like a police officer or fire fighter is a hero and should be paid for their work. I know I couldn’t do their jobs and am happy contributing my tax dollars to their salary. Are they overpaid? Possibly. But in this Wal-Martization economy of paying as little as possible for everyone who is not at the top of an organization, I think it’s time for employees to be paid a decent, living wage that reflects what they actually do.

      1. Ron says:

        Damn if you don’t SOUND like the UNION POSTER BOY, FRANK !!!! Wal-Martization(Non-union), a decent, living wage(Union SPEAK).

        Only UNION members and their families have fought all efforts to put Walmarts (NON-UNION) in more neighborhoods, because they don’t want any of us to have a nice new store, that offers lower prices. As if, we don’t NEED LOWER PRICES, in this economy. But of course, the UNION knows and TELLS us what we NEED.

        NOT ANYMORE. People have waken up and are now realizing that they have been DUPED.

    2. Sam Kaner says:

      The reason the trucks are so shinny is 95% of the time they have nothing better to do but wax and shin the trucks, water the lawn outside and act like they are doing something.

      Farming jobs are 500% more dangerous then fireman.

      Stop acting like you desire more for sitting on your butt.

      They should make no more the n $35,000 a year and
      should pay medical like everyone else!!!!!

    3. Michael Jacobson says:

      The “real” heroes work in Downtown LA, Chicago, and New York…NOT Studio City!! Those guys are self-righteous j#rks! If they truly are “volunteers” to serve the community, they should show some respect and learn what it means “to serve”…if not, I don’t WANT them coming to my rescue because clearly they’re only in it for the paycheck.

  31. Sam Kaner says:

    What a joke!!!!!!!!

    The reason the trucks are so shinny is 95% of the time they have nothing better to do but wax and shin the trucks, water the lawn outside and act like they are doing something.

    Farming jobs are 500% more dangerous then fireman.

    Stop acting like you desire more for sitting on your butt.

    They should make no more the n $35,000 a year and
    should pay medical like everyone else!!!!!

  32. FAT CATS! says:

    LAFD Fire Chief makes 327,000 dollars a year. LAPD Chief makes 300,000 dollars a year. The Mayor makes 232,000 dollars a year (more than any mayor in the country and has a personnel staff of over 200 employees (the most of any mayor in the country). Wow! I wonder why he is running this city into the ground? City Council members make 179,000 a year (more than U.S. Congressmen). Where’s the shared sacrifice? I’m being furloughed, while union leaders and these politicians are making it FAT!

  33. This sounds like a good time says:

    Hey good idea! Cut the fire department. Look what happened in Sunset Beach yesterday. Everyone is complaining about how long it took for the fire department there to respond. 7 1/2 minutes was the response time to the fire. When you cut staffing and resources you increase response times. I guess that’s the great plan that Chief Peaks has come up with. Can’t wait. Thanks Chief!

    1. Ron says:

      There are people that can never be pleased(response times).

      Not all structures can be saved, that’s why we have fire insurance.

      And wait till the investigation is done on the fire. There may be more to it, than just a tipped BBQ & strong winds.

  34. greg m says:

    I am reading a lot of ignorance in the opinions here! The fact is the Fire Chief is PERMANENTLY CLOSING over 20 fire companies. I think those that are protesting the closures really care about the safety of the citizens the LAFD serves, the issue is not about F/F pay or benefits or noisy streets …..

  35. Unions don't want to loose their union dues says:

    Those that are protesting the closures are the union. All the union cares about is money. They say they care about the safety of the citizens but truly they care about themselves. Not wanting to loose any positions = not loosing any union dues. Which will start to leave them powerless. If you care about the citizens take the pay cut and staffing will remain, that’s what the mayor said.

  36. not in a union says:

    if this Ron fellow ran the country, we’d all be making next to nothing, much like a 3rd world country. Just what I was brought up to believe, work hard, get an education so you can work your life away for next to nothing. That’s a great life.
    And by the way, there is a HUGE difference between loose and lose. Hit up dictionary.com – learn something.

  37. upyours says:

    Censored? Wow,, what a pu$$y bunch of a$$wipe union members and their whiny brown nosing pu$$y supporters.Try growing a pair instead of licking them.

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