Thursday, January 6, 2011

Laid-off Gary firefighter Panhandles on Street

A Gary firefighter laid off in a city cash crunch just before the new year is now panhandling on the street in an effort to make ends meet.
"We took an oath to save people's lives ... and the city just threw us to the curb," Jason Pickering told WGN-TV.

The 34-year-old Pickering, a 10-year department veteran and one of 34 Gary firefighters who lost their jobs, now goes out begging, dressed in his cold-weather firefighting gear, collecting dollar bills in a boot. A hand-made cardboard sign he has strung around his neck reads: "Laid off Gary firefighter. Family of 6. Thank you and God bless."

Since Sunday, he has collected $475.
But he says it's not enough to make ends meet for his wife and four children. At the end of January he will lose his health insurance, and he gets only $350 a week in unemployment compensation.

The city has applied for a federal grant to bring the firefighters back, but that's no sure thing.

So, Pickering, of Valparaiso, says he'll continue begging and protesting the layoffs.
More Here..

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  1. He needs only to blame his fellow Firefighters, go to the Fire house and as they come and go, he can say,"because you guys would accept concessions I am now out of a job"...

    But that will never happen, this guy will likely blame the taxpayers for not wanting higher taxes...

    And the new solution for excessive teacher pay is the 4 day work week, so teachers now will only work 7 months out of the year total and still recieve high pay, unbelieveable benefits and ride the tax payers back until they croak, and then move out of the area that supports them to an area that doesnt tax pensions...

    Since we've already crashed and the correction wave is pouring over the nation, only being slowed by the massive injections of money into the system these people will one day wake up and say "I should have never bitched when I had it goood".

    But we were promised all these bennies at secret meetings with union negociators and corrupt polticians, AS YOU SOW, SOW SHALL YOU REAP, WHAT COMES AROUND, GOES AROUND.

  2. Errrrm I deal with FF all the time...They make huge amounts of money compaed to the average citizen...WTF did he do with all his $$$?

    Do most people realize that FF usually work 5-6 days a week and make with benefits over $150k a year?

    If he got laid off in late December how is he already begging in early January?

    I like FF but dollar for dollar are not worth it except for the medical aid...Some cities spend more on salaries for inflated amount of staff that the damage that was saved through firemen action...What we need is more EMT's.

    Oh and nothing ever just happens he had been worned for months possibly years...Why didn't he save or work OT?

    I understand he has 4 kids but plenty of people have 4 kids...He just refused to cut expenses...Shoulda coulda woulda do not make me feel sad for his unprepared ass.

  3. Sorry MEANT 5-6 days a month...Since in our department they work 24 hour shifts.

    160 hours/24 = 6.66 days of work...(Minus sick, vacation, holiday, ITO time...Average about 22 hours a month of free off time).

    Not all departments probably have that but I bet salaries and benefits aren't all that different give or take a 10-15% difference.

  4. I agree with the above poster that we need more EMTs. They are the only public servants who actually "help" you. I think that firefighting should be all-volunteer - we can get rid of paid firefighters. I believe that virtually all cops should be fired because they are nothing more than armed revenue collectors with rage issues - they cause more problems than they solve. EMTs and paramedics should be the last people fired.

    For the record I am not and EMT nor am I married to one.

  5. related to this story:

    An hilarious video about greedy unionized firefighters

  6. if the fire department didn't suck up so much pensions money there would be plenty for all.

    $475 a weekk TAX FREE plus unemployment
    sounds like a good job to me

  7. i have 6 kids support me
    i need a free ride
    support me
    even if you cant afford kids or pay the taxes
    boo hoo
    lazy boy
    how about this have 2 kids and stop sucking me dry
    what a loser i would drive by and throw pennies

  8. another state worker who thinks everyone owes him a living.
    what a bagabond bum.
    cpa should take his kids.

  9. His union is probably paying him to make a statement.

  10. You guys are idiots, blithering disrespectful idiots. Most firefighters make 150k+ a year? Why don't you try sticking to the facts. The national average is 50k-70k, which with todays inflation, and if you consider the physical and health risks, is not all that much.

    I've never met a group of individuals so intolerant of another group just because they work for CITY GOVERNMENT. Because of the fact they work for YOUR local municipality you perceive them as evil bastards, apparently. But when your house catches fire I'm sure you would not hesitate one moment to call them up and beg for their services.

    Look, I am as anti-government as the next person, but the fact remains that by far and away fire fighters are a decent lot that risk their lives saving others and their property. As fervent libertarian conservative right wingers, you should all be happy about at least that last part anyway.

  11. Oh screw that 3:42 - do the friggin' math dude.

    What are the chances your home will burn ( in %

    Take that number and then divide it by the number of firefighters in your precinct.

    Take that figure and multiply it by the average salary which youn can google ( hint - it's 81.5)

    WTF dude - have your insurance paid up and get out

    We cannot afford 'em

  12. @ 3:42 let my house catch fire.. i am fully insured.. all the fire dept will do is make a mess of things and leave..

    plus most of the houses are owed by the banks.

    so that means the so called fire depts work for the banks

    damn public unions have sucked the cities and states dry...Now go back to work and stop posting here on my tax dollars

  13. LOL, you all are comical. I have had to rely on the fire department at least once in my life, a next door neighbor's house got struck by lightning and turned into a blazing inferno, and I have witnessed several other neighborhood fires go down. So to act like it is there just to suck dry your poor tax dollars and make all these people rich is absurd. And people like you who would rather take it as an insurance write off are part of the problem with this country. I bet you would write your pet dog and your wife off too. All for what, some lousy worthless dollars?

    The true part is that, no, we can't afford all of them, just like we can't afford the pigs or the libraries. But that fact does not make libraries inherently bad, now does it? Or are you anti-book/pro book burning? you right wing ding bat.

  14. it'll be something to behold when as we make less per hr at temp jobs and tax revenues drop and prices rise and more ones get layed off how we'll make do with less. good or bad it's already here with more coming so
    don't see us going back to where we were in say 2003-06 when all was papered over and house atm's rose forever etc etc

  15. don't know how good he was a firefighter, but there is one thing that he was clearly good at - pumping kids out with his wifie. what was he thinking about? that the gravy train will never stop? now we all owe him for his stupidity and poor planning.

  16. 4 kids, wow, he is stupid and deserves whatever fate comes to him, obviously, be it starvation or an ironic death by wild fire, as he is sitting out in a wheat field in freezing temperatures wondering lamenting the loss of his family and what the hell happened to his life. What was anyone thinking 5, 10, 20 years ago with having kids, anyway? I am SO much smarter than them, even if I am barely only 20 years old myself posting from this comortable position in my mom's computer chair, LOL.

  17. 4 kids often used to be the normal family .
    even with only the male working.

    Human and social relations were still important ?

    American capitalism cannot afford family life and education for the kids like that no more.

  18. Ok firefighters are needed , but at their current salary of 35$+++ dollars an hour is absurd . lets put it this way ........
    Im a pipefitter who fabricates pipe and installs water mains and sprinkler systems , so without me , the firemen are S.O.L in most cases , does that mean i should make more becasue the fireman is dependant on me ?

  19. Actually, plumbers make far more than firemen! And in this shrinking economy they will be needed less, at least as far as new construction is concerned. Perhaps we will go back to the time of firetrucks with on board water, then they will be cutting out the middle man!

  20. Wow! When I saw this guy, my first thought was:
    "He'd rather beg than work...pull on our heart-
    strings. Why not just get some sunglasses and a
    white cane and pretend to be blind?"

    If it was me...and it might be soon....I would
    be down at the street corner with a shoe-shine
    box, shining shoes.. or, maybe getting innovative
    and starting a grocery delivery company...or
    ANY type of business...take a chance. But no,
    this just goes to show that government worker-
    types aren't able to 'function in society'.

  21. I like my salary...But as a government employee I understand that I have to roll with the reality of the situation...As the furloughs and cuts came I tried to take it in stride.

    Many of my co-workers just bitched and moaned...Not understanding how lucky we are.

    When more cuts come I will laugh because I can live like a king or a pauper and be happy...Most of my co-workers are like drug addicts...With out the gravytrain of OT and sweet benefits they will literally break down/burn out and cry.

    Most of them have so many toys (ATVs, jet skis, guns and several own lil private planes) they never use and are almost like addicts...If they can't make the money to misspend they'll actually have a fit...I've actually witnessed it...Like a 3 year old who gets his bottle taken from him.

    Screw it I welcome the cuts and furloughs not because I want to lose pay but because it keeps the charade going and the boogieman of hyperinflation away for 1 more day.

    Hyperinflation will be the catalyst of the Culling of the Herd.

    Severe loss of confidence in the dollar = Severe shooting up of food and fuel costs = Straight anarchy with in 3 days.

    Hahaha we might actually need Firefighters THEN...But most will stop going to work to go protect their families...LOL a total domino effect.

  22. A number of people are mentioning the average wage of a firefighter. I'd like to know the total average wage when health insurance and retirement benefits are factored in. I think the anger against state and city employees is driven by continued tax increases to fund their retirement benefits. Who wants their taxes increased to fund benefits that are much more generous that they receive or plan to receive.
    There are also a number of cities and states that are close to bankruptcy do to these high pensions. I have to wonder why cutting people's average social security check of $1000 a month is a target instead of these $3000-5,000 and up monthly pensions.

  23. The dufuses who think people that are in dire straights and hit the streets for a little chump change to take care of the family or some medical issue are just lazy or pathetic have very little understanding about reality, not to mention a serious lack of empathy.

    Your little theory that he could just get creative and shine shoes or form a business does not hold water for all the people in the world being laid off and unable to find work. You are missing the big picture. The economy is imploding and the lifestyle we have been living is unsustainable. No, it isnt just government workers, teachers, firemen, and street sweepers who are supposedly banking it rich and getting outstanding benefits and retirement plans. I will wager to bet most white collar jobs pay more than these do and they have equal or better benefits.

    You lot need to get some experience under your belt. Stop lecturing from your uneducated soap boxes and come down to earth. Your understanding about the caving economy stops at about "Obama the socialist did it!" and "those lousy union and government employees are robbing me dry!".

    What a joke.

  24. Perfect pure capitalism would exist without any regulation by the criminal governments of the invisible hands of millions of underemplyed using enterprise and inititive to set up shoe shine stands .
    Fire fighters ,who's primary purpose it to protect private property for the insurance business and rescue treed cats ,would compete by their willingness to work at the lowest possible rate of indivisual contract for gold tax free ,not for wages .

    Austrian economics heaven!
    the government and socialists are always to blame for everything bad capitalist only is responsible for the good things in life .
    Like a good free market supply of competitive shoeshiners.

  25. There is no such thing as perfect or pure capitalism. There has always been governments, royalty, and or armies to back up such an economy. Without them the banks and money backing dissolves. Corporations and government work hand in hand towards mutual self-enrichment and coercion of the underling classes.

  26. "$475 a weekk TAX FREE plus unemployment
    sounds like a good job to me '

    Well that sounds good to you because america and its wages system are heading of to the third world.

    Now in Australia ,that now has dollar parity 1A$=1US ,the minimum wage is about $575 a week

    Aussie fireman are way above that minimum wage rate.

    And no firemen or police are getting laid off yet in australia .

    Suck up your now cheaper labor jobs , American has beens .


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