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Chico city firefighters have fallen under scrutiny by the media for some time now — specifically due to a handful that have earned a “handsome” income. What fails to be reported is that these hard-working and dedicated individuals work an average of 100 hours per week. There are 158 hours in a week, so you can do the math. It is largely due to a history of short staffing. The Fire Department is required to maintain constant staffing to protect Chico and surrounding areas.

And contrary to popular thinking, they receive no health insurance upon retirement.

I am sad to report that the morale of a nearly 140-year-old, very proud department is at an all-time low. They will never lessen their care and passion for our community. It is just a sad time for them.

Recently, the E-R did a short story about the small memorial on a boulder in front of World Savings (Fourth and Broadway). It is worth visiting. Additionally, the Chico fire agencies were out Sunday for “Fill the Boot,” a wonderful charitable event to provide funds for the Children”s Burn Camp.

I can speak with some authority in these matters as I am a disability-retired career Chico city firefighter.

— Todd Mead, Chico

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