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August 21, 2014

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Sisolak calls for investigation of firefighter sick leave

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Steve Marcus

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, shown in this file photo from last year, is calling for an investigation into firefighter sick leave.

In 2009, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak began looking hard at Fire Department costs. He had received a deluge of angry calls and e-mails from constituents wondering why the unionized firefighters weren’t accepting salary or benefits reductions as the county dealt with budget cuts and the local economy continued its slide.

“Everybody was losing their jobs, their homes,” Sisolak said.

For much of that year, he was the only commissioner willing to criticize their salaries, benefits and retirement packages that averaged about $180,000 in 2009.

In retaliation, members of the union showed up at Sisolak’s public meetings to glare at him. He said he received death threats, which prompted county administrators to post park police at commission meetings. A city firefighter posted on Facebook that she’d like to shoot him.

This week brought a measure of vindication for Sisolak in his fight with the union after an arbitrator broke a stalemate in negotiations by deciding the county’s contract offer was better than the firefighter union’s offer.

Sisolak said he was happy. “I’m not done, though,” he added.

Late Thursday, he sent letters to the FBI, Metro Police, Clark County district attorney and others seeking an investigation into potentially criminal acts of racketeering and fraud by firefighters. Sisolak has long alleged that firefighters are abusing the sick-leave system to rack up overtime pay.

After reading the arbitrator’s 26-page decision, he is more determined than ever to have his suspicion investigated. He pointed specifically to one part of the decision:

“Some employees use sick leave as vacation, scheduling themselves to be ‘sick’ months in advance. This improper use of sick leave is evident from e-mails the (Fire) Department recovered,” arbitrator Norman Brand wrote. “Second, it appears some firefighters may deliberately call in late to turn the overtime opportunity into a callback/overtime opportunity.”

Callback pay is more valuable than overtime because it pays overtime plus a contribution to a firefighter’s pension.

In his letter, Sisolak said if more than one firefighter has been involved in sick-leave scamming, it might represent a violation of the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.

Union President Ryan Beaman could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

The Sun’s Jon Ralston reported Thursday that the union said any abuses are isolated, not systemic.

Sisolak first alleged sick-leave abuse in March, after the Sun reported firefighters use more than twice as much sick leave as most other county employees.

Months later, Sisolak offered what he called proof after the Fire Department adopted a policy in mid-2010 to slow overtime pay for sick leave: Instead of requiring three battalion chiefs to be on duty at all times, only two were required if a third called in sick.

If someone called in sick, no one else was being called in to make overtime wages.

Over a 12-week period, sick-leave use by battalion chiefs fell 80 percent compared with the same 12 weeks in 2009.

In his decision, Brand used examples of the worst abusers, which he gleaned from county documents.

The “chief abuser,” he said, was a firefighter who called in sick 48 days — but never four days in a row, which would have required he provide certification of illness. The man worked 92 overtime/callback shifts. In 2009, Brand wrote, “he used sick leave and overtime to earn $232,187.”

From county salary records, this fire engineer had a base pay of about $85,000, plus $99,000 for overtime and $3,000 in call-back, plus other benefits.

In second place was a colleague who worked in the same fire station: He earned a total of $233,580, including $95,000 in base pay, $63,000 for overtime and $23,000 in call-back, plus other benefits.

Current policy only requires a certification of illness after four sick-leave days in a row. Brand agreed with the county’s suggestion to change the policy to require a certification after “five unexcused absences in a year, even if they aren’t consecutive.”

“This is complete and total vindication for what I’ve been saying,” Sisolak said Thursday. “If someone is cheating the system to get extra money, it’s no different than stealing.”

Brand’s decision went beyond sick leave and dissected a union assertion from 2009 that it had a tentative agreement with the county on some cost concessions. At the time, the county said that wasn’t true.

After looking at these facts, Brand agreed with the county.

The union’s 2009 offer included a reduction in cost-of-living increases from 3 percent to 2 percent, saving $1.2 million. Beaman also wanted to transfer $4 million earmarked for fire station security fences to University Medical Center. It was to help the hospital’s financially strapped oncology outpatient unit, he said.

The union wanted something in return: two more personal-leave days each year, costing $1.6 million.

At the time, then-County Manager Virginia Valentine stopped just short of calling Beaman a liar. She told the Sun “oncology never came up. I’m telling you, never.”

She also said state law forbade the county from using the $4 million set aside for fencing for anything but capital expenses.

Don Burnette, chosen as the new county manager this month, was the key strategist behind these negotiations with the firefighters’ union.

Empowered by a commission that supports reining in costs — property and sales tax revenue has fallen for the past three years — Burnette said he was “very pleased with the outcome.”

CORRECTION: The story has been corrected to include sick-leave and vacation pay in the base pay figures. In 2009, the fire engineer's base was about $85,000: $44,000 for hours worked; $33,000 sick leave; $8,000 vacation pay. The other firefighter's base was about $95,000. | (January 21, 2011)

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  1. Before Sisolak, who was minding the store?

    .

  2. These guys think that they are irreplaceable. Their salaries are to say the least outrageous. Who do they think they are? Most of the jobs could and should be outsourced to a private company which would save the county millions.

  3. Sisolak keeps putting up the fight very admirable. What's so disturbing is how arrogant the fireman are they feel they aren't replaceable. Talk about milking the system these guys are scumbags.

  4. Average pay: $180,000
    One example,
    Base pay: $52,000
    Callback pay: $23,000
    Overtime: $63,000
    Sick leave: $26,000
    Total pay: $233,580

    No wonder there are cross hairs on Sisolak. Maybe the Firefighter's union could hire Sarah Palin for a public relations gig, then claim they are the victims.

  5. http://www.lvrj.com/news/breaking_news/3...

    Steve Sisolak, who was sworn in Monday as a commissioner, received a total of $23.5 million in 2005 after the airport refused to pay him for height restrictions imposed on a parcel he owned.

    During the Monday commission meeting, Sisolak noted that although he had gone through airspace litigation, he was never involved with the Mohler or Mona cases, so he should be allowed to vote on the settlements.

    Lenhard said Sisolak's dispute set the clearest precedent. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that landowners can seek compensation if planes flying below 500 feet hinder their ability to develop high-rise buildings, he said.

    "The Sisolak case defined what a taking is, and what we're expected to do" to compensate owners, Lenhard said

    The county is just so squeaky clean, isn't it?

  6. The Sisolak bashers have not yet awakened.
    Tom Collins feels so sorry for many people making well over $100k and $200k, he is more than welcome to put up his own money to supplement the employee's income.
    Go to transparentnevada.com, click on Clark County, 2009. You will be shocked. Keep clicking "next" at the bottom of the screen...you'll be mad.

  7. Here is what we need to do go around all over the country and get New fire Chiefs all the way down too fire man/woman tell them this will be a no Union shop, reduce there pay. Pay there way here. then on one Day the GOV fires all the freeloader's and bring on the NEW.. Just like all those bums flight controllers.

  8. And another thing...

    ...taking time off for minor, third-degree burns and smoke inhalation.

    Do these fire-guys think we're idiots?

    I say no more over-time, sick leave or vacations until further notice.

    And there is NO justification for such a high base pay, when we have a perfectly good EBT food-stamp program and thousands of empty houses around the valley, where their families could double-up in..

    And the SIZE of these firetrucks...has anyone considered a smaller (perhaps hybrid) fire-truck?

    I think not.

  9. It is very clear the abuse of overtime by Clark County Firefighters is conspiracy in practice by many of the fire station firefighters. From command to entry level. County Commissioner Sisloak is doing the right thing by asking for a Federal Investigation.

    Stealing public funds and breaking the public trust are both crimes aganist the taxpayers and threaten the public safety.

  10. ....In addition, the firefighters, the Fire Department and the Fire Department Union have tainted future efforts coming from them on community issues such as fund drive, or boot drives.

    Las Vegas residents will think twice about giving to causes sponsored by the fire fighters, like on Labor Day, or when we see the fire fighters at the stop lights asking for donations.

  11. Its about time someone open the can of worms on the (GOOD OOO BOYS)THANKS SISOLAK...IF YOUR DOING WHATS RIGHT YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT MR FIREFIGTHER...

  12. Lay a bunch of them off to control the budget!

  13. stevie is the frickin man!!!
    can you imagine...
    criminal charges...
    perp walks...
    get that money back...
    jail time...
    stevie is the frickin man!!!
    hey stevie...
    if you ever want to run for governor...
    i will be there to support you buddy...
    stevie is the frickin man!!!

    http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/20...

  14. The arbitrator should have released the EXHIBITS for public scrutiny. Because these are employment issues, government consistently hides behind the exception to the open meeting law. This should not be.

  15. Where are the other commissioners on this? Where's Brager? Collins? Where's the outrage?
    And what about former Commissioners who allowed this to happen over the years?
    Who is ripping off us tax payers?

  16. The FF has long over-played the hero card...the sympathy card...the 9/11 card. They will breakout the t-shirts and Dalamations on this - you can bet.

    Any FF salary over $80K is fraud - no matter how you slice the income on the paystub.

    This is not rocket science folks - and it's obviously not sustainable - just do the math.

    And for the FF cry babies who will no doubt - flood the County Commission meetings...I say, just go complain at your local VA hospital, VFW or Nellis E Club about how you're not fairly compensated for such 'dangerous' and 'hazordous' work!

  17. Privatize. Fire fighters in LV are greedy and corrupt!

  18. When the economy is humming along,it's just too easy to dish out the bennies as rewards for political support.Nobody need care to look what was being doled out,we were mostly all living high on the hog,and the public didn't demand this level of scrutiny.Now that the fat pig economy has gone to slaughter,there are some left in the economy who are trying their darnest to avoid the meat grinder at the end of the conveyor belt.Ia'm afraid that what Steve will soon uncover will prompt the public to put the F. D. first in line for that grinder.At least I hope the greed gets spit out,man o man.

  19. Where are all the hero's , ya but . ya but ... Just admit it a fix it .

    You sit in the bars blaming wall st and the bankers well then fix it already

  20. do you need a college degree to become a fireman???

    http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/20...

  21. It has been three years since anyone in higher education has seen a cost of living increase or a pay raise, and we have all taken a 4.8% cut in salary and huge cuts in health insurance benefits. In 2011, the County gets tough on firefighters and their cost of living increase is REDUCED to two percent? I wish the media would start showing the disparity between how various public workers are being affected by budget cuts.

  22. Good job Steve Sisolak. Keep up the good work. And firefighters ought to be policing their own and not tolerating the bad behavior. Typically it is 20% of the people abusing the system and so you 80% ought to be standing up for Sisolak and not helping your cheating buddies.

  23. LKM: Firefighters did not have their COLAs reduced by 2 percent or any amount this fiscal year. After arbitration, their salaries will be reduced by 2 percent for the remainder of this fiscal year. In 2009, the union offered a COLA reduction from 3 percent to 2 percent, but the county rejected that offer, and the arbitrator agreed with its reasoning, because other changes tied to the COLA reduction would have resulted in an overall increase in county expenses.

  24. Lets Privatize, Good Idea!

    http://www.latefor911.com/

  25. "Who is society?

    We are.

    Man can be permitted to exist only in order to serve others.

    He must be nothing but a tool for the satisfaction of other's needs.

    Self-sacrifice is the law of our age.

    The man who refuses to submit and to serve is a man who must be destroyed." - The Fountainhead

    Taxation is theft which corrupts society -- criminalizing it is the first step to civil rehabilitation.

    : {

  26. haha... You all realize that you are rallying behind Steve fricken Sisolak on an issue regarding monetary morality, right? Nuff said.

    I support our firefighters.

  27. Steve Sisolak plundered the county for $25 million because he bought land too close to the airport.

    Now he wants to accuse county employees of racketeering because they get sick or injured doing their jobs? Screw you buddy.

    Here's the deal Steve... pursue your investigation, but make sure that it is the feds doing the investigating, not any of your good old boys at Metro or the state. When the feds find no wrongdoing (and they won't, because there isn't anything to find) resign and be prepared for a libel suit against you.

    You and your crew at the Sun have put some pretty direct accusations out there, but the funny thing is that you forgot a basic lesson of high school math: Show your work.

    Hiding behind high salaries and rabble rousing the public because firefighters make a decent living will only take your case so far. Put out the evidence and let the public see your so called "proof." You've been making allegations for almost a year now, and the Sun publishes one of these hit pieces every other month or so, but in all of that time, you haven't shown one shred of evidence.

    Put up or shut up Steve. Its time to stop taking pot shots from the shadows and prove your case. You haven't yet because you can't and you can't because there is nothing to prove.

    The end.

  28. Sunjoe you posted and I read also in the story
    Base pay: $52,000
    Callback pay: $23,000
    Overtime: $63,000
    Sick leave: $26,000
    Total pay: $233,580

    Last time my math and it has been a long time but that is not 233,550 dollars it is 164,000 dollars. Some where there is truth in the story but some where there is just plain bull. It appears that they are using the Captains, Batt. chiefs and other high paying people to come up with there average. The question I have to ask is do they have people that are floaters that cover for anybody that calls in sick. I am sure they don't and the question is why not. People need to get over this business I don't have a job and they do. Most of the people are casino workers and people know when things are down people don't gamble (41 year resident). What I don't get is when things was good and casino workers making good money no one bitched and I saw all the fancy cars and big homes in Las Vegas while I stilled lived in a 1600 sg ft home, but it did not bother me. I picked a job outside of the casino business and it was good to me. The firefighters pick there job, but I believe the head honchos are the biggest offenders. It seems the little guy that just works always get caught in middle. If all of you are so against the fire dept and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak then why don't they make it a volunteer fire dept. see how far that will go or heck just make it a private fire dept and when the profits go down then you can bitch more when the fire dept responds in 1 hour rather than less than 5 minutes or when your rear is dying of a heart attack who saves your rear. Sisolak is playing politics like they always do. I bet you he has other interst than the fire dept. Like a fulltime politcal job. Yes for you ones that don't don't know they get partime wages. I have witiness this before in Clark County over my 41 years here. Some times it is funny to watch but they always get a few people to scream and yell to fire up the people and then they run for a different office that has more power and pays a full time wage with BENEFITS.

  29. FIGMO: the story says "plus other benefits." And there are many. An Excel spreadsheet of firefighter pay and benefits stretches over roughly 50 columns. I did not include every single bit of pay received, such as pension contributions or health insurance payments. As for your other comments, many many articles have been written over the past two years addressing the county's financial status, the decline in tax dollars and the growing inability of the county, through taxpayers, to maintain some of the salary structures established over many decades of growth.

  30. All i can say is WOW! I hope the firefighters and Union crossed their T's and dotted their I's.

  31. Outrageous salaries/benes to say the least especially taking into account the required education, et al that goes into it. A very important job for sure, my hats off to them for that, but c'mon. Especially with those salary/benes packages at the very least they should be forced to take the same salary reductions and other hits that other government employees in nevada have been faced with (and for quite some time now.)

  32. Thank you LV Sun for writing this article. Even if Sisolak was a total scumbag I fully support him in this investigation. I also cheer him on for getting the FBI to investigate racketeering.

  33. You guys are rough. I know you hate to see these salaries, but don't get carried away with the demonization of the firefighters. They negotiated a good contract (for them) during the good times, when FF respect was at an all-time high, and now they look horrible because of the economy. I don't like the idea of long-term contracts at all, and this is what happens. All of these commissioners/unions do it, and it sucks.

    I know a few FF, and we have to remember that they aren't all the same. The reports of people spitting on firefighters, or cursing them out at the store, are disgusting. Those people should be embarrassed of themselves. That's not the way to address the issue, and it just tears the community apart (sorry to sound like such a hippy, but I think it's true).

    I think it's a good idea to investigate this sick leave issue and make changes so that abuse doesn't take place, but let's not get carried away and say that all firefighters are evil. I think we're better than that.

  34. Yes, let's call in the feds and work to get all firefighters suspected of gaming the sick leave, callback, and overtime policies indicted under the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. Get them out of the fire department and into prisons.

    Next step, fire all the firefighters, disband the union, then hire back only those firefighters willing to work for a reasonable wage, benefits, and retirement package. And finally, pass state legislation barring public sector unions.

    Incidentally, I'm a liberal Democrat.

  35. Joe,

    It seems your article is rife with inaccuracies and fudging of facts to prove a point.

    An obvious "mistake" is your assertion that a fire engineer's base pay is $44,000. This is simply wrong. Engineers have a significantly greater base pay. (The starting salary for a firefighter cadet - an entry level firefighter is $44K.) So all of your overtime numbers, if calculated off of that $44K figure are wrong, and puts much of the fuzzy math of this article in question.

    Another point you try to hammer home here is that battalion chief overtime was reduced by 80% when the county stopped calling in overtime personnel when a battalion chief was off sick.

    Well, duh. It only makes sense that o.t. pay is going to drop dramatically when the county stops calling people in on overtime. I'm surprised it didn't drop to near 100%. Including that "fact" is nothing more than a red herring to try and make Sisolak's case appear stronger. Anyone who takes the blinders off and actually reads this article critically will see that it is nothing more than a hit piece that skews facts and sneaks in language designed to inspire outrage in the reader.

    This is Fox News' style of "journalism" and really disappoints me as a Sun reader.

  36. DMFDRT, KRT78, keystone6 and others;
    Why don't you separate Mr. Sisolak as a private landowner and Mr. Sisolak as a commissioner, since the two are not related. There are plenty of landowners who received settlements from the County that a jury of citizens of Clark County decided they were entitled to.

    You FF's are not entitled to the BS you were granted forever. Rory and Tom Collins may not have been minding the store, but someone is now.

    You should be thankful for the years of the waste and excess you have gotten away with, but times have changed for everyone and the sooner you get your brain wrapped around that idea, the sooner we can get back to making this the great country it once was.

    Instead, you guys want to cry, threaten others and make arguments that make no sense beyond holding onto your excess pay and benefits, which would bankrupt the County, if you had your way.

  37. To Keystone6: No, the $44,000 figure is accurate and taken from county salary spreadsheets. I verified the same with county staff. As for the battalion chief overtime decline: the story doesn't say their OVERTIME dropped 80 percent, it says their SICK LEAVE dropped 80 percent, the implication being that once they weren't able to benefit each other by calling in sick, they stopped doing it. But thanks for the feedback

  38. maybevegas,

    I'm not a FF. I've stated this repeatedly in other threads regarding similar articles. Other Sun commenters know me personally and can back this up.

    Regardless, Mr. Sisolak's position as a commissioner is relevant when you take into account his actions that have gone against county interests. He purchased land close to the airport knowing that there were restrictions in place on the use of that land. He was told he couldn't build certain structures on that land, and instead of taking the hit he sued ALL OF US, since we foot the county's bill, and walked away a very rich man. There are certainly questions of ethics involved in his actions over the airport debacle, and that situation taints any ethics accusations he makes against others.

    If Sisolak is right about people gaming the system, he should prove it and those people should be terminated. I have absolutely no qualms with such a course of action.

    However, he has been thumping his chest for almost a year now with these claims, and has proven NOTHING. He has not made a case against any employee for sick time or overtime abuse to this date, even though he has the full resources of Metro, the D.A.'s staff and the state. That fact says something very clearly to me: there isn't a case to be made. Now Sisolak wants the FBI to investigate this as a RICO case? What does he think this is, some b-movie plot where he gets to play a crusader against corruption?

    All I am asking is for Steve to prove his point and fire one person. Get rid of one guy who he can make a provable case against. One. The records are there, I'm sure there's some kind of paper trail. Put a couple detectives on the case, get an A.D.A. to forma grand jury and indict ONE firefighter, and then we'll have something to talk about.

    Until Sisolak puts out some sort of proof, he's got nothing. He talks a huge game, and for some reason the Sun's editorial staff publishes these hit pieces, yet since March no one has been able to offer a single shred of proof in order to clean the house of these alleged sick time abusers.

    WHY NOT?

    Just put the proof out there, clean the house and move on.

    Steve doesn't because he can't and he just likes using the paper to up his political cred. As I said before, this is piss poor journalism.

  39. improvelv...
    GOOD POINTS.
    The Lynch Mob ought to rein it in a little.
    Don't forget, folks; Most of your County Commissioners from just a few short years ago SERVED PRISON TIME!
    Steve Sisolak is no wallflower...
    He's a Big-Time Millionaire, courtesy of CLARK COUNTY TAXPAYERS. A 23.5 MILLION-AIRE.
    Firefighters and their union have screwed the proverbial pooch in these negotiations, no doubt, but 2 sides negotiated and signed the contracts over the years.
    Rein em' in... Absolutely!
    Lynch mob? No.

  40. haha... You all realize that you are rallying behind Steve fricken Sisolak on an issue regarding monetary morality, right? Nuff said.

    I support our firefighters.

  41. I'm glad they are imposing furlough days and equipment brown-outs on firemen in LA county. Those guys are such crooks.

  42. These firefighter "heroes" should have more than their pay reduced. They should be thrown in prison and have to repay what they stole from the taxpayer.

    They've been systematically fleecing the taxpayers for years. "Heroes" indeed. When was the last time a Las Vegas fire"fighter" was seriously burned or killed fighting a fire? You can search and search and not find a single example. because it doesn't happen.

    "Fighting" fires here in the valley, where the vast majority of construction is recent one or two story stucco, and all the highrises have the utmost state of the art fire suppression systems built in, is VERY SAFE.

    It's NOT like being a true firefighter in NY, Chicago, SanFran, or any other large urban city with 100+ year old multistory buildings. THOSE guys are the real heroes, and they do their much more dangerous jobs for less than half what we pay these local "heroes".

    Sisolak should be commended. He also is a hero. It takes alot of balls to stand up to the FF union and call them out.

  43. keystone6,

    this is all publicly available information.

    look at this, it's been included above but apparently you haven't looked because it contradicts your "pro-firefigter" union stance.

    http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/20...

    The taxpayers are being robbed by these opportunists. We simply cannot sustain it. we are broke.

  44. Kevin Tolliver, then YOU pay for them!

  45. Simply conspiracy and theft...Any Fire Department personnel found to have participated in what is stealing from the public should be prosecuted, terminated and made to pay back the county or city... From jail if convicted...

  46. I am...happily and gratefully. A lot of factors go into deciding the average pay for a regional industry. Did it get out of hand? Is it "too high?" Probably, but that's an issue the public should have fought at that time... not turning a blind (read: ignorant) eye until after the fact when times got tough.

    What I don't understand is the vilification of the firefighters themselves. Hate the system if you must.. not the guy who would willingly put his life on the line to save yours and your family's should, God forbid, anything ever happen to you.... but hey, I'm sure an unpaid, untrained volunteer would be just as reliable.

  47. Uhh, Kevin (krt78), a firefighter does not "willingly put his life on the line to save yours and your family's"" Firefighters do not enter unsafe structures that may collapse at any moment, run blindly into burning buildings, or any other such life-threatening activity. You are pushing a make-believe situation in an attempt to glorify Las Vegas firefighters as heroes, which they are not. You have to go to New York City to find real firefighting heroes.

  48. Fire all the firefighters.

    Recall all retirement pay currently being paid as fraud against the people.

    Ax the unions and staff the fire department with volunteer fire fighters like communities all over the nation do.

  49. HL9000

    we already established that YOU ARE A LOCAL FIRE"FIGHTER".

    you crooks entire compensation package is EXACTLY what we as taxpayers need to be examining. it is OUTRAGEOUS.

    And what is on MY W2 is none of your business. And I'll tell you why.

    Because, I am NOT a public employee. Get it????

  50. Who on God's green earth is STEVE MCCLINTOCK and why is this "Volunteer the highest paid Clark County employee?!?!?

    His title is FIRE DEPARTMENT VOLUNTEER BUT HE MADE OVER $400K Last year!?!?!?

    http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/20...

    It says his base salary is $1,800....okaaaay....where the hell did the other half million dollars come from?

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK SISOLAK!!!

    PS...Every single Sisolak hater is either a Fireman or a Fireman's wife. Quit stealing our MONEY. SEND THESE THEVES TO JAIL. NOTHING HAPPENS IN A VACUUM.

  51. Keystone is a dirty firefighter who doesnt want to go back to making 85K a year like the rest of us.

    I'm sorry that all you firefighters are mad that Sisolak has caught you and you think you can run and hid behind the union. Not going to work this time. You Keystone are going to jail like all the other perpetrators.

    You are proof that all you firefighers are at fault

  52. im on your side average joe...these other people hating on you are just mad that you and i agree with sisolak and 99% of the Clark County population.

    Why do we need to pay firefighters $250k year to put out an occasional fire and get cats out of trees?

    Firefighters play the victim card more than politicians.

  53. Good fight, Joe. Don't give up! You are correct! I've been in a high-rise in New York that was on fire and engulfed in flame several stories above ground and those are REAL firemen that come to the rescue.

    Ax them all and make the force fully volunteer. There is nothing to accident response which is 90% of the calls.

    We have plenty of firefighters living in this city that are former volunteers in their old, home communities who would train new volunteers. It is not an unimaginable idea.

    Simply get rid of these corrupt firefighters whose only risk and "life on the line" is from the fat of the steaks dinners they indulge in.

  54. P.S. re; "looks like HL9000 and use-your-head have been beaten into submission by the facts."

    Their shift ended and they went home...to count their money...like mobsters do after a skimming operation.

  55. "And another thing...

    ...taking time off for minor, third-degree burns and smoke inhalation."

    Do you have a clue about third degree burns, I think not. I received one working hot tar roofing and i had to have a skin graft and was off work for three months. And do you have a clue what is in the smoke that fires put off.

    I don't think so, more people die these days of smoke inhalation than of the fire actually getting to them. And yes the smoke is extremely DEADLY.

    Now that said do you have any idea about firefighting, probably not. NFPA sets standards and in some cities and counties arround the united states fires are being fought with a lot less men and equipment and people are dieing in those fires.

    In December of 2010 at one point civilians had to assist the Gary Fire Department in laying a 5 inch hose line because the city has laid off and shut down so many firefighters and stations that some companies are running with just the engineer and the officer.

    And yes firefighters in other areas face major difficulties and our firefighters thankfully don't see the same workload as they do in NY and Boston and Camden and St Louis but that does not make the job any less dangerous.

    And to those that are bitching about the Hero Card let me ask you this would you be willing to run into a burning building where you cannot see a foot in front of your face, would you be willing to crawl down a hallway with fire blowing over your head, and would you be willing to give you life to search for a missing person? I do not think so, last week a firefighter in Maryland died in the line of duty doing just that he was searching for somebody in a apartment fire that flashed over and he died that day to his injuries, he was 43 years old and left a wife and kids behind.

    Last year everybody was complaining about Metro and this year your already starting in about the firefighters. But yet if your house was on fire, or is your child was trapped, or if you were in a major car accident of course you would scream bloody murder if they could not make it due to be at work.

    Yes the volunteer system is fantastic for some cities but do you realize that it takes anywhere from three to ten additional minutes to get volunteers to the station and out the door. And that is in smaller areas of the country.

    Yes our hotels and high rises are very well protected but they will and can burn sprinklers just keep the fire in check they are not fool proof. And be thank full that we have the fire codes and standards that we have here because we are the luck ones. At least once a week I read on line of fires that kill or maim or crisper or injure both firefighters and civilians and I have been in buildings that were suppose to be fire proof and believe me they burn and they burn very hot.

  56. "Steve Sisolak plundered the county for $25 million because he bought land too close to the airport."

    Very well said Keystone6 very well said and then the man wanted to participate in the votes on other items that were similar to the lawsuit he won. So what makes him so spotless and clean. He could put that 25 million back into the county and help the budget issues.