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December 19, 2014

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NLV firefighters take their case to residents with flier campaign

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Steve Marcus

North Las Vegas firefighters Gary Polk, left, and Greg Koehler go door to door with fliers in a neighborhood near Aliante Parkway and I-215 Tuesday, July 10, 2012. The firefighters are trying to increase community attendance at the North Las Vegas Mayor’s community meeting at Aliante Station on Wednesday, July 11.

North Las Vegas Firefighters Try To Rally Community

North Las Vegas firefighters Greg Koehler, left, and Gary Polk talk with homeowner Bill Murray and his daughter Madison, 7, in a neighborhood near Aliante Parkway and I-215 Tuesday, July 10, 2012. The firefighters are trying to increase community attendance at the North Las Vegas Mayor's community meeting on Wednesday, July 11. Murray said one of the reason he purchased his home in the neighborhood was because it was close to the Fire Station 56. Now that station is not always open or open with reduced staff due to staffing problems. Launch slideshow »

IF YOU GO ...

What: Community Meeting to discuss the current situation and future of North Las Vegas and how they are working toward meeting its objectives.

When: 6–8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Aliante Station Tucson room

For the past three days, North Las Vegas firefighters have visited homes near Aliante Station with bright yellow fliers and a message.

“The city has their priorities wrong,” the flier read.

North Las Vegas Firefighters Association President Jeff Hurley said more than 500 of those fliers have been passed out. Each one informs residents about the impact the city’s budget cuts enforced on July 1 have had on the fire station. He hopes that with more information, residents will be more likely to voice their concerns with city officials.

Their first chance to do so is at Mayor Shari Buck’s community meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Aliante Station.

“(Residents) are upset with the priorities of city,” Hurley said. “This isn’t just about tomorrow’s meeting, this is about contacting officials … We’re going to all areas where the cuts have happened to let people know (about the cuts).”

For the fire department the cuts have meant slashing the overtime budget by more than half, and designating three stations and 12 vehicles to be “browned out” or closed on days when staff levels are too low. Those stations included No. 56 near Aliante Station, No. 50 on Martin Luther King Boulevard and No. 54 on El Camino Al Norte.

Hurley said that at least one station has been closed each day since July 2.

“The largest thing that we’re seeing out of there is that we’re putting a lot of stress on surrounding jurisdictions,” Hurley said. “Their fire services are in North Las Vegas more than they’ve ever been and are leaving their areas unprotected.”

Hurley said the idea to go door to door came about because residents kept asking about the increased response times. He found that not many in the neighborhoods near Aliante knew about the budget cuts, and were concerned when they were told their fire station could be closed from time to time. Some even voiced frustration because they had moved into the neighborhood specifically for its proximity to a fire station.

“One thing they were adamant about is retaining the city police and fire services,” Hurley said. “Ninety-eight percent of the reaction out there is that they did not want police and fire touched.”

Hurley hopes that those residents they’ve spent hours targeting with fliers will speak out. He is confident that if they do, the city will listen.

“We feel that the mayor is one of our biggest allies, and the most reasonable of the elected officials,” Hurley said. “The firefighters feel that if citizens show their concern, they’d have the mayor's ear.”

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  1. Did the flyers say that John Ocegura made over $452,000 last year working for the North Las Vegas Fire Department? Did they mention that he retired at age 43 with a pension of over $100,000 a year? Did they mention that a Fire Captain made over $330,000 last year? Or how about the Corrections Lieutenant who made over $525,000 from the City of North Las Vegas in 2011?

  2. Was any mention made in those flyers that 12 people made over $250,000 each for the City of North Las Vegas last year? The salaries and benefits for just 12 people cost the city over 3.7 million dollars. Did those flyers say anthing about the fact that 95 people made over $200,000 each last year from the City of North Las Vegas?

  3. I'm curious if those flyers said anything about the Chief Marshall who made over $792,000 or the Chief of Police who made over $773,000 in 2010. I believe each guy retired. Must be a real nice pension. And by the way, a Police Captain made over $563,000 and the Deputy Chief of Police made over $542,000 in 2010. That's over 2.6 million dollars for 4 people. A Fire Captain made over $357,000, an Assistant Fire Chief made over $352,000, and a Fire Prevention Inspector made over $340,000 in 2010. That's over 3.7 for 7 people, or an average of over $530,000 each.

  4. Vote John Ocegura for Congress! He put his personal safety on the line to protect and serve his community. (And he did this for only $452,000 in salary and benefits in 2010. And then he retired at age 43 with a pension of over $100,000 a year so he can run for Congress and maybe get another big pension.) We need John to bring his brand of change to Washington!

  5. When an Assistant Fire Chief for the City of North Las Vegas made over $661,000 in 2009, and then retired after that, how much is his pension? Was that information included in the flyer?

  6. Judging from the comments, here and on previous days, I think that a lot of people believe that it is the firefighters who have "their priorities wrong".

  7. The residents of NLV support the City's efforts and hope we can quickly de-certify the FF union. Only then can we hire firefighters with a bit different job description and a MUCH DIFFERENT PAY SCALE. Total compensation packages should NOT exceed $100,000 for a firefighter, including supervisors. We have a large healthy labor pool to find candidates for entry-level ff jobs.

  8. Let them come to MY door........I will let them know what I think about their 6 figure income, abuse of sick leave and dire threats....When our police are knocking down a big 60K and these prima donnas make TWICE that.....so you have put your faith in the union, regardless of the outcome for the municipality you are supposed to protect....almost like the old protection rackets, only these guys are public servants.......let me say that again in case the firefighters out there did not understand.....PUBLIC SERVANT..you serve the public's need.......

  9. You'd think with their time waiting for the fire alarm they could tune in to the news or read a newspaper, perhaps online. DENIAL or no comprehension of what has happened to the economy in the last six years.