'Year of the Fish's' rotoscope technique will reel in film buffs

Full story: TwinCities.com

For the past nine months, Joe Blank has had to learn how to walk again and relearn the skills he needs to be a St.
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The Truth

Hutchinson, MN

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#23
Feb 18, 2011
 

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One has to ask does the City of St. Paul need 11 new Fire Captains??? I'm mean do we really even know how many captains there already are...and how many Deputy Chiefs???

An average firefighter in Saint Paul (with no college) makes $50,000.00 a year less overtime pay. My guess is a Captain makes in the neighborhood of $60,000.00-$80,000.00 per year. Then when they retire they average the last 5 years of their highest pay to figure out their pension.

So let's do the math conservatively. One Fire Captain at $60,000.00 a year for 20 years. Net cost to taxpayers...1.2 million dollars.

Retirement age 55. Life Expectancy 75. Difference 20 years. Net cost to taxpayers...another 1.2 million dollars for a guy that's retired and doesn't even respond to fires.

Now if 1 Fire Captain in 2011 is making $60,000.00 in 2011 one can only imagine what a Captain will be making 20 years from now to average for retirement benefits.

To me that is one EXPENSIVE fire extinguisher.

And when the State of Minnesota goes to cut your childrens' teachers like they're doing in Wisconsin right now while leaving police, firefighters and state troopers out of those cuts...don't say I didn't warn you.
The Truth

Hutchinson, MN

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#24
Feb 18, 2011
 
One has to ask does the City of St. Paul need 11 new Fire Captains??? I'm mean do we really even know how many captains there already are...and how many Deputy Chiefs???

An average firefighter in Saint Paul (with no college) makes $50,000.00 a year less overtime pay. My guess is a Captain makes in the neighborhood of $60,000.00-$80,000.00 per year. Then when they retire they average the last 5 years of their highest pay to figure out their pension.

So let's do the math conservatively. One Fire Captain at $60,000.00 a year for 20 years. Net cost to taxpayers...1.2 million dollars.

Retirement age 55. Life Expectancy 75. Difference 20 years. Net cost to taxpayers...another 1.2 million dollars for a guy that's retired and doesn't even respond to fires.

Now if 1 Fire Captain in 2011 is making $60,000.00 in 2011 one can only imagine what a Captain will be making 20 years from now to average for retirement benefits.

To me that is one EXPENSIVE fire extinguisher.

And when the State of Minnesota goes to cut your child's teachers like they're doing in Wisconsin right now while leaving police, firefighters and state troopers out of those cuts...don't say I didn't warn you.
LongDongHong

Minneapolis, MN

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#25
Feb 18, 2011
 

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Why so many Captains at one time? is that 1 for every firehouse?
Trodupon

Minneapolis, MN

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#26
Feb 18, 2011
 
Oh Boy these guys just got a pay, pension, and benefit boost. Goody goody, more taxes for me! I'm just jealous that I can't retire young and well-off like these guys. Lets bring back the volunteer departments. I'd like to play games all day too, and then go shopping with the guys.
Duck Soup

Minneapolis, MN

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#27
Feb 18, 2011
 
Requirment for St. Paul Fire Captin is GED what a joke and a shame........... its time they up the standards....... its not fair to all the police officers out there who share their same pension
Colt

Saint Paul, MN

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#28
Feb 19, 2011
 
This is the epitome of how an irresponsible government works. When faced with budget shortfalls huge deficits the best thing to do is promote people for no apparent reason to higher paying positions. Just a bunch of screwed up demented liberals, sticking it to the real tax payers.
Wow

Minneapolis, MN

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#29
Feb 19, 2011
 

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The last 5-6 posts, did y'all miss your bus to Madison? Get a grip.
As a St Paul FF

Saint Paul, MN

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#30
Feb 19, 2011
 
If you think for a minute that the majority of firefighters wouldn't like the standards raised for entrance you are wrong. We have to battle year after year with human resources to keep the test we have so they donít make it a pass/fail versus the competitive test we have now. Most firefighters would love an education requirement or job equivalency requirement (ie: electrician licensure, plumber, carpenter, etc.) to take the test but unfortunately the societal tail that wags the dog (HR) focuses on quotas. Just the way it is folks. If you can change the attitudes of those doing the hiring then you'll feel much better about the process. Believe me, as firefighters in St. Paul, many of us are frustrated too. Take care, be safe.
StPaulGuy

Saint Paul, MN

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#31
Feb 19, 2011
 
For all of you who think St. Paul firefighters are overpaid, or there are "too many captains", be sure to mention that to them when your house is on fire and your loved ones are trapped.

Unfortunately they will probably be too busy running in to your burning house to save your family and property while you are complaining that they only have a G.E.D.

We all need to share the pain of a bad economy but the way people take shots at public safety employees is a joke. You take your shots while your family is safe but would you feel the same if they were in danger and you needed help?
StPaulGuy

Saint Paul, MN

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#32
Feb 19, 2011
 

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The Truth wrote:
One has to ask does the City of St. Paul need 11 new Fire Captains??? I'm mean do we really even know how many captains there already are...and how many Deputy Chiefs???

To me that is one EXPENSIVE fire extinguisher.
You are absolutely right. So from now on, you won't pay taxes to fund the fire department. In turn, the city will put a fire extinguisher on your corner instead of a hydrant. If your house starts on fire, please run outside, grab the extinguisher, and save your family. You can be your own hero.

I'm not sure what good the extinguisher will do you if someone in your family has a heart attack, but hey -- you seem to have all the answers so I'm sure you will figure something out.

Wow... To think we have been paying for fire protection all these years when all we needed was you. Amazing.
the dangler

Minneapolis, MN

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#33
Feb 19, 2011
 

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StPaulGuy wrote:
<quoted text>
You are absolutely right. So from now on, you won't pay taxes to fund the fire department. In turn, the city will put a fire extinguisher on your corner instead of a hydrant. If your house starts on fire, please run outside, grab the extinguisher, and save your family. You can be your own hero.
I'm not sure what good the extinguisher will do you if someone in your family has a heart attack, but hey -- you seem to have all the answers so I'm sure you will figure something out.
Wow... To think we have been paying for fire protection all these years when all we needed was you. Amazing.
be honest, how many fires do you actually respond to? the majority are medicals! It seems to me that a great majority of the MN population would love to be a st. fire fighter if they could or lucky enough to get hired! I remember reading an article where thousands showed up to take st. paul fire exam! So spare me the age old argument of "firefighter's go where few people would.........."
StPaulGuy

Saint Paul, MN

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#34
Feb 19, 2011
 
the dangler wrote:
<quoted text>
be honest, how many fires do you actually respond to? the majority are medicals! It seems to me that a great majority of the MN population would love to be a st. fire fighter if they could or lucky enough to get hired! I remember reading an article where thousands showed up to take st. paul fire exam! So spare me the age old argument of "firefighter's go where few people would.........."
First off, I'm not a firefighter in St. Paul or anywhere else. But I do have an appreciation for what they do to keep my family safe.

I'm all for accountability and making sure our public services are fiscally responsible and that includes police and fire. But don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Far too many people act like the fire department is just an insurance policy they pay for but will never use. I hope to God most people don't ever need their help. I agree most reponses are medicals, too. So does that change what we need? Do we need less people because more calls are medical? In case you didn't realize, you need a heck of a lot more training to do medical calls than fires.

The role of the fire service has changed. But we still need them even for medical calls. They are still highly trained professionals. Lots of people apply because it is a good job, but how many can actually make it through? Maybe we should got to optional coverage. If you don't want to pay for the fire department then you don't. But if you need to call 911 for a fire or medical, they only show up if you paid up front.

Sounds fair to me. Are you willing to put your money (or not) where your mouth is?
Just Wondering

Saint Paul, MN

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#37
Feb 19, 2011
 
Pat wrote:
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You are full of sh!t. These guys are way overpaid and they retire with way more than thet should get.
Pat you are obviously unimpressed with the fire department. Just out of curiosity, what should a firefighter/EMT, captain/EMT, chief/EMT make? I would agree that pensions need to be looked at but it bothersome for someone like myself that has a four year degree plus to hear someone bash the salary schedule. Why is it that an individual within an organization with high levels of responsibly/liability can't make $80,000. The fire department is truly a unique profession and a great job at that but I would just like to let you know that the frustration you apparently have is shared within the ranks of firefighters. There are definitely changes that need to be made but realize most of them are out of firefighterís control. I am obviously a firefighter and take your comments personally as I work hard (as do so many of us) to maintain safety in the community and assist others in a time of need. Are we heroes? I would say no. Do we have some bad apples? Yes, as does any entity, public or private. Could there be changes? You bet. But do majority of firefighters do there best to support the community, I would argue yes. Take Care and know that regardless of your frustration, should you need us in st paul, you will receive the best care there is, trust me.
they all come here

Minneapolis, MN

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#39
Feb 19, 2011
 
Pat wrote:
All these unnecessary promotions are simply extravagant pay raises to a way overpaid fire department. These guys already make aruond 80K ad this is going to further break St. Paul and send us into bankruptcy.
Dead weight is what we have here and a top heavy pay schedule.
Dead weight is all the welfare you are paying for.
Jim

United States

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#40
Feb 20, 2011
 
I this time I feel we all are in desperate times. Now is not the time for pay raises or promotions. I don't understand why they need so many Captains. It is getting too lopsided with it being top heavy. Years ago there was a time when the budget dictated who got promoted and who was cut. That department should be looking at that. Retirement should be cut down. Firemen and Police have as good a retirement as a Politician. Times are tough and are getting tougher. Not a good time to do this.
StPaulGuy

Saint Paul, MN

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#41
Feb 20, 2011
 
Jim wrote:
I this time I feel we all are in desperate times. Now is not the time for pay raises or promotions. I don't understand why they need so many Captains. It is getting too lopsided with it being top heavy. Years ago there was a time when the budget dictated who got promoted and who was cut. That department should be looking at that. Retirement should be cut down. Firemen and Police have as good a retirement as a Politician. Times are tough and are getting tougher. Not a good time to do this.
Jim - Do you understand how the fire service works? Saying "I don't understand why they need so many Captains" is like saying "I don't know why the Army needs so many Generals or why the Country needs so many Governors.

Captains are the leaders of the crew for each engine, truck, or squad. Without them, you just have firefighters with no chain of command. They are essential to the operation of the fire department and not a luxury for good economies.

People are so outraged at public employees right now because it is "our taxes." Yet they gladly overpay for products day after day so CEOs and Vice Presidents of private companies can make huge salaries, get massive benefit packages, and waste company money causing us to pay more at the register. How many executives have taken meaningful, lasting cuts? Lots of workers have. I know I have and so have many of my friends. Yet the executives at most companies just keep on raking in millions.

You are right -- times are tough. That should apply to the private and public sectors. It's too bad many people are just too narrow-minded to realize that.
gr8ful community member

Saint Paul, MN

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#42
Feb 21, 2011
 

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Jim wrote:
I this time I feel we all are in desperate times. Now is not the time for pay raises or promotions. I don't understand why they need so many Captains. It is getting too lopsided with it being top heavy. Years ago there was a time when the budget dictated who got promoted and who was cut. That department should be looking at that. Retirement should be cut down. Firemen and Police have as good a retirement as a Politician. Times are tough and are getting tougher. Not a good time to do this.
in order to maintain a qualified leader for every fire company (26 + 4 pool captains (to cover sick/injured/time off) multiplied by three shifts = 90 captains needed. This number of fire companies is what allows SPFD to arrive at your burning home within 4 minutes. Quick enough to keep many of the fires to simple room and contents fires, and reducing the total loss, AND lives lost. In St. Paul, because they are dual service, you'll also get EMS that quickly in most situation. If you're heart has stopped, or if you're bleeding to death, that also improves your chances of living. These are things that have a financial benefit, I'm sure. However, when it comes to life safety, might I be so bold as to say, "PRICELESS"?

Also, for some of you other posters: if you do some research, you'll find that the Firefighters in St Paul Fire Department have a very high personal contribution for their pensions. Much higher than many other pensions. I find it hard to fault them for trying to contribute alot so that they're retirement years after what can be a grueling, high stress job, so that they and their families can be comfortable.

You're right. Not everyone can be a firefighter, and they do much in the community that goes unnoticed. But, the department in general works hard and keeps the community safe in many ways, not just fires.
waited too long

Saint Paul, MN

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#43
Feb 21, 2011
 
another thing that people may not know about promoting 11 fire captains, is that the promotional list has been "on hold" for around a year. In the meantime, there have been several retirements, and the positions never got filled. Now, they're back on track. 11 promotions is highly unusual.
st paul fire

Saint Paul, MN

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#44
Feb 24, 2011
 
Vikings Fan wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey I have a better idea! How about we quit providing bloated taxpayer funded pensions/benefits to union members, and make all union employee's subject to private health/dental premiums and private retirement plan that they contribute to like taxpayers do. I have great respect for our Police Officers and Firemen, and this is a great story. But I have to answer your post.
Vikings Fan,
I have to reply to YOUR post.
I am a St Paul FF, and here's the news:
1. I contribute about $500/month to my pension.(I am looking at my pay stub from today, and on this check, my pension deduction is $239.25)
2. I pay health/dental premiums too.($98.70 per check for single insurance -- family is way more)
I hope most people aren't stupid, and realize that as public employees, we contribute much more than average to our own retirement. I do not have a choice--my pension deduction is mandatory, and is taxed. So really, I am paying twice-- once from my paycheck, and once as a taxpayer myself.

Do you save 500/month for YOUR retirement??

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