05/20/08 205 W - + 10 - 8 Raleigh Announces Budget

The proposed FY09 budget for the city of Raleigh was announced today. Read the budget docs. Highlights include construction of Station 29 in northwest Raleigh, a new ladder company with 15 positions, a new pumper, more mobile data terminals (MDTs), and more back-up generators for fire stations. Station 29, to be located in northwest Raleigh, will serve Brier Creek and surrounding areas, house an engine and ladder, and be staffed by 30 people. The MDTs are for front-line apparatus and will provide real-time building and inspection data to personnel.

There's also an Interactive pump simulator planned, which will save an estimated 7 million gallons of water during an average training course; continuation of capital leadership training program for department personnel; and support of firefighter promotional process. Though vendor costs are rising, the budget notes, RFD is moving toward a two-year promotion list, which will lessen the frequency of the process.

Other budget items include uniform purchases deferred over past years, furnishing for remodeled administration and prevention offices, and facility and ground maintenance at the training center. For both fire and police personnel, starting salaries will increase by 5%, and then 3% increase after the academy. And there’s major capital funding for the Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center.

Direct links to select docs:


Public Safety budget,

General public improvements,

Budget presentation including some familiar photos,
Legeros - 05/20/08 - 17:28

With all the drought business going on, we shouldn’t have a problem getting that pump simulator.
Silver - 05/20/08 - 23:47

what if the city council said okay, we will give you what you asked for. oh yea and since you guys do such a great job how about we give you another 3 ladders with staffing and, it looks like you could use another 4 or 5 pumpers to replace some of your older ones. thank you firefighters for doing a great job protecting the capitol city. I guess i better stop dreaming and get to work now.
Eric - 05/21/08 - 08:53

Wake up Eric, you’re in “never gonna happen land”.
Silver - 05/21/08 - 10:41

Here’s a press release issued on the budget and the fire department: http://www.raleigh-nc.org/portal/server...
Legeros - 05/22/08 - 06:44

What about the 5% increase in the starting FF salary plus the 3% increase after the academy; and the compression that will cause in the FF pay grade? The next academy will be making more walking into KTC than the current academy that graduates in July. Interesting… hopefully an “across the board” raise is coming, but has not been mentioned yet(?).
A.Rich - 05/23/08 - 21:12

I just hope our union board is aggressively seeking out a solution to this, the sooner the better.
Silver - 05/23/08 - 21:19

Compression is right! The last time we had a big "New Hire" increase like this was around 99. They increased starting pay by 14%. I remember it because that year we made first class and got 5% plus a 7% raise, which gave us 12% increase. But the 2 academies behind us got a 12% increase that year and the next year when they made first class they past or group with another 5% raise. Point being they past us in PAY! I am not complaining by no means I LOVE my job, but when you start to get first class and new senior firefighters making $1500 to $2,000 more a year than a Lt. something does seem right! I had a senior firefighter tell me one time at work, "why do I want to get promoted to driver when I make more money than you with less the headache"! Anyway we do need to be competitive with the rest of the market when it comes to starting salaries but we also need to look after the long term employees also or we could run the risk of our experienced people leaving to go elsewhere for better top pay. That is what happened at PD, that is why they are trying new incentives! But I will repeat my self I love my job and I am thankful for the money I make!
Jason Lane - 05/24/08 - 12:03

I think that something you are starting to see is people leave RFD because of better opportunities. In the past, no one left and everyone put in their full 30 years. It seems people are now starting to use RFD as a stepping stone to better themselves. And to be totally honest, I don’t blame them one bit. After all, RFD isn’t going to take care of you, you have to do that for yourself. Eventually, RFD will have to take similar actions as RPD in order to keep highly motivated and experienced personnel. I also don’t think this is a problem specific to RFD, as it is a problem across the country. This sort of thing happens on a daily basis in the business world. It is just now seeping down to the ranks of public safety.
Johnson - 05/24/08 - 14:56

Agreed! There have been far too many increases in starting pay – which is great for the new guys – but a steady erosion of the earning power of the remaining employees. My last two promotions have seen guys here 3, 4, 5 years less and 2-4 years less time in grade making more money than I. That very obviously indicates a compression problem. And I mean the term problem, not issue. We have begun to see a degradation in company loyalty brought on by the issues noted here and above. I too love my job. I would also like to see some of the extras like the PD is given in my check and my retirement as well.
FYI - 05/25/08 - 22:10

That whole retirement thing…...don’t even get me started!!
Silver - 05/25/08 - 22:25

Anyone know if everything went through unscathed?
Silver - 05/28/08 - 22:32

These things that yous guys are facing are the very thing that we face here in Cary Fire. I look at some of the other departments such as Apex, Fuquay, and Garner they may not make the money that we make in a big municipal departments but they rely on there “Cost of Living Check”. Which means that like you and me Jason who are in a RANKING position we have guys saying the same thing. Why do we want to promote for 2.5% or 5% more and have more of a headache when it is less of a headache just riding backwards. When I got to Cary I thought it was great when I was getting all that “COMPRESSION MONEY” until I seen people start after me and are getting as much if not more than me cause of the “Cost of Living” doesn’t effect everyone? As A.C. Rich said it not fear. Silver is right too about this is the very reason why RPD and CPD have high turnover rate. The City Raleigh and the Town of Cary says it is easy to give a few a cost of living raise than to give to everyone. But in return it is not fear that someone with less than 5 years makes as much as someone with almost 10 years or more. Now here is the flip side of all those savings: 1) More fire stations, 2) More fire equipment, 3) More fire personnel. So do you think that this is a fair trade off.
jj (Email) - 05/30/08 - 09:23

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