Heads up Firefighters! The politicians are coming to balance their budget from your household and family. It is no secret that firefighters are having to get more involved in the political world to fight for rights and benefits that others from previous generations have fought for and won. Now, when times are tough, politicians are going after retirements, wages and benefits. Stations are being closed and the workload is increasing. Basically firefighters are going to be working harder for less.
That is not to say firefighters still do not have nice benefits. So why would I say that firefighters need to look for a second job? Continue reading to find out the top 7 reasons firefighters should consider a second job.
7) Training, training and more training. Being a firefighter literally is an all risk job. About the only thing they do not do is shoot at people. Even then, firefighters can get caught in the way of those situations. By finding a second job, you can become an expert in something other than firefighting. Many firefighters are contractors or mountain climbers or whatever. Those people are able to put on little training sessions in their area of expertise that interests them that can help other firefighters if they ever have to deal with an issue with those topics. Or they can apply their area of expertise to help out the department or the personnel.
6) Having something to look forward to with retirement around the corner is crucial. Just like new firefighters have to worry about getting laid off, older firefighters need to find an outlet other than work that will allow them to have something to look forward to. Also, many retirees do not retire with their full paycheck, so they too are looking at living with less income…a fixed income. Maybe they do not need a second job, but it is an option, as opposed to running calls into their 60’s.
5) Say bye bye to overtime. Many departments might already be at this point now due to many cut backs, however there are other departments that have had a hiring freeze which means mandatories are up and overtime is plentiful. The problem is if departments start closing stations (which they are doing) or browning out rigs (which they are doing), then overtime goes away. And many firefighters have become used to that little extra income, and it will start going away.
4) Some firefighters may need to have some additional skills in case the “L” word gets used. For the most part, politicians are not dumb enough to lay off firefighters, but that has not stopped them from laying of police and sheriff officers, and if things do not improve, they will start closing more stations and will start laying off firefighters. The new hires will be the ones that are expendable.
3) Firefighters are probably going to have to take a pay cut, give up some benefits, pay more into retirement or medical benefits…or something along these lines. In some cases a couple of these scenarios might be looked at. Firefighters enjoyed several years of good contracts, many with plenty of overtime and hiring. Today, management and politicians are trying to save themselves and are looking down for solutions. In the end, a firefighters take home check is going to be less then in the past, at precisely the wrong time in this economic world.
2) By studying and learning another topic other than firefighting, you can find an outlet that will help you mentally deal with the job of a firefighter. Obviously for the first several years, firefighters should learn as much as they can, and they should continue that throughout their career. However, opening a book on woodworking, or computer programming or how to get into selling quilts online, can help take their minds off of some of the things they have to deal with. Everyone needs an outlet, and a firefighters work schedule can allow them to learn another skill and have a second job that is interesting, lucrative and most of all, a solid stress reliever.
1) Firefighters need to have a backup plan for injuries. It does not matter if you are on your first call or your last, the potential for a life changing and debilitating injury is always present. It does not take much to blow out a disc, twist a knee or tear a shoulder…among other injuries. Along with that, there are the communicable diseases that can lay someone up forever. There is workers comp and other insurances, but with the way things are these days, covered with lawyers, it is best to have things lined up for yourself. Our health is the most important thing we own, and it is put on the line every day. It is time firefighters also make sure they are set up financially, just in case.