Wages of Coral Gables Firefighters and Other Cities: We’re Pretty Good

I have constructed a short list of recent information on firefighter base salaries (exclude pensions and other benefits, overtime, etc.).  The wages are based on an annual survey of the Florida Professional Firefighter organization.  The full information can be found at their website.

We can draw some conclusions that  1) Coral Gables officers, lieutenants and captains and, by inference, chief and deputy chiefs, are very well paid compared to other cities and counties–we are very competitive, 2) Coral Gables firefighters start at a better salary than many other cities so we are competitive, 3) we know that the pension and health benefits are still more than competitive in Coral Gables especially as other cities cut back pensions, and 4) firefighters and their management earn wages that are equivalent to or higher than many other management and employee levels in our government.

Remember that in Coral Gables you multiply their basic compensation by 65 percent to get the current cost of pensions, and even that large value is underfunded by almost a factor of 50 percent. One may conclude that we are paying firefighters more than enough to attract people at even lower salaries and benefits as we compare them to other cities and counties. (An exception in the City of Miami where firefighter compensation was completely out of control until this year’s budget emergency.)

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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