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As a Fire Captain, I find it hard to believe that after 20 years of loyal service, I now have to defend my salary to a misinformed economist and an ignorant radio talk show host.

I believe it is important to expose Carl DeMaio for what he really is: a shill for the agenda of the right wing intent on destroying working families. He speaks with great pride about how he is exposing city corruption and excessive salaries when in fact he fails to point out that these salaries, even with overtime, are still amongst the lowest when compared to other metropolitan fire departments.

Mr. DeMaio represents the “Performance Institute” and wants the citizens of San Diego to believe that a cheaper fire department is a better fire department. Mr. Demaio needs to change the name of his institute because it has nothing to do with performance. Could you imagine if we used Mr. DeMaio’s philosophy to improve the performance of the Padres or the Chargers? We would have the cheapest roster in the league and never win a game.

What Mr. DeMaio wants you to believe is that anyone with a high-school education can do my job and therefore you should be paying less for fire service? DeMaio and his conservative radio talk show friends are using outright lies and sensational politics to advance their agendas. This kind of conduct is felony and their irresponsible behavior is and will place lives at risk.

DeMaio wants you to believe that all firefighters are making six-figure salaries when in fact, it is limited to a core group of administrators and supervisors. It has taken many years of training, education and experience to develop your fire-service supervisors and administrators. Instead of focusing this unnecessary attention on these salaries the citizens should be more focused on the fact that their fire department is under funded, understaffed and unable to respond to your 911 call within the critical six minutes or less standard.

We must stop the attacks on city firefighters and paramedics who put their lives on the line every day to serve every community in San Diego.

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