Three of the most devastating wildfires that have happened in California within the last five years happened in Sonoma County. This is one of the reasons that many people feel there should be more firefighters in the county. Should another wildfire break out once more, a wider pool of firefighters to respond to the dangerous phenomenon is considered to be a good idea?
A Big Increase in Firefighters is Proposed for California
Governor Gavin Newsom of California proposed a new state budget earlier this year. In response to the growing frequency of devastating wildfires in the state, and particularly exacerbated by the 2012 to 2016 drought in the Golden State, 677 employees are being considered to be added to the workforce of Cal Fire, which is the state’s lead firefighting agency.
The majority of new hires for Cal Fire are meant to be trained as frontliners. The rest will be working as support personnel for administrative duties, equipment maintenance, and running training centers geared for responding to the danger that wildfires pose. A modern state-of-the-art fire warning center is also being proposed to be established for monitoring existing blazes, fire weather, and danger zones in the state of California. The need for reinforcements became apparent during the wildfire breakouts that happened in the last few years.
Becoming a Firefighter is a Good Career
With the increasing number of wildfires going on around the world, not just in California, the need for more firefighters to respond to the danger posed by these fires is widely recognized. Preparations are being made by governments and regions that have experienced wildfires and acknowledge that it is only a matter of time that extreme risk from wildfires will need to be faced again. This means that it is a good time to become a firefighter.
In most states and countries, the risks that a firefighter faces are well compensated by a good salary. The pay grade is affected by your rank. Starting from a normal firefighter, you can be promoted to lieutenant, then captain, and finally become a fire chief. There are standards to the salary estimates that a firefighter in the United States can receive. A normal firefighter can expect to have a yearly salary of $30,000 to $40,000, and this pay grade will get better as you ascend the ranks of the fire department you have joined.
It should be noted that compared to other states, California pays its firefighters very well. In 2018, California firefighters were receiving up to $75,000 a year. Added to that are bonuses such as sick leave, vacations, and overtime pay. The retirement benefits are considered to be good for those who have made a career out of fighting fires for 20 years or more.
Becoming a firefighter is not just about the benefits and good salary that you can have. It is also a noble profession. Firefighters stand between their community and the ravages and dangers that fire can bring. From a house fire to a wildfire, it is the firefighter who steps into danger in order for others to be safe.
Sonoma is a county that needs more firefighters, the statistics and recent experiences of wildfire conditions reflect this. Recognizing this danger on the state and county level has created an opportunity for people looking for a steady and noble profession. Of course, there will be danger involved with fire prevention, but better training, equipment, and commitment will be what makes the new firefighters who answer the call. For people considering becoming a firefighter, Sonoma County is the place to be.