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President Biden Urges for Increase in Federal Firefighter Compensation


President Biden Urges for Increase in Federal Firefighter Compensation

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During recent years, the United States has faced increasingly severe wildfire seasons in the summer. Wildfires have grown in frequency and intensity, pushing firefighters to their limits in containing the blazes. With a fresh wildfire season approaching and a new leadership in the White House, the time has come to enhance the remuneration for firefighters who play a crucial role.

President Biden is scheduled to convene with a coalition of governors from the western states today, aiming to address the ongoing record-breaking heatwave, rising occurrences of droughts and fires, and strategies to tackle these challenges. A core component of Biden’s wildfire management strategy includes augmenting the count of federally-employed firefighters and, significantly, boosting their salaries.

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for federally-employed firefighters lingers around $55,000, marginally above what locally-hired firefighters receive. This figure remains notably below the 2019 US median household income of $68,703, a discrepancy that Biden deems unacceptable for these essential emergency responders.

“Just in the past few days, we’ve witnessed droughts and wildfires in the West,” remarked Biden. “I recently discovered that federal firefighters are compensated at a rate of $13 per hour. Such compensation shall no longer persist during my administration.”

Biden’s proposal entails a boost of federal firefighter wages to at least $15 per hour, establishing these improved rates as a permanent arrangement rather than just a seasonal adjustment. Furthermore, the plan includes training more federal staff in firefighting protocols to serve as “surge capacity” during exigencies requiring additional manpower, along with investing in the advancement of early fire detection technology.

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