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  1. #1
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post How old are we??

    Reading other posts has led me to wonder just how old we all are - I see some have already mentioned that they're "olde phartes."

    So, how old are you, how old were you when you were hired, was there an age limit (and do you still have one?), and how old will you be at retirement?

    I'm currently 43, was 31 when hired. We had and still have an upper age limit of 36 years. We can retire at 48 years of age with 25 years of service at 66%, and max out at 72% with 33 years of service, no upper age limit. We can work longer than 33 years, but the retirement percentage doesn't go up any more from there. Our percentage comes from our BEST 3 years' average, not necessarily the last 3.

    How about you all?

    IAFF 1176

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hi Ed,

    My current age is 32, I was 29 when I was hired. I beleave that my dept has a age limit of 35 to be hired. We can retire when we have 80 years, ( age plus time of service ). I will be 55 when I can retire, I dont think that the city has a top age that you have to retire at.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Local 3905

  3. #3
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I just turned 46, and I was 28 when I appointed to the rank of firefighter in 1981, and made Lt. in 1988. Some communities in Massachusetts have an age limit (max 32 at date of hire), Marlborough does not have an age limit. The magic number is 32 years of service for 80% of your last 3 years average salary. There are other retirement options, also. The minimum
    retirement age is 55 with 32 years in.
    There is a proposal for 75% @ 25 years
    retirement, but I beleive it's still in our State Legislature.

    PS: It's not how old you are, it's how young you feel!!!

    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited December 29, 1999).]

  4. #4
    Truck 2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm 48 now was 36 when I was hired in 1987 breaking the cities bottom age of 35 limit! When Slick Willie signed that federal law a couple years ago he leaves the employers set age limits, our city forces firefighters and police to retire at age 60. I'll have 23 years and 11 months on when I retire at age 60, I'll get 23/25 of my retirement since I can't get my 25 years on.We can retire at any age after 20 years but you can't collect before your 25th year, but you can't add any time after 60. FF. retire at a minimum of a Capt.pay and one grade above each rank above Lt. I'll retire at a 50% of a Captains pay which would be about $23,000 a year right now. We are bargaining for a new contract right now and voted a three year contract down with a 10% pay increass over three years, in want a cost of living increase and the city dosen't want to talk about it. We voted before we started bargaining and if I remember right 78 out of 86 voted for a COLI. Do any of you have a cost of living in your contracts now? I'll post our new contract when we get one! We probably will go to arbatration this spring, they picked the arbatrater already.


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I was 20 years old when I was hired. Will be 46 in March. Plan to retire at 60. Retirement benefit is 2% per year of service, paid against your average salary during your final three years of employment. The state does provide the ability to retire at age 50 if you have 25 years of service.

    Still feelin young and going strong.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I will be 49 next month. I was fortunate enough to be hired at the age of 21 in November 1972 so I just completed 27 years in the best job one could ever have. Current plans call for retirement in 6 more years at age 55. This will provide me with the maximum pension benefit as stated by Lt. Gonzo. This is definitely a young person's job so I don't foresee hanging around until forced to retire at 65. I'm not looking forward to leaving this career and I'm sure I'll miss it when the time comes but there's a time for everything. One reassuring thought is the fact that once a firefighter, always a firefighter. Well that's enough sentiment for now. Hopefully, for me there are still 6 more years of fires to fight and friends to meet. After that, it will be on to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to fulfill my dream of living there. Good luck to all and may we all live long enough and healthy enough to enjoy our dreams.

    Mike Gentili

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm 40(though 41 is only a coupla weeks away...) hired on at 26 in 1985. We still have 35 max age limit. Our retirement is set up on 20 yrs service and age 50... to get 72% of highest 5 yrs salary. I'll have 24 yrs when I hit 50, but my daughter will graduate from high school that year so I 'spect I'll be working a few more if/while she goes to college. Obviously I haven't made any plans for retirement yet and we have enough "options" (bonuses, DROPs, etc)in retirement plan that they totally confuse me right now. I'll be paying more attention as the time gets closer.

    Good Luck Mike(since it looks like you're leaving 1st?)... and the best to everyone.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I started as a volley at 21, hired full-time at 25 and I turn 32 in a couple of months.

    Since Ohio has a pension fund for FF and police, Ed and I have the same retirement. I can't see staying after my 25 years (minimum needed.) I'll be 50 then and ready to do something else...Senior Golf Tour? I doubt it! But, I can dream.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    GOT ON THE JOB WHEN I WAS 26 , NOW 35. I CAN RETIRE WITH 20 YEARS & AGE 47 , BUT I'M ON FOR 30..........THANKS.........

  10. #10
    Captain Hickman
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Started at age of 22 in Jan 73. 49 now and can retire at 80 & Out or at the age of 51 with 29 years of service. Having to start over today, I would believe that a lot of departments can no longer use age as a determining factor for hiring. That's why they are using test which requires physical agility. Us old timers, without a lot of help, we may not be able to preform as quickly as the younger ones do. But, with 25 years plus, I may not be able to do it as quick, but I CAN do it all night or all day. You have to learn to pace yourself and WHATEVER you do...:-)

    [This message has been edited by Captain Hickman (edited December 31, 1999).]

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I was hired at 30, turning 36 this year(Sept.) I will most likely retire at 55 for 65%, but you never know. The max. is 70% of your last years salary at 30 years.
    NJDOP has an age limit for new hirees stating you need to be on an active list by your 35th birthday.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Okay, Time to fess up. I'm 59 yrs.young. Appointed 6/26/72 at 31+1/2yrs.,made Lieut. 3/22/81,made Deputy Chief 8/23/87, quit(retired) 11/30/99.because of an eye problem called Retinitis Pigmentosis.
    Don't kid yourselves, your staying as long as you possibly can. Now say it out loud,THIS IS MY JOB AND NO ONE IS GOING TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME! I'M STAYING UNTIL THEY CARRY ME OUT OR KICK ME OUT THE DOOR!
    The hard, dirty, dangerous work IS a young firefighters job. But they NEED YOU to settle them down and show them how to behave under pressure and in the every day atmosphere of the station house. Experience is the best teacher there is no question about that in our occupation.
    I would go back today if It was Safe to do so. I never thought of leaving early, unless the Chief was on my ***, and when I looked around at the people I lived and worked with and shared a joke or a meal with, that frustration melted away like vinyl siding at a house fire.
    Yeah,the younger people will mock and make jokes about us and say how they will never hang around when thier turn comes. BUT they're "FULL OF IT" just like we were when we were the "rookies" or the "Young guys"(women included).
    Yeah,you'll stay and so will they! "There is nowhere else on earth I would rather be at any time".(exjake 1999)
    It's not just a Job it's a Vocation!
    Be careful out there,


  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm 31 now, got hired on at the age of 19 in 1988. Made Lt in 1992, made Capt in 1998. We don't have a mandatory retirement date yet, as our oldest shift firefighter to date is around 53 years old. I don't plan on retiring until I have 40 years in if possible. I guess that will put me at 59 or 60 years old. At this point I think it would be insane to give up this racket!

    Our pension just got beefed up this past year. The district puts 15% of our yearly pay into a plan similar to a 401K. That's 15% on top of our pay, not out of it, plus $100 per year of service.

    For you guys that have age limitations, How does your place do that? I was under the impression that that sort of thing was illegal. I guess I was misled by someone about that issue.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Public safety is written into the law as a exception to the rule.
    It is legislated by our friends at the state house that we be kicked out at 65 no matter what our abilities,history, or contributions.

    Good Luck and be careful out there,EXJAKE:-)

  15. #15
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Let's face it, firefighting is young man's career. Hopefully, as we got older we progressed through the ranks and are now in a position to lead and teach the probies what it's all about. While there are some older jakes that can keep up with the best of them, there are those who basically are as "useless as breasts on a bull". I heard of a case when one particular firefighter turns 65, he plans on suing to keep his job...by the way, he falls in the latter category! I'll be 60 with 32 years in when I will eligible for retirement, and I plan on staying healthy and hanging around awhile to collect my hard earned pension!

    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

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