Fire Departments Fared Well in Elections

Fire departments across the country fared well in this week's elections.

Also in California, Bakersfield voters approved a pension reform measure designed to limit retirement benefits for firefighters and police officers hired in January.

Their benefits will be determined by using an old formula used by the Bakersfield City Council before the members sweetened the deal in 2001.

So upset by the passage, Bakersfield public servants are considering a lawsuit to bar implementation of the so called Measure D.

Firefighters in Warren County, Ohio, fared better, however, with voters in Wayne Township approving a five-year increase in the tax levy that will raise about $484,000 for the town's fire department. The money from will be used to improve the department's day-to-day operations and help with growth in the area.

Also in Ohio, voters in Delaware squeaked out passage of an income-tax increase to pay for new stations, new equipment and more firefighters. By a vote of 4,268 to 4,106, voters gave the nod to a 0.3 percent permanent income tax. It's expected to raise $3 million annually for possibly two new stations to help reduce response times and up to 18 additional firefighters.

And, back in California, firefighters with the Stockton Fire Department had their wings clipped when voters approved Measure H stripping some of the firefighters' union powers away.

Measure H eliminates the requirement that contract disputes be decided by outside arbitrators. It also removed a provision mandating the city hire the fire chief from within the ranks.