Memphis Firefighters leaving the department

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(Memphis, Tenn) – This Tuesday, 24 Memphis firefighters will retire from the Memphis Fire Department. Their retirements were planned, but their departure hints at another problem.

The revolving doors at the Memphis Fire Department may be a bit one-sided.

The Firefighters Union tells us with 24 firefighters set for quarterly retirement this week, that will bring the total number of retirees to 57 so far this year, out of a department of 15-hundred.
The union says only 33 retired all of last year.
The union admits you can’t read a lot into when someone retires, since it is based on the city’s Drop Program, but as other firefighters resign, including 5 paramedics in the last 2 weeks, it speaks volumes.

“Nobody has any hope of any future here. The past 5 years the employees haven’t had a raise. They took 4.6 percent from them for two years,” says Firefighters Union President Thomas Malone.

Now benefits are being cut. The union says many firefighters don’t see the need to stick around longer and they may be hard to replace, since benefits are the reason many recruits sign on to fight fires in Memphis in the first place.

“Our people only have their meager pensions and the insurance to leave to their families. When you start taking those intangible benefits away, what do you have here?” asks Malone.

He says firefighters are quitting and going elsewhere to work and considering those firefighters have three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in training, the loss can add up.

“Our firefighters and paramedics are highly recruitable. They have a lot of experience. These firefighters are picking up our people. They are walking out the door and didn’t have to spend a nickle or dime for their training,” says Joe Norman with the Memphis Firefighters Association.

The last firefighter training class was held in June 2013.
There were 53 recruits and 10 paramedics in that class.


  • Tiredofgames

    This is EXACTLY what the DROP was designed for. It gives the city 3 YEARS notice when an employee is retiring right down to the exact day. It doesn’t cost the city a dime.The pension payment goes into a savings account and the employee works for 3 more years giving the city time to hire and train new employees. It is the SAME amount of money as if the retiree was drawing his retirement check and the new employee was being paid to replace him. THE SAME. The city ignored the DROP list and now the fire dept is behind AGAIN.

  • James Lillian

    Consider the intangibles attached to those people. Hundreds of years of experience in the retirees, and thousands and thousands of high acuity patient contacts in the medics. There is a serious brain drain in fire department occurring that probably will never be fixed, at least not any time soon.

  • tiredofrichtheives

    The police are leaving at a staggering amount as well due to the inept city leaders we have…If something doesnt change soon ..National Guard will be our police protection for years…Please wake up and support MPD and MFD….It the leaders were doing what they were supposed to we wouldnt be in this mess!

  • No Local Here

    This is a surprise to who that the civil servants are saying “f” it and moving on with their lives. All I can say is what took them so long to wake up have they been in a slumber or just listening to b.s. that comes from city hall and their department leaders or were they just hoping a miracle would happen and everything would turn in their favor. This is why unions should never exist in any respectable profession. Union free at the business I own and will be forever or I will personally close the doors before a union will ever be in my business.

  • Boog E Mann

    What do I do to support? I didn’t vote for Whoreton. I can’t beat him until he changes his mind. I won’t vote for him again. I have talked to the council people and they don’t care. Everybody keeps saying support them. HOW? Do you want me to pay the lost money? Do i put on a gun and vest and go stop bad guys or put out fires? I don’t understand what you want from us. You need to get a good lawyer. You need to get the Gov. to do something, but I tried that and his phone answerer says they won’t do anything that it is up to Memphis. Try obama. Tell him you have hispanic and muslims on the force. You keep stopping short of the answer. How do we the taxpayers that are getting screwed do anything?

  • FireWife

    Boog E Mann, join us at rallies at City Hall, you can sign up to speak there, you can get involved on our Facebook support pages, you can contact media with your concerns, remain active and supportive to our cause via postings on all news articles or social media posts regarding our plight, help by educating all your neighbors and co-workers and friends- especially voters in city limits, and you can join in on our recall efforts to clean house in Memphis government! Thanks for your support!!! #helpmemphispd #helpmemphisfd #helpmemphisretirees

  • david looney

    I am sorry now that I gave the city all them years now that they are taking away our benefits that was promised to us. I come from a family that retired from the city my dad was a captain on the fire dept. my brother retired from the fire dept.after going all the way to the top,and I retired from general services as a a/c mech. Without the insurance I dont know what my brother and I are going to do.

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