Texas lawmakers voted to approve the Dallas Police & Fire Pension bill, which would assist firefighters and officers who are ending their illustrious careers.
For some, it is hard to hang up the hats and helmets, though the passing of the legislation -provided Texas state senators pass it as well- cannot come soon enough.
“It’s tough to leave something you’ve been doing for so long,” said DFD Captain Steven Coffman, who recently retired after 34 years. ““I think that was probably one of the hardest things for me, feeling like I was letting other people down.”
However, the retirement funds risk drying up, putting men like Coffman at risk.
Meanwhile, DFD is struggling with retention issues, as scores of firefighters continue to leave the ranks.
“I literally have to sit down at the kitchen table and say, ‘Guys, stay in Dallas,’” Lt. Cristian Hinojosa with the Dallas Hispanic Firefighters Association.
The Lieutenant addresses the issue of retention as a complicated one that involves poor starting salaries and shaky retirement plans.
“We’re sending them to the suburbs,” said Hinojosa. “We’re subsidizing their training and the day they become certified firefighter/paramedic, they leave.”
According to CBS LOCAL, DFD will lose an additional 200 men and women by the end of fiscal year.
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