Firefighters in Clark County receive pay in 73 different categories

Victor Joecks

After I posted a video yesterday showing Henderson firefighters getting paid to work out, my colleague and firefighter-salary expert Geoffrey Lawrence came over to my office and informed me that there was something wrong with my post.

The point of the post was to show how misleading is firefighter union spokesman Ryan Beaman’s statement that “[T]he average pay for a firefighter in Clark County is $23.80 per hour and that is not unreasonable.” The post pointed out how the hourly rate for the 24-hour shifts that firefighters work isn’t comparable to the wage the average person makes for an eight-hour shift, because firefighters get paid to sleep and workout.

“Uh-oh,” I thought. “What kind of mistake did I make? Did I misrepresent what Beaman was saying?”

Nope. The problem is that I didn’t fully explain how misleading Beaman’s statement is. Geoff told me that Beaman was only referring to base pay.

Firefighters, he informed me, earn pay in 73 – yes, 73 – different categories, including overtime, call back, premium pay for certifications, merit pay and remote areas.

The pay the average firefighter receives in these 73 different categories doubles the firefighter’s base-pay salary.

That’s right: Even while working 24-hour shifts and getting paid to sleep and workout, firefighters in Clark County make more than $47 per hour, plus $30,000 to $50,000 in benefits a year.

As for Ryan Beaman … at least he knows a lot of firefighters for when his pants catch on fire.