Boston Fire and EMS payroll is reportedly the most expensive of the 30 largest cities in the country, with 148 supervisors earning more than Governor Deval Patrick.
WCVB reported that the base salary of a district fire chief in Boston is $162,118, while Baltimore’s is $95,193, Chicago’s is $131,552, and New York’s is $146,583.
The department’s payroll is twice as high as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles’s departments, according to the WCVB report, which cites Pioneer Institute Reseach Director and former State Inspector General Gregory Sullivan with analyzing Boston’s retroactive pay raises.
Sullivan said Boston firefighters make around the national average while their bosses make much more.
“Boston is the king of paying firefighter officials, non-direct firefighters, tons of money,” he told WCVB. “The brass is overstaffed and it’s overpaid.”
Mayor Marty Walsh told WCVB he’s “not too surprised about it,” and said: “I figured we would be in the top five. We have the most trained and skilled fire department I think in the country.”
But Walsh still plans to look over the numbers.
“Once we put a new commissioner in place, we’re going to look at all the expenses of the fire department and really make some changes there to hopefully bring down the costs and eliminate some positions that might not be needed,” he said.
The department’s retroactive pay raises were enacted as part of a recent $92 million deal for Boston Fire, negotiated by Mayor Walsh.