City leaves disabled firefighters, police with nothing

November 03, 2011

All the politicians in this city get wonderful pensions, but the people who risk their lives and health to protect their fellow citizens get nothing.

I have been retired from the Baltimore City Fire Department for 14 years. I have a medical disability pension because of being hurt on the job. Because of the condition of my knees, I have been unable to work a full-time job.

In the 14 years I have been pensioned, my health insurance contribution has gone from $450 a year to $7,300 a year. Because of only receiving two raises during those 14 years ( 4.25 percent and 1.5 percent) this has been a terrible financial burden on my family.

I have depleted my entire life savings to put my oldest son through high school and college. I still have a younger son who was two when I retired and who will be going to college in two years.

You would think the mayor or Baltimore City would set up some kind of scholarship fund to help pay the cost of college for children of police and fireman who are on disability pensions, or at least give us a break on our health insurance premiums.

Firefighters and policemen put their life on the line, every day they go to work. I spent 25 years in one of the busiest firehouses in Baltimore City, and this is the thanks I get for my dedication. I'm sure there are a lot of other retired fireman and policemen who are in the same financial dilemma that I am in.

Did I mention how much money the city stole from the firefighters and police retirement fund? If not for that, the fund would be in great financial shape.

If it's any wonder why Baltimore is one of the worst cities to live in, look no further than the people who run it.

Michael Schuchman

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