Sunday is Finale for Retiring Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Scott

Scott became fire chief for El Cajon in 2005, and four years later was named head of merged agencies.

The fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue is set to retire Sunday from a 28-year career that included search and rescue work at the site of 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing and at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, agency officials said.

Mike Scott, 50, began his career as a firefighter/paramedic in 1984. He was one of the original members of California Task Force-8 Urban search and Rescue, one of 28 federal teams. He was deployed as a technical rescue specialist to the sites of the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, the Atlanta Olympics bombings in 1996 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, according to Monica Zech, spokeswoman for the agency.

Scott became fire chief for the city of El Cajon in 2005, and four years later, city managers named him fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue, effective when management services of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove fire departments merged in January 2010.

"I have been deeply honored to serve as the fire chief for Heartland Fire & Rescue Joint Powers Agreement. We have built a solid organizational foundation and I am confident that this effort will continue to succeed," Scott said. "It has been my privilege to serve the community, the elected officials, the city managers and the dedicated employees of our fire department."     

El Cajon City Manager Douglas Williford called Scott an exemplary fire chief and said he deserved a lot of the credit for the success in consolidating three separate city fire departments into Heartland Fire & Rescue.

"I will miss him personally and the entire East County Heartland region will miss him collectively. He is leaving very big shoes to fill for his successor," Williford said.

—City News Service

Komfort July 29, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Retiring at age 50? That seems to be the story. What is the average age of retirement in the private sector? " Fire Chief — $199,949 "* http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/CompensationDetail.aspx?entity=City&id=11983726400&year=2010&GetCsu=False * I could not find a "Chief" for a Heartland district so I posted the info for El Cajon. Lemon Grove and La Mesa only show "Deputy Chiefs." Of that obscene salary, what percentage is the yearly pension? Does that pension get paid from El Cajon only or from all three cities in Heartland? Bankrupt...
Jimmy Sanders July 29, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Getting a $100K+ retirement locked in before the cities funding them go broke.
Janet Mercer-Grey July 30, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Looks like El Cajon's $100K pension club will gain a new member. http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/calpers2012/?first_name=&last_name=&employer=City+of+El+Cajon Learned well from the Police chief that retired in 2000 at age 51 to the tune of $177,000 per year. And the city manager in 2004 at $289,000 per year while paid $189,000 per year. It's good work if you can get it!
Komfort July 30, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Be nice, the City Manager did work in El Cajon for 8 whole years before he retired. $189,000 a year is tough to survive on so he is keeping busy working on another pension. "EL CAJON – The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board has unanimously selected Bill Garrett to serve a fifth term as president, while Mary Kay Rosinski and Edwin Hiel were elected to serve as fellow board officers for 2012." http://www.gcccd.edu/news/2011/12/1215governingboardofficers.html Dave Secor is on the other thread figuring out a way to justify this egregious pay scheme. http://lamesa.patch.com/d/articles/wish-list-tops-600-million-for-grossmont-cuyamaca-district-improvements#comments
Jimmy Sanders July 30, 2012 at 03:40 PM
According to the OCR: Back in 2005, there were only 1,841 in the $100K club. In 2009, when California Pension Reform first wrested the database of $100K pensioners from the California Public Employees Retirement System, there were 6,133 people on the list. Now, the $100K club has 12,338 members — a 101 percent increase since 2009, and a 570 percent increase since 2005. http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/category/pensions/ Nothing to see here, move along!
Komfort July 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Komfort August 02, 2012 at 01:18 PM
cee August 09, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I love how everyone complains about firefighter retirement age and pay when they fail to realize that the retirement age is low for a reason. Early death. While they're out there saving your life or your family's life before retirement, they're paying a price to work for YOU. You may not feel a life is worth $100,000 + but you'd be right. A life is priceless. There's no amount of money which could equal a life. But guess what, the firefighter's average life expectancy is probably a lot lower than yours. So yeah maybe 100,000 club for now but that just means they won't be someone's father, son, brother, grandpa, uncle or friend for very long.
Batman August 09, 2012 at 07:21 AM
In the days before modern safety equipment, like self contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs), firemen did suffer earlier than normal mortality, usually due to lung problems. The job is safer now than ever before, it still has it's hazards, but in the old days they weren't paid much either. San Diego Police Dept today sends 3 or 4 officers to calls an officer would have to handle alone back in the 1960s. And they didn't have walkie talkies then, and police officer pay was nothing then compared to what it is now.
Kevin George August 09, 2012 at 03:18 PM
cee, for the sake of argument lets say what you say is true. ( although there is much info to the contrary) No matter how we feel about firefighters and policeman the current pension plans for them are unsustainable. I'm sure they are the greatest guys in the world but the fact remains that there will be a point in the very near future where we will have to remove firefighters and policemen from the street in order to pay for the retirees.


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