The Fire Department is the world’s largest police force, but its officers have historically been largely unskilled.
Since 2007, when the department’s first officers graduated, it has been able to hire more than 4,000 new officers.
The Fire Chief and the Police Chief are the most senior officials in the department, but they’re not the only ones.
In recent years, the city has been paying out bonuses to its most senior officers, including some of its top brass, and it has created new career pathways for them, including a new academy, which now includes nearly 50 officers.
But the city also is paying out hundreds of millions of dollars a year in retiree health benefits to some of the city’s most senior leaders, such as Fire Chief George T. Steele.
Those payments, known as the Fire Cap, have come in the form of a pay increase that the city says has saved the city millions.
But critics say the pay raises have been paid out to just a small fraction of the 1,200 or so Fire Cap officers who have been hired.
And they’re worried about the future of the pay increases.
The pay increases are in part a response to the city trying to make up for a decade-long shortfall in hiring.
Since the early 2000s, the Fire Chief has been responsible for overseeing the hiring of more than 800 Fire Cap recruits.
The rest of the Fire Bureau is a separate, non-executive department.
When the Fire and Police Cap were created in 2013, the department was understaffed and under-resourced.
And in 2017, the number of new recruits the city hired fell by more than 50%.
That meant fewer officers for the Fire Brigade, which is tasked with protecting firehouses and emergency medical facilities, as well as a smaller Fire Cap force.
In 2017, Steele and his predecessor, John Harkness, were appointed to fill the Fire Brigades void, replacing Stoleer with the new Chief of Police, Tom Bowers.
But in a speech before the Fire Council last month, Stoleers successor, John C. Murphy, warned that the Fire Commission had a “massive backlog of training,” and called for more staff.
Murphy was joined by the newly appointed Chief of the New York City Fire Department, Mark P. Kelly.
Both men have had years to prepare for the role, and have come up short.
The City Council, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio, has agreed to pay the salaries of all of the newly hired Fire Cap members for five years, at a rate of $80,000 a year.
The mayor has said he would like to see the pay increase as soon as possible.
“We’ve got to get back to the basics of hiring, training, accountability, and transparency,” de Blasio said.
“This is a problem that we’ve had for years, and we need to solve it now.”
In the past year, de Blasio has proposed a series of bills that would expand the number and type of Fire Cap positions.
The bills have been blocked in committee, with the Senate refusing to take them up, and the House not approving them.
The Mayor has also asked for $1.6 billion to fix the citywide pay crisis.
The city council has not yet acted on those proposals.
Meanwhile, the mayor has been urging the mayor to appoint a commissioner who would be responsible for hiring new Fire Cap recruit.
“If the mayor doesn’t want to get rid of the current Chief, we need a new chief,” deBlasio said.
But many city residents don’t believe that’s possible.
They worry that, in addition to the salary increase, the Mayor and his allies are paying more in retirement benefits than they’re paying in the pay of the City’s Fire and Fire Cap.
For instance, they argue, the salaries for the citys Fire and Rescue Commissioners, the fire and police captains, and other officials who are in the Fire & Ambulance Commission are in a constant state of flux.
And, they say, the pay for the Commissioner of Fire & Fire is capped, meaning that the pay will increase as the city faces budget deficits.
Many of those City Council members, including de Blasio and Mayor Bill De Blasio Jr., are also pushing to increase the retirement pay of their City Fire & EMS Commissioners, who also are in charge of fire and rescue.
And city residents also are worried that, after the city and the city council raise their pay for Fire Cap employees, the City will start paying more to the Fire Force itself, even as its own retirees are being squeezed out of retirement benefits.
And that’s one of the biggest reasons why they are fighting back.
The pension crisis is real, but it’s not going away, said David L. Levenson, an executive at the nonprofit Citizens for the Strong Economy, a nonprofit group that advocates for workers and businesses.
“What we’ve been doing over