(Tom Gantert) – In Las Vegas, the city pays some of its firefighters more than its judges.
One firefighter-paramedic had a gross salary of $254,304 in 2021 due to $139,061 in overtime. City Manager Jorge Cervantes’ gross pay of $288,633 was the highest in the city, followed by an assistant fire chief who made $281,598. That’s according to city payroll data released in an open records request.
The city’s top-paid municipal judges all made $181,849 a year in 2021. There were 53 employees in the fire department who made more than the top-paid judges. Twelve of the top 20 paid employees in Las Vegas worked for the fire department. There were 756 people from the fire department on the city’s payroll in 2021.
The median household income in Las Vegas was $58,377 from 2016-2020, according to the U.S. Census.
Seven firefighters received between $101,379 to $135,566 in 2021 for payment of unused sick time they accumulated up to a certain amount. Those payments come when the firefighter leaves city employment, usually due to retirement. According to the union contract, the caps on unused sick time varied from 840 hours to 2,304 hours, depending on longevity and the number of hours worked.
Spending on public safety in the city of Las Vegas reached $422.6 million in 2021, which was 41% of total city government spending in 2021, according to budget data.
The city’s media relations department didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. John Krumm, a firefighter with the Las Vegas Fire Fighters IAFF 1285 union, referred any questions be directed to the city.