Ask any Federal Firefighter how their pay is calculated, and you may receive a variety of conflicting answers. Unfortunately, that also used to apply to our civilian pay representatives. This was certainly the case in the years prior to 1998.
Then on October 21, 1998, the Federal Firefighters Overtime Pay Reform Act was passed into law, streamlining the pay for the 1000's of men and women called upon to protect our nations vital installations. Well at least that was the hope. Though there were significant improvements to the Federal Firefighter Pay System, there was still no central location for Firefighters to access accurate and reliable pay charts and information.
That is where my story begins. I researched the Federal Pay Regulations to gain an understanding of the new law and its implementation. Using MS Excel® and a calculator, I created a small pay chart specific to the Firefighters at Robins AFB. Every grade and step was calculated manually (I didn't quite understand the full capability of Excel® at that time).
As my Excel® skill level improved, so did the pay charts. Soon I was creating full charts covering both standard Firefighter work schedules from GS-3 to GS-13 (GS-14 was added later). The extensive number of locality areas around the country led to the time-consuming task of creating 30+ separate pay charts every year. Luckly, Excel® had formulas for that. The Federal Fire Fighter Pay Program was born. Though there have been several minor tweaks and annual updates, the original file is still just as useful today.
Why would I do all that you may ask? Because the Firefighter Pay Bill was something new and interesting. I'm not a math whiz by any means, but the pay calculations intrigued me. Maybe I was a geek, but I enjoyed creating pay charts that didn't exist anywhere else; and as far as I know, still do not exist today.
My interest in Firefighter pay calculations naturally progressed to retirement and a whole new passion began. Over the years and even to this day, I'm always learning new things about Federal pay, benefits and retirement - and not just for Firefighters. Once I retired, it only seemed natural to teach others what I've learned. I just needed the right time to begin. That time came two years ago when I was offered an opportunity to join the team at WIKKMO.
Unfortunately, something we are all now too familiar with began around the same time. The pandemic wreaked havoc on Federal training opportunities and budgets. The funds dried up and so did the demand.
Though the pandemic is still in an Ebb and Flow state, I have made it my priority to get this benefit and retirement information out to our First Responders. I have fond memories of my time in the Federal Fire Service and now I'm enjoying my well-earned retirement benefits. My goal is to help our fellow team members do the same.
Anthony Fanchi - Founder
Pay & Retirement Consultant:
Federal Benefit and Retirement Training
Individual Retirement Planning
USAF Veteran with 30 years of experience in the Fire Service with the Air Force, Army & Municipal Emergency Services
Served the communities of RAF Mildenhall, Holloman AFB, Robins AFB, Camp Frank D. Merrill, Houston County EMS & Lumpkin County Emergency Services
Subject Matter Expert in the 1998 Firefighter Pay Reform Act.
Developed the Federal Firefighter Pay Program - invaluable tool for Firefighters around the world.