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Offline puddin

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'Survivor' winner files for retirement'
« on: July 06, 2005, 10:23:12 AM »
'Survivor' winner files for retirement' { good for Tom  {| }
 

 
William Murphy
STAFF WRITER


"Survivor" winner Thomas Westman, a Sayville resident who was born in Queens, has put in his retirement papers, resigning as a lieutenant in the city Fire Department.

Westman's last day on the payroll will be Aug. 4th, giving him the 20 years service required for a half-pay pension -- on top of his $1 million winnings from the show.

Although the retirement was listed in an official Fire Department order late last week, Westman hedged Monday when interviewed outside his home.

"Yeah. I'm still thinking about it. I'm not sure yet," he said. The department order noted he would be using accrued and terminal leave time until his retirement takes effect.

He has been noncommittal about his plans since winning. On several occasions, he spoke of the bond of the firehouse and joked that his accountant told him he had to continue working.

At other times, he said he and his wife, Bernadette, had talked about whether he should change careers and had discussed the continuing danger of work as a firefighter.

Westman, 41, took six weeks off from work last summer to film "Survivor: Palau," so his pension will probably not be inflated by a lot of overtime in his final year.

Details of this pension are not public record, but a lieutenant earns almost $70,000 a year before overtime.

His colleagues at Ladder Co. 108 in Williamsburg said Monday they could not talk to the press without department permission. Fire Department officials could not be reached for comment during Monday's holiday.

Westman, whose father was a firefighter, has said he is considering a career as a motivational teacher. He made a recent appearance on the Discovery Channel advocating for Benjamin Franklin on a show about the greatest Americans. (Ronald Reagan won; Franklin finished fifth among the five finalists.)

Westman, who was on the track team at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, Queens, was aided by his good physical condition during the show, in which he pulled a footlocker along the ocean floor and hung onto a pole for half a day.

"I almost feel I had an unfair advantage being a member of the FDNY," Westman said after he won in May.

http://www.nynewsday.com/nyc-surv0705,0,6617232.story?coll=nyc-swapbox1


 

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