Plan to reduce fire department brownouts coming

Feb 7, 2014

Credit WVXU

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Council member Christopher Smitherman are preparing to announce plan to cut back and possibly eliminate fire department brownouts.

The mayor's spokesperson, Jay Kincaid, says the plan will reduce brownouts from five per day to fewer than one per day or potentially none.

Kincaid says a report is expected to be released by Sunday afternoon and a press conference is being scheduled for Monday morning to release the details.

In December, Fire Chief Richard Braun said on a typical day five pieces of fire equipment are browned out, or not in service, because of a staffing shortage.

“To provide this city with minimum staffing coverage, we should have 192 firefighters a day,” Braun said.  “With five brownouts, we’re down to 172 people.  So we’re below minimum every day that we work.  So we don’t even have a minimum workforce of firefighters available for this city.”

On Friday, the department graduated a recruit class of 41.

Fire department spokesperson Jennifer Spieser says the department is awaiting word on the status of a pending Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. The grant would allow the department to train another 50 recruits.