Brownouts hoping to be reduced thanks to new recruit class - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Cincinnati leaders propose plan to reduce fire department 'brownouts'

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

City leaders announced a measure on Sunday to nearly eliminate brownouts in Cincinnati fire departments.

Brownouts are daily closures of fire companies that reduce staff to meet budget allocations. 41 new fire recruits graduated on Friday, and with the increase in personnel, Fire Chief Richard Braun is proposing the city reduce the average daily brownouts from its current five per day to a maximum of two.

Brownouts are criticized because they could increase response time to an emergency if the nearest fire company is under a brownout. Out of the 40 Cincinnati companies, five are typically browned daily. It is a practice Mayor John Cranley does not support and referred to as "life or death matters."

Cincinnati response times are currently below the national average and the department does not meet the minimum response time required by the National Protection Agency because of the brownouts.

President of Cincinnati Firefighter's Union Matt Alter says that for every 30 to 60 seconds a fire remains untouched, it doubles in size, which is why short response times really matter.

Alter cites a College Hill fire last year that took 11 minutes for the arrival of the first engine because the nearest responding company was on another call for a browned out unit. A further company on Spring Grove Avenue had to respond to the fire. He says this is only one of multiple occasions brownouts have increased response times.

Mayor John Cranley, Council member Christopher Smitherman, the chair of City Council's public safety committee, and Council member Kevin Flynn held a conference call Sunday with the media where they relayed their support for Chief Braun's proposal.

Along with the new recruit class of 41 firefighters, if the current overtime budget of $2.5 million is maintained, Cranley said that brownouts will be significantly reduced.

At a press conference tomorrow, Mayor Cranley and Chief Braun will ask City Council to approve Braun's report and send it to the City Manager to be drafted in to budget. If the City Manager then overlooks council's support and reduces the overtime budget funding, brownouts will remain at about five per day.

The city has applied for a grant that would further eliminate the need for brownouts by paying all expenses for a new class of recruits. They will find out if the grant was received within the month.

Without the grant, Brownouts can still be reduced as planned pending the overtime budget remains in place, according to Cranley.

Brownouts in Cincinnati were implemented by the previous administration in 2009. They began to stretch resources to fill holes in the budget and were intended to be a temporary measure.

Related Content: 

Frequently asked questions about 'brownouts'.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.

 

  • Cincinnati leaders propose plan to reduce fire department 'brownouts'More>>

  • The cost of brownouts

    The cost of brownouts

    The Cincinnati Firefighters Union says that for every 30 to 60 seconds that goes by, a fire doubles in size. Those are seconds wasted when brownouts force fire companies from farther away to respond toMore >>
    The Cincinnati Firefighters Union says that for every 30 to 60 seconds that goes by, a fire doubles in size.Those are seconds wasted when brownouts force fire companies from farther away to respond to emergencies. As the seconds mount up, so does the cost to repair the damage.More >>
  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Rain Ahead Tuesday

    Rain Ahead Tuesday

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:35 AM EDT2018-04-23 15:35:42 GMT

    A dry and sunny Monday is going to be replaced with wet weather Tuesday. Be prepared for scattered rain showers that will move in and out throughout the day. The first round of rain is likely as you head out the door Tuesday morning.  Scattered showers will likely be re-developing after a brief mid-morning lull, around lunchtime.  And for your evening plans, drizzle and steady light rain are likely. Plan ahead with the rain jackets and umbrellas if you'll be at an outd...

    More >>

    A dry and sunny Monday is going to be replaced with wet weather Tuesday. Be prepared for scattered rain showers that will move in and out throughout the day. The first round of rain is likely as you head out the door Tuesday morning.  Scattered showers will likely be re-developing after a brief mid-morning lull, around lunchtime.  And for your evening plans, drizzle and steady light rain are likely. Plan ahead with the rain jackets and umbrellas if you'll be at an outd...

    More >>
  • City crews begin street and alleyway clean-up

    City crews begin street and alleyway clean-up

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:06 AM EDT2018-04-23 15:06:53 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    Crews will be concentrated on cleaning up the streets and alleyways of the Glass City and getting rid of the junk that clutters the area such as tires, broken bottles and discarded construction materials. 

    More >>

    Crews will be concentrated on cleaning up the streets and alleyways of the Glass City and getting rid of the junk that clutters the area such as tires, broken bottles and discarded construction materials. 

    More >>
  • TPD investigate 'Robin Hood' robbery in downtown Toledo

    TPD investigate 'Robin Hood' robbery in downtown Toledo

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:48 AM EDT2018-04-23 12:48:34 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    Toledo Police are investigating a downtown Toledo bank robbery. Police said a man robbed the Huntington bank earlier on Friday afternoon. Witnesses then said the man started walking down the street and was handing out money to people saying it was God's work. When police arrested the man, he was walking into the nearby Fifth Third Bank. Follow WTOL:   Download our app here.  Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    Toledo Police are investigating a downtown Toledo bank robbery. Police said a man robbed the Huntington bank earlier on Friday afternoon. Witnesses then said the man started walking down the street and was handing out money to people saying it was God's work. When police arrested the man, he was walking into the nearby Fifth Third Bank. Follow WTOL:   Download our app here.  Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly