Cincinnati Fire Department May Receive Federal Money

The Cincinnati Fire Department will again receive federal money to pay for the salaries and benefits of additional firefighters, almost certainly raising staffing levels above a cap set years ago by City Council, reports

Fire Chief Richard Braun plans to ask council to increase what’s known as the department’s “authorized strength” from 841 firefighters to 879, fire department spokeswoman Jennifer Spieser said.

That’s the number needed to effectively end brownouts — daily unmanned fire equipment, based on reviews by CFD staff, fire union and independent reports on fire operations completed in the last decade, Spieser said.

More staff is needed because new supervisory roles focused on safety and advanced emergency medical services added by Braun (and recommended in the department reviews), have reduced the number of firefighters making daily runs.

Braun is out of town this week and unavailable to provide further comment, Spieser said.

Cincinnati has relied on grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program for the last several years.

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