'Brownouts' In The Past For Lexington Fire Dept.

'Brownouts' In The Past For Lexington Fire Dept.

Now that fire stations in Lexington aren't being closed for a day due to money and staffing problems, ABC 36 News checked on the current firefighter numbers in the city.
You used to hear the word 'Brownout' in Lexington.  Not any more.

Due to budget and staffing issues, the Lexington Fire Department used to have to close fire stations for a day or two in order to save money.

But, that hasn't happened in more than a year.

ABC 36 News checked on the current staffing levels in the Lexington Fire Department on Friday and found that the levels had stabilized.

During the brownouts in 2013, the city had 480 firefighters, which put the department at 1996 levels.

The department needs 560 firefighters to be considered fully staffed.

Right now, the department has about 530 working firefighters.

"One year ago we were beginning to use a big boost of overtime money to eliminate brownouts.  Since then, we trained and graduated two recruit classes, about 60-people, which beefed up our numbers," said Assistant Fire Chief Harold Hoskins.

A recruit class of 30-to-35 firefighter hopefuls is scheduled to begin training in June.

Brownouts became a contentious issue in the last Mayoral race between then-incumbent Jim Newberry and Jim Gray.

As Gray runs for re-election now, it appears to be one less issue he'll have to deal with in his bid for another term.
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