Richmond Considering Fire Dept Cuts

Richmond Considering Fire Dept Cuts

Richmond city leaders are considering cutting fire department personnel to balance the budget.
The Richmond Fire Department is a half-million dollars over budget and may soon see a cut in the number of fire stations in town.

Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes says the city commission will have few other options other than cutting the number of stations.

The city recently paid the fire department 640-thousand dollars in a lawsuit over unpaid overtime.

Mayor Barnes says the suit, along with the added expenses of extra fire engines and staff has caused the department's to become one of the highest in the state for a second-class city according to the Kentucky League of Cities.

Richmond Fire Fighters Union President Dave Bletscher says the department is already working below the national average for fire fighters per engine. He says the numbers Mayor Barnes is referring to are a year old and don't take into account recent retirements and other loss of personnel.

The Richmond City Commission is expected to decide on cuts to the fire department's budget at their April commission meeting.


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