Local/Regional News
9:39 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Brownouts At Lexington Fire Stations Becoming An Issue

LEXINGTON, Ky. --  Some Lexington fire stations have been temporarily taken out of service because of a budget shortfall, creating periods of brownouts that firefighters call a major safety issue.

The city began idling trucks this year to deal with shortages of money and staffing. The move drew criticism from the union representing most firefighters.

International Association of Fire Fighters Local 526 President Chris Bartley says responses are being delayed because the nearest firehouse to an emergency is unstaffed.

City spokeswoman Susan Straub told the Lexington Herald-Leader that "we don't like the situation" and are trying to resolve it.

Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason hopes to hire a new training class of new firefighters by May to eliminate staffing shortfalls caused when 40 of the city's 520 firefighters retired in January.