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Brownouts to End in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (Brad Underwood) -- The new firefighter recruit class graduation on Friday was one of the biggest steps in ending brownouts in the city of Cincinnati.

Some of the 41 new firefighters started work today, while the rest will start work tomorrow, ultimately reducing the city's brownouts to zero. Brownouts are daily closures of local fire companies that reduce staff to meet the city's budget.

Mayor Cranley said there could be one or two brownouts here and there, but as long as the department maintains overtime levels, there will no longer be brownouts in the city. The new class adds 14 firefighters per shift, according to the report released by Fire Chief Richard Braun.

Brauns report also mentioned that the department applied for a federal grant that would pay for a spring recruit class and recruitment classes in the years to come. If the department receives the grant, overtime could be significantly reduced; the department could run on full strength and save money.

"We are not going to take this opportunity to just settle for three to four brownouts a day, which is what, would happen if we cut off funding. We are going to keep that level of funding, so that the citizens will get the values we believe they voted for in November," Mayor Cranley said in a conference call today.

Cranley believes the city will know in about a month if they got the federal grant. Fire Chief Braun, Mayor Cranley, and members of city council will hold a news conference Monday morning.




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