Call-offs have been up 78 percent for the Youngstown Fire Department, which has burned through its $110,000 non-holiday overtime budget. Now the city plans to brown out stations.
Jun 3rd, 2020
Youngstown, OH, Fire Department
Because of exhausting its overtime budget, an Ohio city has plans to brown out fire stations. In the first five months of the year, the Youngstown Fire Department spent $116,000 on non-holiday overtime, WFMJ-TV reports. The overtime budget is $110,000. So far, call-offs are up 78 percent in 2020. The number of calls, however, have been down 14 percent.
“If you go back and look in the details, you are going to see instead of just seeing firefighters calling off, the more senior firefighters who are our captains, our lieutenants, even our battalion chiefs who are choosing, for unforeseen reasons, to call the department during their scheduled day to work and are calling off,” Youngstown Finance Director Kyle Miasek said during a city council finance committee Monday, according to WFMJ.
Fire Chief Barry Finley, as well as Mayor Tito Brown, agree that browning out stations is the only option left to the city. In the past, however, the firefighters union has said station brown outs would be a risk to public safety. The first station brown out was Wednesday, according to an online update by the department. “I surely can’t take any more out of the budget I have. This is just something I got to do, and the sooner that we do it, the better to save money,” Finley told the committee, according to WFMJ.