NEWPORT, Ky. (WKRC) – Newport Fire Chief William Darin says the department made nearly 5,000 runs in 2018; that includes fire and medical responses.

Darin says less than 1 percent of those are for big structural fires. Newport Fire Union President Jake Silvati says the department is understaffed.

“We feel that it’s not a matter of if something bad happens, it’s a matter of when something that happens and we’re very concerned about that or concerned about the safety of the citizens and the firefighters,” Silvati said.

Silvati is pushing the city to staff 12 firefighters instead of the 11 it has been running. He says that’s enough to fully staff two fire trucks and two ambulances.

City Manager Tom Fromme says Newport does not have the money for another firefighter and the budget is too tight already. He says the city has gotten rid of more than two dozen positions in various departments since he took over in 2005.

“So, not only have we cut costs as much as we could through extending the life of equipment and sometimes just not even replacing equipment, we’ve also had a reduced employee numbers. Now, myself and the board, where we locked them to lay people off, so we done a lot of that to attrition,” Fromme said.

The city, like a lot of others in the area, relies on mutual aid, which is when other departments help on calls.

“The problem with that is the late response. So, these other fire apparatus are coming from neighboring communities and are not in downtown,” Silvati said.

The budget is not going to get better anytime soon. Fromme says without new businesses, like what’s projected at the Ovation project, the city has no way to generate more money because Kentucky limits how cities can bring in revenue.

“I would say if an office building would file the music venue, the earliest that you would possibly see results from that would probably be three to four years down the road,” Fromme said.

Come join Newport Firefighters help Fill The Boot for MDA! Jerzee’s is offering $9 buckets, $4 Bengal bombs, and they will also donate a percentage of all money spent during the fundraiser to the MDA. There will be split the pot and raffles running throughout the duration of the fundraiser.

Fill the Boot donations benefit MDA’s shared mission to find research breakthroughs across diseases; care for kids and adults from day one; and empower families with services and support in our own hometown. All money raised will help support local families in Northern Kentucky.

Sunday, December 9th

12:00 P.M – 5:00 P.M.

JerZees Pub & Grub

708 Monmouth Street

Newport ,Kentucky 41071

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Help Newport Firefighters share the warmth!

Newport Firefighters is challenging YOU, our surrounding community members to help keep the children warm.  We are looking for NEW coats for children ages 5 to 14. These coats will be distributed to the children in Newport Primary School and Newport Intermediate School on December 1st. Over 50% of the children attending these schools, walk to and from school each day. Local 45 will match the first 50 coats donated to our drop off locations. Please have all coat donations dropped off by November 30th to one of the below locations.

 

NO CHILD SHOULD BE COLD FOR THE WINTER

~GIVE THE GIFT OF WARMTH~

 

Drop off Locations

Newport Fire Department

998 Monmouth Street (10th Street side)

Newport, KY 41071

 

South Newport Fire Department

171 Main Street

Newport, KY 41071

 

WOODEN CASK BREWING COMPANY

629 York Street

Newport, Kentucky 41071