The mayor of Cincinnati has declared a state of emergency due to an increase of COVID-19 cases that has led to staffing shortages in the city’s fire department.
“Due to the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases during this holiday season, I am declaring a state of emergency in Cincinnati to help ensure that the City can provide sufficient fire services. The rise in cases has created staffing challenges for the fire department; however, public safety and the delivery of basic services remain our top priority. Having spoken with Chief Washington yesterday and with his request for this declaration, he will be able to take all necessary steps to ensure full quality fire service in the coming weeks. I have briefed Mayor-Elect Pureval, and he recommended that the order follow the customary duration, 60 days, which will extend into his term. I continue to urge everyone to exercise caution this holiday season. Please get vaccinated and continue to practice COVID-19 safety protocols.”John Cranley- Mayor of Cincinnati
“There are 27 firefighters out with Covid-19 right now and an additional 20 who are out sick. There are 774 firefighters total on staff,” said spokesperson Yasmin Chilton to CNN
News outlets report that if the state of emergency wasn’t declared the staffing shortage would impact the department’s ability to respond to emergencies, according to the mayor.
The declaration will allow the city manager to take action to make sure staffing levels are sufficient including suspending and rules or policies.
The order will be in effect for 60 days unless withdrawn or suspended beforehand.