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Radio traffic: Man trapped in burning car near closed fire station. Brown-out controversy in Lexington, KY.

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In Lexington, Kentucky yesterday afternoon, a 53-year-old man was trapped in a burning car one block from a fire station closed for the day because of budget cuts. Recently the fire chief said the brown-outs will continue to 2014.


On the police radio tape, you hear officers repeatedly telling the dispatcher to tell firefighters to step it up, that the fire was spreading, and it was just too big and difficult to fight with fire extinguishers.

The good Samaritans say the victim was extremely lucky the accident happened near a nursing home that was equipped with plenty of fire extinguishers.  If not, they believe the 53-year-old man would have burned to death because the fire was spreading so quickly before firefighters arrived more than seven minutes later.

Fire Station No. 7, located just a block away, was closed due to city ordered brown-outs.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Former Chief

    The “bean counters” dodge another bullet. I would think that if you feel the need to spend the money to build a fire station, put a fire truck in it and staff it that you may want to try to keep it open. But, that unfortunately isn’t the reality in today’s fire service.

  • dkuhn

    If you want the protection that this unselfish service provides then pay up Lexington. Your true all hazard fire responders give the public the most bang for their buck. No increase in budget then blame the mayor not the fire chief!!
    a few seconds ago · Like..

  • 8truck

    I bet this incdent doesn’t change anything.

  • Fire21

    Well, no life was lost here, so the brown-out worked!! How much does a day’s worth of open fire station cost? Is it worth a person’s life? Maybe next time it’ll be the mayor’s car.

  • Ladder5LFD

    Brownouts have been going on for a year in Lexington and will continue into the next one. The Mayor just patted himself on the back for having a 12 million dollar surplus.He believes by hiring more FFs the issue will be resolved soon even though we will still be understaffed once those recruits come out on line. There have been several incidents of fires located near a browned out station. A man having a heart attack went to a station to get help, the one he went to that was close to his home was browned out that day, he had to wait …. Our Union President makes it a point to inform the community each time this happens and the risk it brings to people. Every incident makes the news but like the previous post, nothing has changed. Our Chief and his administration have been handed this and they are doing the best with the resources they have been allowed to use. The issue goes deeper than this in Lexington though. A recently re-elected councilman stated a few months ago in the news paper that brownouts have stopped a long time ago and that the city / Fire Dept doesn’t even do that anymore.. We have elected officials that still do not understand public safety , what current policies are in effect and how we as a Fire Dept operate. I hope this isn’t the case in your department

  • Ladder5LFD

    just to be as accurate with my post as possible, the amount of surplus is 9 million

    • Sharppointy1

      Holy Sh*t! You’re saying Lexington has a surplus of 9 million dollars and is still browning out stations? What is wrong with this city government?
      It’s too bad you could arrange a silent stand up at each city meeting of all the people who were close alls because of the brownout. But I guess nearly dead isn’t good enough to get fire fighters back on the job…

  • 7House

    It’s not city hall that has anything to do with the brown-outs, it’s the top brass at the FD. Lexington FD isn’t known for great decisions, they still have 3 people assigned to each ambulance & they have 10 of them. Also they run the rescue on EMS runs & the department is top heavy with administration. Considering what other departments in this country are going through, Lexington is doing quite well and needs to stop complaining!

  • FireGears

    A perfect example of why more (all) COP Cars need to be issued 2.5 gallon water cans
    mixed with one of the currently available, high-tech fire extinguishing agents.

    They are often first on-scene at burning vehicles, sometimes with entrapment.
    There are several cases of COPS with these types of Fire Extinguishers
    saving lives and/or stopping the spread of vehicle fires into the wildland.

    I personally carry them in my vehicles (with anti-freeze protection)
    and have given them as gifts.

    There are several brands of very high-tech fire extinguishing additives
    which are far more effective than Class-A/B foam
    and that are vastly easier on the environment.

    Through my research I’ve developed a trust for several brands of fire extinguishing additives.
    Unfortunately, my dear (but less educated) friends who also post on this blog have
    suggested that I refrain from “naming-names”.

    Therefore, I’ll encourage you to complete your own research.

    Be Safe and Work Smart

  • commenter

    3 man trucks? 3 man Engines? 3 man Medics?

    Sounds like a job for quints. Really. Lex FD website sucks, but it looks like 23 engines, 7 ladders, 10 ambulances, 5 ‘majors’, 1 B/C.

    Take the staffing from the 7 ladders (21) and two of the ‘majors’ (2) and now you have 23 four-man quints. Real staffing. Take the 30 firefighters on ambulances and put them on 15 ambulances. Keep all the firehouses open. Roll the ambulances and medic units on EMS calls, roll 4-6 quints on a fire.

    Believe it or not, quints aren’t the end of the world. Better a 4 man quint than 3 man anything.

  • Aardvark

    The reality is that people don’t care about Fire, Police, or EMS until it directly affects them…….

  • r.gledhill

    it has become clear that money overrides peoples lives at every turn.
    just shows how far down the drain we have gone.
    r. gledhill