Morehead Fire Department now has paid full-time firefighters

Morehead firefighters full time pay
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 6:19 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There’s just a little bit more firepower now at the Morehead Fire Department after city officials decided for the first time in program history, they’re adding full-time paid positions to the roster.

“They’re excited and they’re young and energized and I think we really have a great team that are going to be these first people building these stepping stones,” Morehead Mayor Laura White Brown said.

The mayor said she grew up around volunteer firefighters but said it was high time the city embraced some change.

“Morehead was actually the only city that had a major university and a major hospital that did not have a paid fire department,” Mayor White Brown said.

Back in April, a huge fire broke out a sawmill at a family business. Crews spent 10 hours putting out the flames. It’s calls like that, that highlight the need.

Fire Chief Jeff Anderson has been at his post for 13 years. He said it’s been hard to retain firefighters when they lose them to bigger agencies who can offer a salary. Now, he’s looking forward to having an engine enroute to every call, within 90 seconds.

“To have that quick response to serve the community is a big deal,” Anderson said.

For more than 100 years, the department was operated by volunteers. Two years ago, they added some part time positions. Now, they’ll be able to keep the firehouse staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter when the phone rings, they’ll be there.

“Hopefully we can keep some of the young ones here and that will mean a lot to us. These guys are excited to be here,” Anderson said.

City council swore in the officers at their meeting Monday night. They previously approved a half-a-million-dollar budget increase for the department, which will help pay for the salaries of six full-time firefighters. The mayor said down the line, they will also need to build a new station, which is a part of their long-term goals.