(Mt. Adams) -- After a six month training course, the Cincinnati Fire Department has 38 new members. They were honored, Friday morning, at a ceremony at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Family members, or friends "pinned" the members of the 111th Fire Academy, pinning their badges to their dress jackets.
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While some are scheduled to work Sunday, and Monday, their future is anything but certain. Since they're the last hired, they could be the first fired, if the City goes ahead with layoffs, some say are necessary to balance the budget by July 1st.
The Mayor blames opponents of a deal to lease the City's parking facilities. He says if not for their challenge, the City would not only avoid layoffs, but would also be creating jobs through a couple of big economic development projects, including a Downtown residential tower, and a new Interstate interchange at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and I-71.
Mayor Mark Mallory says the City's budget problem could be solved, and layoffs avoided if they were allowed to lease their parking facilities. That may depend on how many petition signatures opponents collect in the next few days. Mallory says a signature on the petition is as good as a signature on a pink slip for a firefighter or police officer.
Chief Richard Braun says the rookies come on board at a historic time. Cincinnati was the first city to have a full-time, professional fire department, and the first with a professional baseball team. Monday, April 1st, marks the 160th anniversary of the Cincinnati Fire Department. And it's the Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds 2013 season.