DeKalb CEO: No cuts to fire department

No DeKalb County firefighters will lose their jobs, CEO Burrell Ellis said Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, Fire Chief David Foster told county commissioners that he was worried about losing 64 firefighters because of a proposed cut to his budget.

On Wednesday, the CEO issued a statement saying that the information provided at the budget meeting was incorrect and the fire department budget will not be cut.

According to the statement, the CEO’s proposed budget calls for $58.4 million to be spent on fire services next fiscal year– an increase from the previous $52.9 million budget.

Last year, FEMA awarded DeKalb Fire a grant to fund 64 firefighters for five years. The grant requires the department maintain its staffing and budget level the same as it was in 2008, according to Foster.

According to the CEO's statement, that grant is not in jeopardy.

Reached late Wednesday, DeKalb Fire spokesman Capt. Eric Jackson declined to comment on the budget and said the chief was not available.