Thu March 1, 2012
Firefighter, Truck, Station Cuts Described
The guesswork is over. Kansas City’s fire chief has laid out which fire stations would have smaller staffs, fewer fire trucks and which will close as he faces orders to reduce the department budget by $7.6 million for 2013.
Chief Smokey Dyer’s summation was briefly emotional.
By power of his language, Dyer made it clear in City Council Chambers, he was making cuts of firefighters and fire trucks under duress.
With a power point, Dyer described each fire station and what would happen inside it.
Fifteen crews would be cut in many stations, in all parts of the city. Many stations would lose a fire truck or pumper, to be replaced with a hybrid known as a “Quint.”
To save more dollars, Dyer would close the station in the far Southland, near old Richards Gebauer Air Base.
Chief Dyer told of a pact he made with firefighters years ago: If they did the job as he required, he would get them everything they needed to do it. In Dyer’s words--“our personnel, as a department, have provided us everything I have asked them to do. And I have failed them. I’m ready for questions.”
Mayor Sly James asked if there were other options. Dyer said he can only run the fire department as it would be altered, if its mission is changed.
The city budget needs approval this month.