KCFD to shut down two fire companies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Fire Department pumper trucks are set to shut down in June and the Firefighters’ Union says the decision will put lives in danger.

As a mother, Plaza resident Katie Hall wants the best for her two daughters and her neighborhood, including a quick response from firefighters.

"If there's ever an emergency, we hope that they'll be able to get here as quick as possible to make sure we were all safe," Hall said.

But come the end of June, that might not happen.

"There's no more fat to burn, we're burning muscle now once we close this company down," Michael Cambiano said, the president of Local 42.

For the past two years,  the city has used a federal grant to keep the pumper truck 32 company at station house 19 in Westport in service as well as the only fire truck for station one in south Kansas City.

But the money is running out.

"They had plenty of time to plan for this. We think there will be full coverage," city spokesman Chris Hernandez said.

Kansas City says Local 42 agreed to shut down both companies during their last collective bargaining agreement and the federal grant isn't an option anymore.

"Going forward, grants will only be used for infrastructure and equipment and technology, not for personnel because you can't depend on that for a funding stream," Hernandez said.

The Grandview Fire Department will respond to calls instead of station one and other pumpers in the city will have to cover for pumper 32.

The union said this is a big concern.

"To see the city spend money the way they're spending it and not make this a priority is a big cause for concern," Cambiano said.

Firefighters currently assigned to both companies will be reassigned.

The union urges residents to voice their concerns with their councilperson. The shutdown happens on June 30.

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