KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the second year in a row, the Kansas City Fire Department reported paying $16 million in overtime.
The 2018 overtime cost was the same amount as it was in 2017, when Kansas City leaders expressed outrage and demanded change to reduce overtime expenses in the fire department.
Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner on Tuesday said that the KCFD overtime budget has been dramatically escalating. A few years ago, it was $5 million, Wagner said. It escalated to $16 million in 2017 and remained at the same level in 2018.
"We have been working with the fire department to make a plan to reduce overtime expenses. It will likely be a few months before we find out if the plan is working," Wagner said.
While Kansas City is forced to pay overtime to firefighters, Wagner said that other needs in the city will not be met as a result.
Scheduling requirements and sick leave are some of the many factors that contribute to high overtime costs within the Kansas City Fire Department.