City Manager Pushes to Eliminate 105 Fire Dept. Positions in KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Missouri City Manager Troy Schulte said cuts are coming and that the Kansas City Fire Department will take the brunt of them.

For the first time on Thursday Shulte spoke to City Council, outlining the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. He said city-wide, 162 filled and vacant positions will be eliminated -- 105 of them are expected to be from the fire department.

Shulte said he and Kansas City Fire Chief Richard "Smokey" Dyer have been working together to come to a consensus about which positions the fire department would have to cut.

The fire department has raised concerns that Shulte's proposal will leave them in violation of national fire safety standards. Chief Dyer said he has come up with an alternative plan which he will reveal at next Thursday's budget hearing, however, cuts will inevitably be made.

Shulte said recently hired fire department employees will be at risk, but they hope to avoid those cuts because the most recently hired employees have been trained in fire and EMS.

"Depending on how many people we can get that will go through a voluntary retirement incentive or separation program, the default would be those folks that are the last in, first out," said Shulte.

The spokesperson for the fire department said Chief Dyer has no comment on the budget or personnel at this time. The fire department is scheduled to speak at next Thursday's budget hearing at 11:45 a.m.

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