Firefighters take message of discontinued pumper service to neighborhoods

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Fire department response times could increase in certain areas of Kansas City, Mo., that's the word from the firefighters union. Two pumper trucks are set to be taken out of service at the end of June. One of them from a busy station in Midtown.

Thursday evening, firefighters hit the streets in the areas that could be affected by removing pumper 32 from station 19, located at 43rd and Pennsylvania.

They fanned out into the South Plaza, Brookside and Ward Parkway neighborhoods armed with information about what could happened if the city pulls the plug on two fire engines.

"Most people have no idea that there's a change in the status of their public safety," explained Adam James, IAFF Local 42 spokesperson.

The city disagrees. A statement sent to FOX 4 reads in part :

"We have full confidence in the ability of the fire department to carry out its public safety mission and provide full coverage to all neighborhoods while making these adjustments."

The two trucks were funded the last two years by federal grant money, money the department can't get right now because the process is backed up due to the government sequester. Rather than taking the pumpers away, the union is asking for some help.

"We're asking for the city to temporarily take care of the costs of these two pumpers while we wait for opportunity for fire dept to reapply," said James

If the pumpers are taken out of service, no jobs will be lost. Those fire fighters will be reassigned to other stations. If the city doesn't reconsider it's stance, the union is hopeful the city leaves the door open to get them back if grant money is secured.

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