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Firefighters in for a long, but hopefully uneventful, July 4th shift

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Firefighters all over Kansas City got ready Friday morning for the inevitable increase in calls that comes every Independence Day.

“Today we’re just expecting a higher call volume. It can be up to 25 percent higher than your typical day. We’ll expect it to pick up and get busier and we’ll stay busy throughout the night,” Battalion Chief Ross Grundyson with District 102 said.

“We’ll see firework injuries more than likely, we’ll see car accidents. A lot of people will be out celebrating, and that can bring with it you know, the type of activities that generate calls for us," he said.

FOX 4's Megan Dillard spent the holiday with Kansas City firefighters as they prepared to tackle the calls.  The crew at Station Eight started the day with breakfast; a critical part of getting enough energy to make it through the 24-hour July 4 shift.

Chief Grundyson stopped in at other stations in the area, checking in with other firefighters, and planning around the events in his district. There are more than 30 fire stations across the city.

“The only thing really going on in our district is the Riverfest that’s going on.”

The crew also responded to a "smoke-in-a-building" call in the 2300 block of Walrond Avenue  just after noon.

“What we had there was a small just insignificant paper fire, but it caused some smoke in the building and caused some concern until we knew exactly it was,” Chief Grundyson said.

Grundyson’s rounds continued as he made his way down to where Friday’s Riverfest July 4 celebration will take place.

“We’re going to drive by now and just see what the access is in and out of there. For us it’s about evaluating what’s going on, what events are going on in our particular district, and where the population is going to be congregating and just being aware what’s going on.”

The chief told us crowds at that event are expected to top 40,000 people.

With that many people, firefighters hope people will follow these standards: “Drink responsibly. Enjoy yourself. Use good judgment. Abide by the rules that we have in Kansas City as far as fireworks are concerned. Just be safe and enjoy the holiday.”



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