Changes in KCFD’s coverage in the Northland drawing concern among residents

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Missouri Fire Department will soon open its newest firehouse to serve a growing part of the Northland.

But at the same time, another Northland fire station will lose its crew.

Chris Spears enjoys walking his Yorkie, Louis, through his Northland neighborhood. He and his wife have always been appreciative of a vital community resource right around the corner: KCFD Station 40.

“If we ever did have a problem, someone would be here quick,” Spears said.

But KCFD said Station 40 is in dire need of major repairs.

“We’ve had some serious concerns with the health and safety of members in the fire department working from Station 40 because there are some issues there with the facility,” KCFD Deputy Chief Jimmy Walker said.

At the same time, the city is building station No. 15 at Interstate 435 and Cookingham Drive, which will help better serve a growing area.

KCFD decided while it figures out what Station 40’s long-term future is, all staff there — except for one ambulance — will be leaving.

“We can take that crew, move them over to the new fire station and assess whether we want to remodel or replace Station 40,” Walker said.

But Station 40 and new Station 15 are 10 miles apart. And people living near Station 40 are about 4 miles from the next closest firehouse.

“I don’t feel good about it for sure, and honestly, I didn’t realize that was happening,” Spears said. “It’s something to think about, but hopefully Kansas City has a good plan to fill the gap.”

KCFD said it’s hoping a new fire station might be in an even better location to serve high-call areas in the Northland.

In the meantime, it’s working on a new aid agreement with neighboring Gladstone Fire Department

“Our number one goal is life and safety of citizens of Kansas City. So we’re always evaluating checking needs for our members as well as the citizens and trying to do what’s right with budget,” Walker said.

KCFD said it’s also working on grants to fund future staffing needs. The new fire station along I-435 opens Sept. 17.

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