KCK taxpayers urged to purchase new equipment and upgrade fire stations

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A review of fire and emergency medical services in Wyandotte County recommends that taxpayers buy new equipment and upgrade fire stations.

A consultant says fire and EMS coverage is too light in western Wyandotte County and may be too heavy in the east.

As a result, the report recommends building new fire stations out west where the growth is, closing some in older areas, while remodeling and upgrading others.

The fire chief says aging apparatus also needs to be replaced on a 10-year schedule so rescue crews can do their jobs. And the report recommends staffing changes so that each pumper carries at least four firefighters.

“Whether you look at it as we’re concentrated here and sparse out west doesn’t necessarily mean there’s too much on the eastern end of town,” said John Paul Jones, KCK Fire Chief.  “But in order to achieve what we need to achieve, what we are going to look at is whether or not there’s gong to be consolidation or redeployment of assets to achieve a goal of coverage throughout the entire city.”

The Unified Government will begin some strategic planning to implement the recommendations. This may be spread out over years. But Mayor Mark Holland says KCK will not skimp when it comes to public safety.

Jones does not want changes to water down what citizens already rank as the best municipal service. The chief says adequate is not good enough, he wants to maintain excellence here.

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