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How Many Firefighters Does It Take? Cut Plan Aired

Fire Chief Smoky Dyer in first public reaction to proposed $7.5 million in cuts to Kansas City, Mo. Fire Department.

In a graphic verbal portrayal of a fire  scene in the future, a Kansas City  Council committee has heard one view of how proposed budget cuts could affect the Kansas City Fire Department.

It was the first Council public reaction to the city manager’s proposed spending reduction as announced yesterday.

The proposal would cut $7.5 million from the Fire Department and spread it to workers who haven't had pay raises.

Fire Chief Smoky Dyer told the Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee that he equated the suggested reductions to 105 fewer firefighters. And he said it would leave many fire trucks with crews of three instead of four.

Dyer talked of how smaller pumper crews would change the system of how they search for victims in a burning building.

“The national standard says if you do not have some type of positive indicator that there’s a human inside the structure, then the standard is you do not enter the structure, if you have three people on the scene,” he says.

Committee Chairman John Sharp said he’d be hard pressed to support proposed fire department cuts without better data.

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