I hope Deb Hermann and the rest of the City Council realize they are playing with fire (no pun intended) by wanting to close three fire stations to balance the budget (3/18, A-1, “Third budget in the mix”). Time is the most important element in the event of any emergency, heart attack, auto accident or fire. Lives are saved in a matter of seconds.
The National Institute of Standards and Technologies building research laboratory report, taken from large-scale tests, shows how fast fires grow in furnished rooms from ignition to flashover — when all combustibles in a room burst into flames and the fire spreads rapidly. For example, a dry Christmas tree in a room will flash over in 45 seconds, an upholstered sofa in four minutes, and a wastebasket in an office in five minutes. That is why fire stations are strategically located.
Surely the Council is aware of the severity of these decisions.
While reading assurances that Kansas City’s budget proposal would not reduce the number of our police officers, to whom do we go for assurance that a number of those officers will not be moved from the streets to desk jobs to cover for the dismissed civilians?
Not until we have been assured of our basic services can we responsibly consider the optional services, about which so many seem unrealistically concerned.