Budget Battle

By: Jennifer Bocchieri
By: Jennifer Bocchieri

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It appears Wichita firefighters won't get the extra help they'd been hoping for.

The proposed budget does not provide funding for 27 new firefighters. There are no direct cuts to the fire department in the proposed budget. But the fire chief is still calling it a loss.

Even a small fire can stretch the resources of the Wichita Fire Department. 27 new firefighters would be a big help, according to Fire Chief Larry Garcia.

Garcia says, "It would have given us an edge we don't currently enjoy."

10 of those firefighters would have gone to aerial companies. 17 extra firefighters would staff one of two new stations the city was looking to build to cover the far reaches of the city. Overall, it would spread resources and allow for a quicker response.

Chief Garcia stresses that response times now are good, they would only get better with more people.

The city council will finalize the budget by Aug.12.

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