City of Derby expects to hire more firefighters

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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DERBY, Kan.-- The 2015 recommended budget for the City of Derby includes the addition of six new firefighters.

"Six firefighters may sound like a lot but when you consider this is a three shift operation, 24-7, that's only one new person at each station at any given point in time," said Kathy Sexton, Derby City Manager.

Derby's fire chief recommended adding six firefighters to his department. He said that since 2008, there has been a 34% increase in calls.

"Most of that increase are medical first response that we run with Sedgwick County EMS, but we've seen a lot of extra responsibility for our department above the growth of our extra personnel we've put on since then," said Fire Chief Brad Smith.

Smith said that staff has grown from nine full-time personnel in 2005 to 17 full-time personnel in 2014.

Last year, Derby residents voted yes to a 10-year, half-cent sales tax to fund the several city services.

"The people in Derby told us loud and clear in October last year when they went to the ballot box," said Sexton. "They said, we indeed want to tax ourselves a sales tax, half cent, for parks and for firefighters and for the library."

If the recommended budget is approved, the six firefighters will be hired in March 2015.

The Derby City Council will adopt the budget on August 12. Citizen comments on the budget will be held at City Hall on July 22.

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