Dyer’s Retirement Leads KCFD Shake-Up

Kansas City Fire Chief Smokey Dyer’s retirement had been expected. The rest of it is a jolt.
Dyer announced retirement after news reports forced the story put.
But then he announced 29 other managers, supervisors and one Deputy Chief were also taking early retirement
“As of July 31st, the Kansas City Fire Department will lose a thousand years of experience.”
Dyer says the trigger was the $7.6 million in budget cuts approved by the City Council in the spring.
The key to implementing a cut of that size would have been laying off 105 firefighters.
At the time, Dyer seemed unusually quiet about the impact of that on his fire fighting force.
Eventually, the City and the firefighters local, IAFF local 42 reached a deal on how to adjust to the cuts.
Dyer suggested the early retirement of that much brass will help absorb the budget cut.
Wednesday Dyer said, in the long run, the Fire Dept. will adjust to the loss of institutional memory. But not in the short run.
“Losing a thousand years of experience, because a lot of what we do, in our various missions, are based on the experiences we have.” He added, ” you can’t lose without it having a significant impact.”
Dyer expects City Manager Troy Shulte to appoint an interim chief. He hopes the next permanent Chief comes from within the department.
Under his watch, the KCFD evolved from a firefighting force to an emergency response department.
The KCFD firefighters union forced a merger with the MAST ambulance service. Dyer now says it’s one of the best forces of that kind in America.
Dyer also thinks one his top achievement is making labor peace with the firefighters’ union. “The conflict between City Hall and
Local 42 was really nit productive. We were spending a lot of time infighting within the fire department.” Sent from my iPhone


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