Firefighters Stretched Thin At Walt Disney World

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Firefighters Stretched Thin At Walt Disney World

An article on The Laughing Place brought what could be a serious concern to attention this week, and that's that reports are saying the Emergency Response Teams at Walt Disney World are stretched to their limits by recent expansion projects. Tim Stromsnes, president of the Reedy Creek Firefighters Association, among other things told the Orlando Sentinel that Reedy Creek Fire Department made a budget request this year for 40 new positions but only two were added and both were administrative positions. Disney accused Stromsnes of trying to influence contract negotiations through the media. The article also notes that there are at least 32 firefighters on duty at all times.

However, doing more with less is not a new concept in American corporations, and can be the recipe for disaster, especially where emergency services are considered. The security staff is presence at Disney has visually increased, and I think everyone is pleased that guest safety is on the mind of those in charge. Stopping a crisis before it happens is always the main goal - but it is the crisis that isn't planned for where you need to have a strong and vast response in such a massive soft target such as Walt Disney World. Are 32 firefighters spread across 43 square miles, 7 "park" areas (MK, AK, DHS, Epcot, DS, TL, BB), and upwards of 20 resorts, enough if things hit the fan?

I'm no expert in emergency services, but as a guest who is always aware of the potential for things to go wrong (and we hear about it much more than we used to) I feel like if Reedy Creek wants 40 new bodies, they should get them. And as a shareholder would be happy for that added protection to my investment.

What are your thoughts?

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My short answer is there's a whole heck of a lot more crazy out there these days, increased traffic throughout Disney, and more lands now and coming soon. So yeah, I see a problem and a concern.

Mandy's picture
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I hope that Disney eventually changes their mind and adds the new 40 positions. Unfortunately, it might take something going horribly wrong for Disney to change their mind. Disney mostly only makes changes to safety, when an accident happens.

Kristen K.'s picture
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Mandy wrote:
Disney mostly only makes changes to safety, when an accident happens.

That is an unfortunate management style.

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