Gov. DeSantis’s War on Disney Puts People in Danger Says Fire Chief

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While the battle currently going on between Disney and the sunshine state has been waging for weeks, it just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Credit: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Related: Gov. DeSantis Expected To Establish New District To Replace Disney’s Reedy Creek

According to The Orlando SentinelGov. Ron DeSantis’ current war with Disney may cause problems for citizens of the state of Florida. The Reedy Creek Improvement District is hiring more first responders after the firefighters who serve Walt Disney World property complained of a staffing shortage, but now, the union’s president claims that a policy enacted last month could make Disney visitors and staff wait longer for help.

According to an internal email shared by union chief Jon Shirey, the fire chief ordered the local department to no longer request assistance from neighboring fire departments for non-emergency transports. These also bar medical calls and supplement responses to calls such as structure fires.

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department Website

This is just the latest aspect of government that may be affected if Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District is dissolved as is the plan spearheaded by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Reedy Creek Improvement Act essentially allows Walt Disney World to reside in Florida unregulated, acting as its own “government” in a way. The act involved creating a special taxing district that acts with the same authority as a county government. The legislation made the claim that landowners within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, primarily Walt Disney World, could be allowed to be solely responsible for paying the cost of providing typical municipal services like power, water, roads, fire protection etc. Local taxpayers, meaning residents of Orange and Osceola County, would not have to pay for building or maintaining those services.

disney world gate
Credit: Disney

Related: NEW ‘The Lion King’-Themed Show Coming Soon to Disneyland

The last few months have been an incredibly tumultuous time for The Walt Disney Company. As soon as word got out that the company had actually backhandedly supported Florida’s controversial Parental Rights law, fans, employees, and leaders were stunned. This resulted in the company backtracking with CEO Bob Chapek even pledging millions of dollars toward the Human Rights Campaign.

This firm stance against the new bill caused friction between the company and the state of Florida, with Gov. Ron DeSantis continuing to escalate the battle with incendiary words and potential actions. In recent weeks, Gov. DeSantis heightened the stakes, publicly announcing he was considering terminating the special treatment Disney has been receiving due to the state’s Reedy Creek Improvement act.

This bill to dissolve the district has passed both Florida’s Senate and House of Representatives but recently, some concerned taxpayers have now possibly put a halt to this tense feud. As shared by The Hollywood Reportertaxpayers are now suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his recent actions against Disney and its Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Expedition Everest ride vehicle ascending
Credit: Disney

Related: Remnants of Extinct Disney Attraction Still Lie in Magic Kingdom

The Reedy Creek Firefighters Association filed an official grievance on April 28, claiming that the policy change violates its standing contract with the district. This new policy could delay critical care, and firefighters are already seeing its effects, Shirey said.

In emergency cases, the Reedy Creek Fire Department can still request assistance from the Orange and Osceola County Fire Rescues, but the staff who take all the calls have to notify their commanders of the request, which significantly slows the process down and in an emergency situation, time is the most valuable currency.

disney world cinderella castle wedding aisle evening
Credit: Disney

Incidents that begin as non-emergencies can worsen rapidly, especially with children Shirley added.

“It’s just going to lead to bad outcomes,” he said. “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ — it’s just ‘when. We take it very personally, and if somebody were to have a bad outcome from something that’s wholly preventable, it’s going to be hard for us,” he said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is full steam ahead when it comes to the dissolution of Disney’s Reedy Creek but he has been faced with quite a few obstacles. The most recent issue involved concerned taxpayers actually suing him for these rather bold actions. As of now, the future is quite uncertain when it comes to the relationship Disney has with Florida.

What do you think about this Reedy Creek news?

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At Magic Kingdom there is so much to see and do! Cinderella Castle is decked out for the 50th anniversary and soon Festival of Fantasy and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will return. You can ride the three big mountains: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain, or calm things down on Peter Pan’s Flight. Rope drop the Park to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then enjoy a mid-day snack with some Dole Whip. Be sure to meet Mickey Mouse and enjoy the firework show, Disney Enchantment! 

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