Disney Low On Firetrucks, Response Times Now Dangerously Slow

in Walt Disney World

Reedy Creek Fire Dept. truck in front EPCOT's Spaceship Earth at Disney World

Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

According to local professionals, Disney’s special district may not be able to respond fast enough to medical emergencies.

Reedy Creek
Credit: Reedy Creek

As reported by wesh.com,  the Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters Union is now saying that due to a lack of upkeep on their firetrucks, they are now forced to responde to emergencies using SUVs. These issues are not just cosmetuc however, as using different vehicles is slowing down their response times.

“On a normal day, we would have four fire engines and eight ambulances running all of the calls that serve the entire Disney property. Right now, we have only two of our fire engines actually in service, one tower truck, and then we have another crew that’s running out of our heavy rescue which does not have firefighting equipment on there,” Jon Shirey, president of the Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters Union, said.

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department Website

Related: Guests Rescued From Broken Disney Ride as Fireworks Blast Off

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.

Videos shared by Shirey show how the units are breaking down. One video in particular depicts the gauge shifting into drive but the vehicle fails to move.

Reedy Creek
Credit: Reedy Creek

“We’ve had multiple situations because of how poorly maintained our fleet of vehicles is, where an ambulance will break down en route to critical calls. We had a cardiac arrest call where the responding rescue broke down and then we had to send a separate rescue to go in and fill in for him. We had an incident where one of our own firefighters got injured on the job and had to be transported and the vehicle broke down en route to the hospital with him in it, so it’s a major safety concern for us,” Shirey said.

Shirley also said that he brought his concerns to the Reedy Creek higher-ups but has not gotten a response.

Governor Ron DeSantis
(David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

This issue is especially concerning considering Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was previously aiming to take down Disney’s Reedy Creek entirely. Now, the plan seems to be to take control over the district from Disney.

“I’d much rather have the state leading that effort than potentially having local government [in charge]. … I’m worried that they [local officials] would use that as a pretext to raise taxes on people when that’s what they would want to do anyways and then try to blame Reedy Creek. So we’re not going to give them that opportunity,” said Gov. DeSantis earlier this year.

What do you think about Disney’s Reedy Creek District?

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