First off, let me start with expressing how much my family loves the community of Lee’s Summit! When I chose to marry a Lee’s Summit Fire Fighter and move from Olathe, I was in no way prepared for the hospitality and beauty that awaited me here and after living in this community for almost 3yrs, I feel the same!
The shadow that is darkening my new home however, needs to be a concern for all of us in this community.
My husband is an employee of the LSFD and has been serving and keeping Lee’s Summit safe for over 15yrs. He loves this city! I know this because I see his sadness and exhaustion when he comes home after pulling a teenagers body from a totaled car, a burned body from one of our neighborhood homes… he works overtime to the tune of 59 hrs when the community is suffering the blows of a huge snowstorm that has wiped out power and made the roads impassable.
He’s also known to clean the gutters and chop up limbs for the older neighbors around us, and can be seen going up and down the street with a shovel, making sure everyone has a clear and safe path out of their homes when off duty!
But what I am most proud of is his service in the Honor Guard. He represents our fair city at funerals, sporting events and parades all over KS and MO. For the past several years he has had the esteemed pleasure of representing our FD at the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in DC, where he always signs up for extra duties like setting up/tearing down; guarding the families of the fallen and even handing the flags to the spouses/family members who have lost their lives protecting their own communities around the United States.
So how does this apply to the shadow I previously mentioned? If you aren’t already aware, the Police and Fire Departments are embroiled in wage dispute. We were hoping with new leadership, our men and women guarding LS, would finally see fair pay and benefits but after several negotiations that has yet to happen.
Lee’s Summit is paying far below the pay for comparable surrounding cities and even smaller cities with lower taxes! We are losing our uniformed officers to cities like Belton, Independence, and Olathe because those cities are willing to raise pay based on the current cost of living. It has come to my attention that the Police officers in LS haven’t been given a raise in at least 7 yrs and we all know the cost of living in Lee’s Summit has definitely changed during that time along with the cost of healthcare for their families!
How does this impact you?
Well Lee’s Summit is getting ready to expand again and with pitiful salaries we are desperately low in police officers and fire fighters… this increases their response time, decreases their ability to serve you, effects how long it will take a 911 call to reach its desired destination….
Firefighters in Lee’s Summit aren’t just responding to fires, they are also running calls as paramedics, coming to assist domestic violence, suicide, attempted suicides, stroke, and heart attack calls which require very short response times! Every minute can mean the difference between life and death.
What I’m hoping this will encourage you do to is call City Management and demand to know where your tax dollars are going! Please show up to City Council meeting and make your voice heard! We as a community deserve better than this and our First Responders need to know we all care!
Fire Fighters wife and resident of Lee’s Summit