This year proved that our Lee’s Summit Fire Department personnel can adapt as we focused on returning to our new normal. While doing so, we also looked to continually improve, create and implement plans to keep us strategically moving forward. I am very proud that while we were adapting, focusing on improvement, creating and implementing plans, our personnel never lost sight of ensuring that we met our community’s expectations of providing a premier service in all facets of the organization.

Adapting to the new normal saw us bring back several items that were lost during the multi-year response to the COVID pandemic. Personnel continued to increase their training hours with multi-company training evolutions and minimum company standards. In addition to regular training evolutions, personnel began to refamiliarize themselves with local businesses as annual business life safety inspections returned for our companies.

In 2022, we were able to implement twelve expansion positions approved as part of the 2022 budget. The continued restructuring of command staff occurred with the deputy chief of administration and deputy chief of operations beginning in early January. These positions were created to provide a better span of control for the organization to ensure we were providing the necessary resources throughout our department. The deputy chief of administration had the responsibilities of the Prevention Division, EMS/Training Division, Support Services Division, and budget administration. The deputy chief of operations had the assignment of all operations chiefs and the Communications Division, allowing the focus for this position to be on creating and maintaining consistency across our three shifts.

While we were able to make great strides in adding personnel and planning for future expansions we also focused on adapting to an ever-changing vehicle acquisition process for all types of response vehicles. We have seen this process change drastically and prices rising at a rate never seen before. In anticipation of this continuing, the department recommended and received approval to enter into a lease-purchase agreement to acquire nine pumpers with Pierce Manufacturing. This is an increase in our fleet of two pumpers. The anticipated delivery is late 2024/early 2025 and not only will prove to provide the City with great cost savings over the next several years but will also provide a consistent fleet of pumpers throughout our system, easing the burden of our personnel to learn only one design versus several, ultimately decreasing the training hours needed to onboard new employees and create greater efficiencies when training new engineers.

One final enhancement accomplished this year focuses on employee health. The City and IAFF agreed as part of the most recently approved contract to become members of the newly established Missouri Firefighter Critical Illness Pool. Becoming a member of this pool establishes our commitment to ensuring we are following the most current recommendations to prevent cancer for our personnel. In addition to ensuring we are following best practices, it also ensures any firefighter with greater than five years of service will be supported in the event they ever receive a diagnosis of cancer directly linked to the fire service.

As you can see we made great progress in 2022, but I am even more excited about continuing this progress into 2023 as we will focus on updating our five-year strategic plan in early 2023 and implementing the expansion positions recommended as part of the public safety sales tax. I know we cannot accomplish these and future goals without the support of all of our personnel, city staff, elected officials and our community.

I profoundly appreciate serving as your fire chief!

Chief Mike Snider



In April of 2022, our community’s continued support was again loudly shown with the approval of a half-cent public safety sales tax (PSST) projected to provide $10 million plus annually to support the Fire and Police Departments. The passage of this tax had an immediate impact on our personnel as it allocated resources to improve the compensation package that focused on the attraction and retention of high-quality employees. The approval of this funding source also allowed the department to begin planning its first expansion of service in many years. Planned expansions in early 2023 include bringing on nine personnel to staff our seventh ambulance and three to create our first 24-hour fire prevention positions. Mid-2023 expansions due to the PSST were also put in motion with the anticipation of adding twelve personnel to enhance our fire response capabilities with our first expanded fire apparatus since 2007. This expansion will place a ladder truck in service in one of our current stations, also being the first dual company station in the history of the City.

The Department also continued to move forward with enhancing our facilities for our staff while focusing on the health of our personnel and planning for future response needs. As approved in the 2019 No Tax Increase Bond Issue, the City purchased land replacement for fire stations 4 and 5. Relocating station 4 farther north will address known response gaps in the area, while also planning for a potential future expansion station near the municipal airport. Fire station 5’s relocation will also address known response gaps to the most southern portion of our city, while aligning with long term planning of a fire station in the 291-south corridor. While these stations assist with current and future response needs, the focus of the labor/management group on their overall design allows the city to meet the individual needs of our personnel while focusing on their long-term health.

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