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Union: More than a dozen Kennedy Space Center firefighters to lose jobs

NASA officials say Fire Station 3 has not responded to a fire call in five years, and the other two stations handle 90% of responses


NASA firefighters drive on the road outside the fence near a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the company’s Crew Dragon capsule attached, sits on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

By FireRescue1 Staff

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Kennedy Space Center is slated to close one of its three fire stations at the end of September, forcing between 12 and 20 firefighters out of a job, Spectrum News 13 reported.

Fire Station 3, which is the closest to the Artemis I launch pad, is set to close at the end of the month, as NASA officials say the other two stations handle 90% of emergency calls.

Though Station 3 has not responded to a fire call in the past five years, shutting down a station just as activity at the Kennedy Space Center is a confusing decision, according to Local 525 Union President Kevin Smith.

“There has never been more activity on both Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral Air Station … eliminating these jobs just makes no sense,” he said.

Smith was told more than a dozen firefighters will lose their jobs with the station closure.

“We don’t know if the ones at Station 3 necessarily are the ones that will lose their job,” he said. “It’s just the numbers, so once that closes, there will be some seniority that those guys will filter back in and knock out the young guns.”

According to Spectrum News 13, “The three fire stations do not have a traditional response program for structural fires like departments that respond to residential neighborhoods. However, they cover a wide area that includes Playalinda Beach and federal wildlife areas.”

NASA said it has the capacity to handle the remaining calls assigned to Fire Station 3 and that no federal positions will be impacted.

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