Oak Lawn Fights Proposed Fire Engine Shuffle

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Friday, Aug 12, 2011  |  Updated 12:45 AM CDT
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Residents of Oak Lawn are asking the city not to relocate the ladder truck in their neighborhood.

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

Residents of Oak Lawn are asking the city not to relocate the ladder truck in their neighborhood.

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Oak Lawn residents are fighting to keep a firetruck in their neighborhood.

The city of Dallas' proposed budget for the next fiscal year calls for relocating nine engines and putting one in reserve.

City Manager Mary Suhm estimates fire engine moves will save $9 million in the year ahead.

“We haven't looked at workload versus equipment in over 25 years,” she said. "When we looked at where workload was and where equipment was, we found we could improve response time citywide.”

While no one at City Hall would confirm which trucks they plan to shuffle, Dallas firefighters got wind that Truck 11, which serves Oak Lawn, will be moved to Station 40 near Duncanville.

But Lucky Dapper is campaigning to keep Dallas Fire-Rescue's Truck 11 at its current home on Cedar Springs.

“This is a very busy area," 

Dapper said. "We are talking about Uptown. Uptown cannot afford any cuts."

“I think it would be a huge mistake,” said Jan McDade, manager of the Black Eyed Pea restaurant on Cedar Springs. “They’ve been on my roof a couple of times -- I’ve had my air conditioner on fire, smoke coming out through the vents -- and they come right over, and they’re up there."

Concerned citizens said they worry mid-rises and high rises in the Uptown area will be vulnerable. They've launched a website, Save Truck 11, along with a Facebook page, both of which are gaining traction.

“I understand cutting budgets, but not at the expense of people’s safety or even their lives,” McDade said.

Next year's budget also calls for the addition of 200 firefighters to the department. But, as Suhm told the City Council on Monday, it is far from a done deal.

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