Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
Hickory Creek elected leaders are considering starting their own fire department and residents fear that will compromise safety.
Residents of Hickory Creek appeal to the city council amid a plan to disband the multi-city Lake Cities Fire Department.
Residents attending the meeting brought extra folding chairs, but it wasn't near enough inside the Hickory Creek Council Chambers.
About 100 people got a seat, another hundred lined the hallway outside the door and some just waited outside the building for their turn to speak to the city council.
Everyone got three minutes and just about everyone took their time.
Many were angry it appeared their elected leaders were trying to sneak in a major decision they say would compromise public safety.
"This emergency service has saved my daughter's life three times," Melanie Housel told NBC 5 shortly before the meeting. "I've never waited for them for more than three minutes."
The fear is by disbanding from the Lake Cities Fire Department, which includes Cornith, Shady Shores and Lake Dallas, the number of firefighters, fire engines and ambulances available to Hickory Creek residents would be cut in half.
"It's not going to work," Steven Richardson told councilmembers in front of a packed council chambers. "It's not good for my family. It's not good for this community and it doesn't need to happen."
The mayor and city council sat silently for close to two hours as taxpayers one by one urged them not to break away from Lake Cities.
The meeting was still going on at deadline. A city official told NBC 5 the city council would not be taking a vote on the issue Sunday.