By Michael Schwanke (WICHITA, Kan.)
It's a comfort Diane Tee doesn't want to lose
"It's very important response time is immediate. We need that," says Tee.
The Sedgwick County fire station is just blocks from her home.
"The neighbor's house caught fire and flames were shooting out the top of the roof. The second we walked out the fire trucks were here."
But budget problems have the Bel Aire looking for ways to save money.
Bel Aire is considering ending its contract it has with Sedgwick County and instead using Wichita.
The Sedgwick County station sits in the heart of Bel Aire. The nearest Wichita station is at K-96 and Webb about three miles away.
While it would mean savings for the Bel Aire, it would cost Sedgwick County about $800,000.
That could force the Sedgwick County station to close.
Bel Aire residents pay about 18 mills for county fire protection. City administrator Ty Lasher says Wichita could be about half that. He says no decisions have been made and he is working closely with Sedgwick County and Wichita.