Reedy Creek Proposing to End Special Operations and Response Team

The Reedy Creek Improvement District, the county-level government agency that provides fire and rescue services to the Walt Disney World Resort, is proposing an end to its special operations and response team. The team is trained to rescue people from collapsed building among other jobs.

Reedy Creek proposing end to special operations teamReedy Creek proposing end to special operations team

Currently Reedy Creek and the union representing its firefighters are in the midst of contract negotiations and the proposal to end these services is being called a "point of contention."

The Reedy Creek Improvement District was created in 1967 as a special taxing district and is run like a county government and the Walt Disney World Resort owns the land within the district and is also the largest taxpayer in the district.

The special operations team for Reedy Creek is called SOAR and was founded after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to provide a "timely response for detection and mitigation of hazardous situations."

The team is made up of 45 members who would continue to perform "regular" fire and rescue duties but wouldn't be paid an extra dollar per hour. The continuing education currently provided to team members would also be discontinued.

While Reedy Creek says disbanding the team will save hundreds of thousands of dollars the district would have to rely more on the Orange County firefighters for jobs requiring special operations and response. There is a mutual aid agreement between Reedy Creek and Orange County.

It remains to be seen if Reedy Creek and the firefighters can come to an agreement during contract negotiations.

What do you think about the proposal to end the special operations and rescue team? Let us know in the comments.


Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 08/03/2015 - 21:02:

Kristen K.'s picture

I think that this is really a pity. The reason to have these types of teams is so that you can be self reliant when everything goes wrong. It's like insurance, you have it so that when you need it you're ready, but then you pray you never have to use it. Saying that it's not needed because it isn't used often is the wrong way to look at it.

Ronnie Holman wrote on Tue, 08/04/2015 - 22:39:

Ronnie Holman 's picture

I go to Disney every year. If something happens and I have to wait to be rescued by an outside department "Hell No". I am a firefighter emt. Pay the firefighters what they want. I think it would be better than a law suit where the district would loose money.

Dave wrote on Fri, 08/07/2015 - 01:52:

Dave's picture

I often say, "budget cuts KILL." When I say this, I do mean to be taken seriously. But hey, FL wants low taxes.

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