STAFFING REDUCTION: DSM Airport Considers Private Fire Fighting Firm

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The Des Moines airport is looking for a new firefighting service to man its airfield.

The board is considering a contract with private company, Pro-Tec Fire Services.

“Pro-Tec has a proven record at 18 other airports in the country and I think their qualifications speak for themselves,” airport general manager, Kevin Foley says.

It would cost $900,000 for the first year to put three full time firefighters at the airport.

The board says three is a typical number for airports similar to Des Moines. Currently there are five to seven firefighters on-duty.

However, some pilots question the staff number and the response time.

“Eight of you are in my airplane and we’ve just come from Denver, Colorado. Now the airplane is on its back but if there’s only three response persons, as far as a minimum crew in your firefighting team, three of you are going to get out, five of you maybe not,” pilot, Bob Dickson warned.

The Iowa National Guard served as the firefighting unit in the past.

A decision on the matter will come next Tuesday.