WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — For many, 4th of July celebrations involve fireworks. As the holiday weekend kicks off, the Wichita Fire Department (WFD) is gearing up for a busy couple of days.
Much of the state, including Sedgwick County, has more lenient laws than the city of Wichita when it comes to setting off fireworks. Over the next few days, WFD, along with the Wichita Police Department, will be patrolling the streets enforcing the city’s firework ordinance.
“Today, the first and the second, the Wichita Fire Department will have one or two teams each day patrolling the city itself,” said José Ocadiz, Wichita Fire Battalion Chief.
On July 3 and July 4, WFD will ramp up patrol efforts and be joined by the Wichita Police Department.
“Ten teams total each day to go out. And for security purposes and safety purposes, we’ll have two police officers with one firefighter,” he continued.
Ocadiz mentioned fireworks over six feet in height, or those labeled as “shooting flaming balls,” are illegal in the Air Capital.
“We’re not out there too and want to be out there to take away your fun. We’re just out there doing what we’re required to do and enforce the city ordinance of fireworks,” added Ocadiz.
Authorities will be policing the entire city, but they do have a map of “hot spots” they will use as a reference.
“We got our coordinates from 911 Dispatch from the non-emergency line from 2021, last year. So we use in those coordinates on where the call volume occurred at where the complaints were really coming from,” concluded Ocadiz.
Last year there were over 1,139 complaint calls in reference to illegal fireworks in the city of Wichita from July 1 through July 6.