Brake Work Put Off for Pumper Involved in Kansas City, Missouri Fatal Wreck

A Kansas City fire pumper involved in a fatal accident in September had not had its brakes serviced in nearly 16 months, far longer than recommended, city records reveal.

A police report on the accident concluded that the pumper would not have slammed into a tree, killing firefighter Gerald K. McGowan, if its brakes had been properly maintained.

Pumper 33 was due for an annual service overhaul, including brakes, in May 2004, but did not receive it, said Gerry Calk, Kansas City's new fleet manager.

In fact, according to city records reviewed by The Kansas City Star, the pumper had not had any brake work done since May 2003.

The city's fire chief acknowledged that a maintenance backlog had affected the whole fleet.

According to national standards