After Years of Fighting, Disney World Firefighters FINALLY Have New Contracts and Raises

Disney World firefighter Contracts
Credit: Reedy Creek

Walt Disney World Resort is The Most Magical Place on Earth, but that doesn’t mean that bad things can’t happen there. With more than 150,000 people visiting the Parks every single day, accidents are inevitable. For a lot of people, a quick trip to the First Aid center in whatever Park they are in is enough. Sometimes, going back to the hotel and resting until the next day is the perfect solution. However, sometimes, more serious incidents happen, and professionals must be called in. Thankfully, Walt Disney World has its own Fire Department, police, and paramedics.

Disney World First Aid

Credit: Disney Fanatic

Being a Walt Disney World firefighter or paramedic is not an easy job. Guests are visiting the Parks, hoping to have the vacation of their lifetime, and serious medical emergencies can be overwhelming. The firefighters and paramedics work long, hard hours, and they want to be compensated fairly for that. For years, Disney World firefighters have been unable to come to an agreement with Reedy Creek over new contract terms. However, the Reedy Creek board is no longer in charge.

Reedy Creek Fire Department

Credit: RCFD

On July 26, after fighting for more than four years, The Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters’ Association — which covers more than 200 firefighters and paramedics — agreed to new contract terms. The agreement was made with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the board that replaced Reedy Creek earlier this year.

Per a report from The Associated Press:

The contract, among other provisions, would increase wages by 5%, including raising the starting annual wage for firefighter and paramedics from $55,000 to $66,000. It also would provide $5,000 signing bonuses for workers with three or more years working for the department and $2,500 bonuses for everyone else.

DeSantis board fighting with Disney Firefighters

Credit: Elisfkc, Flickr

The Reedy Creek Firefighters’ Association was one of the few groups who were happy to see the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) take over what was once Reedy Creek. The association had been fighting with the old Reedy Creek board for years. Things became particularly contentious during the COVID-19 pandemic. The firefighters said that they were understaffed and had to come to work sick because they did not have paid time off if they contracted the virus.

Reedy Creek Fire Department

Credit: RCFD

The firefighters have been outspoken about the lack of support they received from Reedy Creek and Disney. The President of the union has said that, although Disney should have four firetrucks and eight ambulances available at all times, they have frequently only had 2 ambulances. Things would break and they would not be fixed. The union said that it was worried that if something incredibly serious happened, they wouldn’t be able to respond fast enough.


Credit: Disney

That worry seemed to come to a head in December 2021. According to call logs, a woman went into cardiac arrest after experiencing an allergic reaction at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. When the woman began experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis — a severe allergic reaction — Reedy Creek paramedics were immediately called. Unfortunately, it took paramedics more than 20 minutes to get to the Guest and give her epinephrine. She died later that day. The union said that, if Reedy Creek did not work with them, things would only get worse.

Both the Union and the CTFOD were pleased with the way negotiations turned out and hoped that this would be the start of a better time for Disney World firefighters and paramedics.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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