CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — At the Kennedy Space Center there are three fire stations on the property, but when the month of September comes to an end, Fire Station 3 — the closest to the Artemis I launch pad — will close. 

What You Need To Know

  • Fire Station 3 at Kennedy Space Center will close at the end of September

  • About 12-20 firefighters will lose their jobs

  • Kennedy’s other two fire stations currently handle 90% of emergency calls

Local 525 Union President Kevin Smith, who represents the fire department on property at the Kennedy Space Center, said he was told at the beginning of the month that more than a dozen firefighters will lose their jobs.

“We don’t know if the ones at Station 3 necessarily are the ones that will lose their job,” Smith said. “It’s just the numbers, so once that closes, there will be some seniority that those guys will filter back in and knock out the young guns.”

NASA officials say that the other two fire stations at Kennedy Space Center currently handle 90% of emergency calls, and that Station 3 has not responded to a fire call within the past five years.


Smith says the launch pads, however, have been busier than ever.

“There has never been more activity on both Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral Air Station ... eliminating these jobs and it just makes no sense," he said.

The three fire stations do not have a traditional response program for structural fires like departments that respond to residential neighborhoods. However, they cover a wide area that includes Playalinda Beach and federal wildlife areas.

“Much more specialized,” Smith said. “The difficult part also is where 39B is located. It is the closest fire station to 39A, closest to complex 41, complex 40, complex 37. All of those are very active launch pads.”

Effective Oct. 1, two fire stations will remain and NASA said they have the capacity to handle the remaining calls assigned to Fire Station 3.

NASA officials said the closure of Fire Station 3 has no effect on federal positions.