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One of the busiest fire departments in the St. Louis area may lose almost half of it's firefighters by the end next month.

The East St. Louis Fire Department gets a substantial part of it's funding from a federal grant. That grant is about to run out. The firefighter's union says that means 22 of the department's 53 firefighters would be let go.

Mayor Alvin Parks says the city is reapplying for the grant, but it could be denied. Parks told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that happens, the city would only need to lay off 10-15 firefighters because of a tax increase that took effect in January.

The firefighters union says they're already short on personnel and resources, unable to send more than 6 firefighters to any one fire scene.

The firefighters are making their case with Youtube video, which had nearly 40,000 hits in the first two days since it was posted.



According to their video, East St. Louis firefighters answer a lot of calls. About half of all 9-1-1 calls in East St. Louis last year, 950 calls were for fires.
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