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Alton Firefighters Protest Proposed Cuts

By K. Lavery, KWMU

Alton, Ill. – Some Alton firefighters are protesting a proposal that it says would eliminate its EMS services and cut the department strength by half.

The Alton Fire Fighters Local 1255 says firefighters could generate as much as $500,000 a year for the city by expanding their duties to include transporting emergency patients.

But Alton Mayor Donald Sandidge says that's not a viable option.

"Well, we looked at that, and the recommendation was we had two very competent ambulance services here, and why would we want to run them out of business? Under the circumstances I don't think we would be considering outside ambulance services," Sandige said. "That was brought up once before and the aldermen rejected that."

The Alton city council will review the issue on Wednesday. The city has until June 30 to finalize its budget.

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