EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – East St. Louis will be losing 19 more firefighters. Fire Chief Jason Blackman says they are victims of grant money, about to run out.
“They were hired under the 2011 SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant and the grant expired in March this year. We were able to extend it to September the 30th,” said Chief Blackman. That is the date the nineteen won’t be with the department.
The chief says with a fourth of his staffing gone, it will be a “tax on the guys” but the safety of citizens won’t be compromised.
For Firefighters Local-23 this will be another punch in the gut. The local has been battling the city over alleged bargaining agreement violations because of previous layoffs.