Flint leaders working to renew fire departmentâ??s federal grant

The future of the Flint Fire Department is up in the air as a federal grant runs out. City leaders are asking for a renewal, hoping to prevent future cuts.

The grant is worth nearly $8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant helps keep open several fire houses and pays for 39 firefighter positions.

Neighbors are hoping the federal government helps Flint out.

Tommy Dotson will be the first to tell youâ?¦

â??I depend on this fire department,â?? says Dotson.

His auto body shop sits across the street from one of the city's five firehouses. He can't imagine his neighborhood without a fire department.

â??This whole community wouldn't be around here because there's fire all the time around here,â?? says Dotson.

But it's a real possibility some firehouses might close.

â??Weâ??re down to the 11th hour,â?? says David Cox, chief of Flintâ??s fire department.

A $7.9 million federal grant expires in just three months.

â??We would probably end up closing a couple fire stations. Probably slow response time down a little bit,â?? says Cox.

City leaders say they're working with the federal government to keep the cash flowing.

â??Iâ??ve communicated with The White House, the Vice President and his office,â?? says Dayne Walling, Flintâ??s mayor. â??Those are leaders paying attention to Flint's public safety challenges.â??

City leaders and neighbors are hoping someone is listening.

â??Wouldnâ??t be no community, it be just burnt down,â?? says Dotson.

â??Please help us, we need the grant,â?? says Cox.

City leaders hope to hear from FEMA in the coming weeks about the grant renewal.