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LITTLETON, Colo. — The West Metro Fire Rescue is making cuts and changes in order to save money.

More than 40 employees will be affected and there will be seven fewer firefighters on the streets every day. The announcement comes a few months after voters rejected a property tax increase.

It would have generated $8.6 million a year for the department, which is experiencing a $1.25 million budget shortfall. The department will demote 20 employees and cut 22 positions. Also, two employees, who are not firefighters, will be laid off.

Among the changes, the department will cross-staff its heavy rescue unit, which responds to all building fires and rescue calls.

West Metro, which has 320 firefighters and 50 civilian staff members, will also downsize one station and relocate an ambulance at another. It has also decided to eliminate one of its District Chief positions.

The district announced the cuts despite already saving millions on cutting costs and firefighter paychecks.

At Station 14, the department is closing its engine company, which has three firefighters. It will house a ladder truck, which will be responsible for all calls in the area.

West Metro says despite the changes, it will continue to serve citizens to the best of its ability.