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updated: 5/15/2013 8:26 AM

Chicago firefighters asked to guard school routes

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Associated Press

Chicago firefighters are being asked to establish a visible presence on the streets during the first three weeks of the new school year, when dozens of schools are slated to close.

The closures have parents worried that many children will have to traverse dangerous areas to get to their new schools. The school district and police have been working to create safe routes.

Now firefighters have been asked to help.

Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago says in memo that "during specific hours of the day, all companies will be on the routes."

The idea is to make parents and children feel safe.

But the firefighters union is concerned that if violence breaks out its members could be thrust into a role for which they are not trained or equipped.

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