Central Falls, RI fire fighters are being asked to do the unthinkable.

Retired and active duty fire fighters are being asked to give up at least half of their pensions after contributing to the retirement system for years.

Police officers are also being affected by what’s now being called “the big ask.”

Central Falls is the state’s smallest and most impoverished city and it is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

Pensions in the town range from a low of $452 a year to $52,055. The Providence Journal reports currently that 29 retirees – including 8 beneficiaries of deceased police officers and fire fighters – are receiving pensions less than $10,000.

What’s worse Central Falls opted out of Social Security so fire fighters won’t be able to rely on that benefit as extra support.

There is no worse injustice that can happen to a fire fighter who has worked hard  and within the system to be placed in this kind of predicament.

We just hope that this circumstance is not the sign of things to come nationwide.

You can watch a video report of this heart breaking story that ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer did on her Wednesday night broadcast.

If you want information on your state’s pension system visit the IAFF’s Fighting Back website for factsheets and other resources.