detroit fire department

Offbeat
5:19 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

After Colbert Report segment, Detroit Fire Department gets offers of free alarm systems

Credit The Colbert Report

The Detroit Fire Department is getting calls from software companies as far away as California and Oregon.

The companies want to donate updated alert systems after the department's current system was featured on the comedy TV show, "The Colbert Report.”

The show aired a Detroit Free Press video about emergency alerts coming into fire stations via fax machine.

Firefighters rig up contraptions like soda cans full of screws on top of the fax machines.

So when the cans fall over, firefighters hear the alert.

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Politics & Government
3:57 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Detroit fire commissioner resigning

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing turns over the keys to a new EMS ambulance to Fire Commissioner Donald Austin. The vehicles -- 100 police cruisers and 23 ambulances -- were purchased with $8 million donated by the business community.
Detroit City Fire Department

Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin is resigning.

Austin had to deal with declining city budgets and rising discontent among the city’s firefighters during his tenure as Detroit Fire Commissioner.

He was hired by Mayor Dave Bing in 2011 to oversee Detroit’s overworked fire department.

In announcing Austin’s resignation, the outgoing Detroit Mayor praised his leadership of the fire department.

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Politics & Government
6:16 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Detroit gets $24 million grant to hire 150 firefighters

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit is getting a $24 million federal grant that will be used to hire 150 firefighters in the city.

The grant was announced this week by Michigan's U.S. senators.

It comes through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program.

The Detroit Free Press says the award is an annual one, but it's believed the hires would be supported by the grant for more than one year.

Executive Fire Commissioner Don Austin calls the federal money a "godsend."

Politics & Government
11:30 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Detroit firefighters are getting help from a national charity

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Detroit firefighters are getting some help from a national charity to buy some basic equipment.

The National Firefighters Endowment is trying to raise $100,000 to pay for gloves, boots and flashlights.

“We’re hoping to step in and help get their back, help get provisions for them (and) make sure that they have everything they need to do their job safely,” says Shane Parkins, who’s with the endowment.

Detroit’s is one of the busiest fire departments in the country.  One of the reasons is the high volume of arson fires in the city. 

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Politics & Government
6:10 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Detroit emergency manager plans to train more firefighters

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Emergency manager Kevyn Orr is working on a plan to train up to 100 new firefighters, as well as moving fire stations and supplying them with new equipment.

Plan developer Edward J. Plawecki Jr. tells Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley that his work is a response to a severe shortage of personnel and equipment. Detroit now has 796 firefighters, 40 operating fire stations and 20 ambulances.

The newspaper says union leaders have been meeting regularly with Plawecki on the drafting of the plan, which will be released in mid-September.

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Politics & Government
1:21 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Detroit firefighters win right to depose top city officials

Credit flickr.com

Detroit firefighters have won the right to subpoena and depose top members of Mayor Dave Bing’s administration.

The firefighters union is suing the city. They say that decisions to close firehouses have jeopardized public safety in violation of the city charter and national fire protection standards—and have left targeted areas of the city virtually without adequate service.

Detroit Firefighters Association President Dan McNamara says they’re “looking for the decision-makers,” and they want them under oath.

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Offbeat
2:30 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Video: Highland Park firefighter lights up YouTube with helmet cam footage

HPZ1442 YouTube

Scott Ziegler has a more interesting job than the rest of us, and he knows it.

The Highland Park firefighter recently posted a montage of footage that he took using a camera mounted to his helmet. 

The YouTube video, "2012 a year on my lid"  has become an Internet sensation with nearly 1,000,000 views.

It highlights some of the more harrowing moments of fighting fire in the Detroit area.

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Politics & Government
2:20 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Detroit firehouse gets Christmas mattress donation

Dave Bing

Some Detroit firefighters got early Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve--new mattresses for their firehouse.

Art Van Furniture is donating 150 mattresses. 14 were delivered to a firehouse on the city’s east side Monday.

The gifts highlight how many Detroit services are heavily subsidized by private donations. The donation is part of a broader campaign to garner private donations for the city’s public safety and recreation centers.

Detroit mayor Dave Bing says the city hasn’t made the necessary investments in those places “for a long time.”

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Offbeat
5:34 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Stateside: Two firefighters' impressions of "BURN"

Chris Palm and Tony Angelucey shared their experiences of fighting fires
detroitfirefilm.org

It’s possible to leave “BURN” feeling as if you’ve just combated the inferno of multiple house fires.

The documentary- which utilizes actual footage of Detroit firefighters- is strikingly realistic, unlike previous films of its kind.

Firefighter Chris Palm and Sergeant Tony Angelucey shared their accounts of entering burning buildings.

Though an experienced firefighter, Angelucey was pleased with the shift of perspective the film afforded him.

“It was shocking to see what we do. We’re always doing it, so we don’t usually get to sit back and watch it unravel,” he said.

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Arts & Culture
4:35 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Stateside: Detroit firefighters documented in "BURN"

"BURN" opens in the Detroit area tomorrow at the AMC20 in Livonia and Forum30 in Sterling Heights
detroitfirefilm.org

Firefighter Walter Harris was killed in 2008 while attempting to put out a blazing abandoned building.

The headlines surrounding Harris’s death caught the attention of Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez.

Both filmmakers agreed a story deserved to be told about Harris and other Detroit firefighters.  

“Tom and I knew there was a story here that hadn’t been told about firefighters,” said Sanchez.

The story manifested into the new film, "BURN."

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Arts & Culture
11:40 am
Mon October 1, 2012

"Burn" opens to supportive crowd with many firefighters in Detroit

The Detroit Fire Department responds to a fire in 2010. Filmmakers embedded with the DFD for most of 2011.
Patricia Drury

The documentary "Burn" made its debut in Detroit over the weekend.

The film was shot by Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez.

The filmmakers say they were inspired to make a movie about Detroit firefighters from this great NPR story by Jackie Lydon from 2008:

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Politics & Government
11:46 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Detroit's first responders, at the breaking point

Detroit Firehouse via facebook

Detroit’s first responders say they’re under siege from all angles—and some officers say their ranks are reaching a breaking point.

Detroit’s police and fire departments have taken some steep cuts in the past few months. Police officers in particular have taken major pay and benefit cuts, and are now working twelve-hour shifts.

And relations with city leaders have turned downright hostile. At a community meeting with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing last week, that anger boiled over.

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Politics & Government
10:56 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Shuttered Detroit fire station hit by vandals

A broken window at Engine 10 headquarters.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

Another shuttered fire station in Detroit has been vandalized.

City officials confirmed Monday night that the former Engine 10 quarters in southwest Detroit was hit by vandals, and that some copper piping was stolen.

A fire department spokesman would not release further details about the extent of the vandalism Tuesday, saying the department was still looking into it.

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Politics & Government
2:58 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Union chief: Detroit Fire Department in 'utter chaos'

Detroit Fire Department headquarters.
Wikipedia

The head of Detroit’s firefighters union says the department is in “utter chaos” after new overtime restrictions came down this week.

City officials acknowledge the situation is difficult, but say it’s under control.

Union chief Dan McNamara says the drastic overtime restrictions—announced by memo to firefighters earlier this week--will basically cripple a fire department that’s already understaffed.

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News roundup
7:32 am
Fri July 6, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

News roundup for Friday, July 6th
Brother O'Mara Flickr

Power outages continue
 Utilities say crews worked through the night to restore electricity to thousands of Michigan homes and businesses without power following this week's severe thunderstorms, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:

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Politics & Government
6:32 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Federal grant expected to offset Detroit firefighter layoffs

A round of firefighter layoffs in Detroit might not be as severe as city officials announced earlier this week.

Michigan U.S. Senator Carl Levin says Detroit will be awarded a $22.5 million federal grant that would save most of the fire department jobs slated for layoff.

Word of the grant comes just a few days after the layoff announcement. The job cuts were to take effect at the end of July.

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Politics
6:50 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Detroit Fire Department, already struggling, will have to "do more with less"

Detroit's Fire Commissioner says his department is at the end of its resources due to budget cuts.

Donald Austin spoke to a Detroit City Council committee meeting on Monday.

Even with the cuts, Detroit’s Police and Fire Departments take up well over half of the city's budget. And both departments regularly go over-budget, mostly because of overtime.

Austin says it’s proven almost impossible to cut overtime, when he has to fight so many fires in vacant buildings--which total 30-60% of all department runs, depending on the shift.

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Politics
6:59 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Detroit seeks to prevent fire deaths, cut costs

User RickM2007 flickriver.com

The Detroit Fire Department is aiming to save lives—and money—by preventing heating-related home fires.

Fire officials say there’s a “noticeable peak” in fire-related deaths in the winter months--largely due to people improperly using space heaters and other heat sources, like propane tanks.  19 people died in the winter months last year.

Detroit fire captain Christopher Dixon says that’s a tough but unfortunate calculation many Detroiters make each month.

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Politics
5:23 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

Detroit Homeland Security agencies, first responders press for funds

Metro Detroit’s Homeland Security agencies say they’ve made progress on border security and disaster preparedness in the past 10 years. But they warn federal budget cuts and a new way of allocating Homeland Security grants could jeopardize that.

A U.S. House Homeland Security subcommittee held a hearing called “The State of Northern Border Preparedness: A Review of Federal, State and Local Coordination” at Wayne State University Friday.

Detroit Congressman Hansen Clarke sits on the committee.

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Politics
5:51 pm
Mon January 24, 2011

Detroit City Council hears about EMS "management" problems

The Detroit City Council got a briefing on chronic troubles with the city’s Emergency Medical Services Monday.

EMS Chief Jerald James told the Council that only 19 of the city’s 47  EMS vehicles are in use right now. The other 27 are awaiting repair.

James also  says the understaffed department also has the money to hire 57 new employees--but  can’t find people to fill those positions.

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