Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Opinions and Comments on the Detroit Fire Department Crisis.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • nameless
    replied
    wow nice resurrection.

    Watch the DFD website if you want a job with them.

    FDs in the older major cities are always getting downsized, now with the economy being what it is that rate is accelerating.

    Leave a comment:


  • hwoods
    replied
    Huh??.........

    You ARE kidding........ Right?.........

    This thread started almost 10 years ago. If anything has remained constant in that time, it would be the P*** Poor situation in Detroit. Big City Career Fire Departments, (For the Most Part) aren't hiring, and won't be.

    Leave a comment:


  • Andyboyfire
    replied
    Is there any plan anywhere in the near future to hire or administer some type of Firefighter examination? I'm not sure when the last time the Fire Department even hired was? Thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weruj1
    replied
    from todays news

    Engine Company Closings Bring End to Era, Questions in Michigan



    Updated: 07-01-2005 09:58:40 AM
    E-MAIL THIS STORY PRINT THIS STORY


    BILL McGRAW
    Detroit Free Press via Associated Press


    With chores, chow and the wait for an alarm, Thursday was a routine day for firefighters at Engine Co. 18 on Detroit's east side.

    But it was hardly business as usual.

    That's because Engine 18 is going out of existence today -- after 113 years of battling blazes in Detroit, a routine that goes back to an era when the engine was pulled by a team of trained horses.

    "We're losing a lot of tradition. It's a shame," said Lt. James Shinneman, the commanding officer of Engine 18.

    "They are putting peoples' lives in danger by taking an engine out of our neighborhood," said Nefertiti Young, 25, who lives next door. "It's ridiculous. Then it's going to be just like Highland Park, where you wait while the whole block burns down."

    City officials are removing from service Engine 18 and four other fire rigs and laying off 65 firefighters today. The moves are part of wider layoffs as the city begins its new fiscal year struggling to balance a budget that is about $300 million out of whack.

    From legal secretaries to truck drivers, 677 city employees are out of work today as Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick slashes the payroll and curtails services even as Detroit continues to primp for the July 12 All-Star baseball game and next year's Super Bowl. More cuts could come later in the summer.

    No uniformed police officers are affected by today's layoffs, though the city said 17 to 20 emergency medical technicians are losing their jobs.

    With the layoffs spread across a municipal workforce of about 17,000, doing away with five large fire rigs is perhaps the most visible sign that the city is retrenching.

    "It's potentially going to be devastating for both firefighters and our own citizens," said Dan McNamara, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association. "We're going to be playing with a short bench. We have no reserves."

    Kilpatrick spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett insisted the administration made Fire Department cutbacks after careful study.

    "The deactivations will not make the community vulnerable if a fire breaks out," she said.

    Not surprisingly, reassurances from the Kilpatrick administration did not make Thursday's four-man crew of Engine 18 feel any better.

    Shinneman noted Engine 18, located on Mt. Elliott south of Gratiot, responds to reported fires at the Detroit Medical Center, Eastern Market, Comerica Park, Ford Field and downtown. After today, another engine will have to take its place on fire runs, and that engine will be traveling from a longer distance.

    Engine 18 shares space in its antique firehouse with Ladder Co. 10, and Quiett pointed out that Ladder 10 will remain in service.

    Firefighters counter that Quiett's argument is specious because a ladder company's duties at fires differ from those of an engine, which pumps water. Taking five rigs out of service citywide means more work for the remaining crews, they argue.

    Of the 17 total firefighters of Engine 18, 15 are being reassigned and two are being laid off.

    The crews of Engine 18 and Ladder 10 were planning a farewell barbecue with a special cake Thursday evening. They were to eat it in the 113-year-old fire house that smells a little of soot and is filled with century-old treasures inside and out, like gargoyles, massive oak beams and the remnants of an old watch tower.

    At 8 a.m. today, they will turn in their rig, along with its ripper bar, bolt cutter, hoses and axe.

    But the bitterness will not go away.

    "The city don't give a damn about us, and we put our lives on the line for them," Shinneman said.

    Leave a comment:


  • lvwrench
    replied
    detroit

    Hey, so whtas new here? Any time that the government is doing good, be it local, state or national things role along good for everyone. When things go sour the first to go are the working stiffs that are there to protect, serve and keep things running. Do you honestly think that the management and political types are going to go? Where I am things are gfrowing and the money is flowing so everybvody is pretty happy and we are adding stations, equipment and people. Of course the politicals will always argue they can't afoord to give a raise in pay, even thought the price of everyhting is climbing and taxes are increasing to feed the political machinery but nothing new there either. What happened to "of the people, for the people and by the people"? It's usually every man (or woman) for themselves. Time for a revolution? Look real close at the whole picture, get the facts and then clean house. I fear that any city sooner or later faces these kinds of situations and like I said the little guy will get the axe.

    Leave a comment:


  • MemphisE34a
    replied
    I agree with everyone that says this is bigger than a Detroit problem. Within 2 years of the largest attack on American soil the FDNY was closing companies. They were the ones that took the hit. My god, how much sense does that make?

    I speculate that by the end of the year we will have closings here in Memphis. We are hot on the trail of Gary, Indiana!

    Leave a comment:


  • Weruj1
    replied
    Alarms Sound Over Fire Cuts in Detroit



    Updated: 05-17-2005 09:31:13 AM
    E-MAIL THIS STORY PRINT THIS STORY


    SALINA ALI
    Detroit Free Press via Associated Press


    Many Detroit residents and firefighters said they thought Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's proposal to shut down five fire companies and lay off 41 firefighters was outrageous.

    But now recommendations to the City Council have many sounding alarms.

    The council, looking to close a projected $300-million deficit in the city budget, is eyeing $15 million in additional cuts to the Fire Department operations budget and $7 million in salary reductions.

    That could mean a total of 147 firefighters would be laid off and 10 fire companies would be deactivated.

    Neither of the plans would close any fire stations.

    "We tried to use a laser, but City Council used a hatchet," Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams said Monday, referring to the decision on budget cuts.

    The council also is looking at recommendations that would cut $54 million from the Police Department as it looks to cut the deficit.

    Council members say the plan presented by the mayor is so full of holes, they have no confidence that it will be balanced.

    They say they have little choice but to try to come up with a revised budget that will get the city through the next year.

    "This would be horrible for our community," Kilpatrick said Monday at a news conference. "The decisions I made in my budget did not come easy. But you can't cut with an ax."

    Adams, Fire Commissioner Tyrone Scott and Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings met with council members Monday to discuss the council's proposed cuts. Bully-Cummings and Scott implored the council not to make additional cuts to their departments, which they said are already working with minimal funding.

    Meanwhile, members of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association Local 344 spoke out against the proposed cuts at a news conference in front of two burned houses at Elm and Harrison in southwest Detroit. The neighborhood has been the target of arsonists.

    State Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit, who along with area residents joined union members at the news conference, said the city needs to seek alternative budget cuts.

    "There is not a lot of fat to trim, but fire services are a matter of life and death, and it's absolutely critical that the city have the resources to respond," Tobocman said.

    John Nagy, a 50-year resident of southwest Detroit, said the area needs more, not fewer, firefighters and equipment because of a nearby Marathon oil refinery and heavily industrial Zug Island.

    "If these places were ever to catch fire, it would be disastrous to southwest Detroit," he said.

    Fresh on the minds of some residents were the fires that swept through five structures in Highland Park on Friday. That city had to rely on Detroit and suburban districts to battle the fires.

    "We don't have the fire apparatus and fire equipment," said Lois Koehler, 65, a lifelong resident of southwest Detroit. "They're going to lay off these men when I hear there aren't enough men at fire stations now."

    Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins and other council members say police and fire have to be looked at because about a third of the city's budget is spent in these public safety departments.

    Leave a comment:


  • dfdems
    replied
    2200 Crane
    Engine 26 - deactivated
    Ladder 14 - remains activated

    1113 Coplin
    Ladder 29 - deactivated
    Engine 38 - remains activated

    2820 Central
    Engine 37 - deactivated
    Emergency Medical Service No. 9 - remains activated

    3812 Mt. Elliot
    Engine 18 - deactivated
    Ladder 10 - remains activated

    3396 Vinewood
    Ladder 4 - deactivated
    Engine 10 - remains activated
    And yet the Mayor adds 12 people to his staff and closes fire houses. What a huge tool. Engine 37 is less than 2 blocks from two 8+ story structures with a mainly elderly, disabled population.

    The unofficial Detroit EMS webpage

    Leave a comment:


  • Weruj1
    replied
    from the front page .........not good ...........

    Detroit Deactivates Five Fire Companies
    All Detroit Fire Stations To Remain Open

    POSTED: 4:07 p.m. EDT May 16, 2005
    UPDATED: 4:15 p.m. EDT May 16, 2005


    Story by Click On Detroit

    -- The Detroit Fire Department announced in a news release on Monday that it will deactivate five of its fire companies.

    The decision comes as Commissioner Tyrone Scott and the fire department prepare for reductions in their ranks as a result of recent budget constraints.


    Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's budget plan, which was presented in April, calls for 61 layoffs in the fire department and 38 layoffs within the city's EMS department.

    The fire department plans to deactivate three ladder companies and two engine companies.

    Scott met with several groups that expressed concerns about the deactivations and the impact on their communities, according to the release.

    "We carefully evaluated our coverage area in order to ensure that the deactivations would not hinder response time and would not leave any area in Detroit vulnerable to a fire or emergency situation that we could not respond to and control immediately," Scott said.

    Scott said that all Detroit fire stations would remain open.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireLt1951
    replied
    On another note. The administration has always choosen to spend millions of dollars in fighting grievances they KNOW they are wrong on and won't and can't win. The city also choose to pay $7,000,000 in interest on monies owed the pension system plus what was owed rather than fund it in the first place. This made absolutely no sense at all. The city pays into the general pension fund on a monthly basis (all appointees and the mayor belong to this system along with all workers but police and fire) but has consistently refused to fund the police and fire retirement system without a court battle (more money wasted on a losing battle). The city in all it's infinate wisdom had to pay 13 million dollars to the IRS in penalties for not sending employee income taxes in.

    The city also has had to consistently pay hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits every year. Most of these are against the police department and the bus system (went to an MVA with a bus one shift, when we pulled up there were 5 people on the bus, in less than one minute there was 30 jumping onboard with dollar signs in their eyes). There are also a few lawsuits against the fire department over the loss of life when we had apparatus that was inoperable and very low staffing levels.

    Mismanagement and cronyism (mayor has most of his family and high school friends on the city payroll now) is abundant in this city and it's costing it a lot of green. The mayor here has 26, YES 26 police bodyguards, more than any mayor in the United States. He is given a mansion to live in free of charge and the city pays for all upkeep. The mayor of Detroit is also one of the highest payed mayor's in the United States.
    Last edited by FireCapt1951retired; 04-13-2005, 03:24 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireLt1951
    replied
    The layoffs are here. I don't feel that the layoffs will be for an extended period. Many members with over 25 years are seriously talking about retiring (including myself). As of now we are around 115 firefighters short and with the layoffs it comes to 176. The mayor stated that the commissioner could keep all companies from permanetly closing but there will be daily closings in relation to on duty staff. Is anyone out there willing to hire an old beat up dinosaur? It's going to be a tough year that's for sure.

    Chief Reason,

    You are correct in your statement that the area we cover hasn't shrunk. We continue to get 45-55 structure fires a day in the city, along with the haz-mat, mva's, auto alarms etc. The individual that is reorganizing Pittsburg was here and another individual from a troubled city. What both stated was that the problem lies in the coverage area (139.5 sq miles)and that it has not gotten smaller ( a member of the fire prevention section stated at an I.C. refresher that fires last year were up 24%, along with an increase in Haz-Mat). These individuals also recommended going to a private ambulance transport system. The mayor also stated that EMS has a serious problem with B.S. calls (using EMS as taxi cabs to hospital appointments etc). I'm not a medic but if 50% of the calls are non-emergency related as stated by the mayor is true (I've had more than a few medics say the same thing), it does need to be addressed. I know that the mayor wants first responder and it will more than likely come in the future. The problem lies in the fact that he wants to add 70,000+ runs to the firefighting side. Even by the city's own estimates, there would be 22 (supposedly they would choose strategically located companies) out of the 40 engines used on a medical run at any given time. This leaves 18 engines and 24 ladder trucks to cover that 139 sq miles for all other incidents. This doesn't include companies taken out of service daily for mandatory training at the academy. The numbers just don't work without actually adding companies and staffing, which I don't see happening. The average company would be running around 18 runs a day (these are the city's estimates not mine) depending on the area of the city. Last time the city wanted to exempt ladder trucks from MFR runs. The medics and firefighters are treated like $#!t by the city and by a lot of it's population. I feel for the medics and their problems (I know some wear bullet proof vests and I don't blame them), just as I do our own in firefighting.

    If we decide not to deal with the city there will probably be an additional 120 layoffs this summer and as many as 6 company closings (guesstimate but very realistic). This would bring the department down to around 950 to 1000 firefighters. The sad fact is that Detroit has one of the lowest salary levels in the state but is the busiest and he wants both police and fire to give up 10% of their pay (starting pay is $25,000 and top pay is $47,000). That isn't going to happen. We may deal on medical co-pays and maybe returning to the 50.4 hour workweek versus our present 48. We may even have to consider giving up the 4 person ride but that will be a tough one to give up and the city would probably use that to layoff more people ( an agreement that no layoffs or company closings would have to go along with it) but the city rarely keeps its word on agreements and that will be the biggest problem. We would probably demand that the department first rid itself of all the plum, do nothing appointed positions within the administration (the mayor only cut one position in the 2005-06 budget). Everything now goes to the clown council (I mean city council) as they have total authority over the budget. As the old saying goes, time will tell.

    As far as the apparatus, we are 100% better off than we were 5 or 6 years ago. I was told by a Battalion Chief that they just put the 5 new engines in service yesterday. Our problem lies in the fact that we have no good replacement apparatus for the present companies that are being refurbished or repaired (for various reasons).

    P.S.
    This is going to be a very, very interesting mayoral and council election this year.
    Last edited by FireCapt1951retired; 04-13-2005, 01:17 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • dfdems
    replied
    Chief2

    It's not just the Fire Department in Detroit that has problems!! When my Grandfather had his first stroke, it took EMS over 45 minutes to arrive at their house. I understand that this is still typical of the response today. As a matter of fact, my Grandmother fell in her bathroom and needed transport. That was 2 years ago, and she is still waiting for the ambulance to arrive!!

    My Grandmothers next door neighbor had the front window of her house shot out 4 years ago, and is still waiting for the Police to arrive to take a report.
    Detroit EMS ran over 140,000 calls last year with 24 medic units in the day time and 22 at night, all 2 man rides. No engine. Two dudes and a Ambulance.

    The DOJ says the PD is 1000 officers short of where they should be from what I have heard. I can say we have a hard time getting a scout just like they have a hard time getting a medic unit.

    FIREFLY2420

    My concerns are with the hiring process. I have applied for DFD along with my brother. We both have all our training. I have been a FF for 7 years as a Paid-on-Call. My brother has been a FF for 11 years as a Paid-on-Call. We both have seen a lot and learned a lot. We went throught the application process and the testing process and have yet to hear from them. Im sure were not the only ones who have training and experiance that arent even considered. They are hiring the minorities with no training and experiance.
    Actually the last academy was mainly white, most from the suburbs and with certs in hand. Regardless of what you hold prior to here you still have the academy, even for the EMS side.

    ChiefReason
    Somehow, I don't think he is talking about the city boundaries shrinking. In fact, I would venture a guess that the boundaries have increased. Population may have shrunk, but how many structures still remain?
    The cops have less public to defend. Lay them off. Firefighters still have just as many buildings to protect and they have gotten OLDER.
    The logic escapes me.
    CR
    I hope your kidding about letting the cops go? Go hang out at Mack and Bewick for a while and see how your perspective changes.

    In all fairness to the Detroit Fire Department most of the problems come from the city management.. The rigs are jacked, there has been many news reports on them. The city lays off mechanics, bet that helped the problem. Where I currently run out of there is a ladder with no pump, just a stick. The rest is broke. Sad thing is they still go to the call in the POS. Having worked on the west coast prior to coming here all I can say is that you would have to be here to understand. You might want to start placing blame with the elected tools of the city first.

    Detroit EMS

    Leave a comment:


  • ChiefReason
    replied
    In a refrain he has repeated frequently in recent months, Kilpatrick, who is facing an election this year, blamed the budget problems on the state's weak economy, rising health care and pension costs and the city's shrinking tax base. With about 900,000 residents, Detroit is less than half the size it was at its peak in the 1950s.
    Somehow, I don't think he is talking about the city boundaries shrinking. In fact, I would venture a guess that the boundaries have increased. Population may have shrunk, but how many structures still remain?
    The cops have less public to defend. Lay them off. Firefighters still have just as many buildings to protect and they have gotten OLDER.
    The logic escapes me.
    CR

    Leave a comment:


  • Weruj1
    replied
    from the news section ........hang in there Lt1951

    Detroit Mayor Proposes 754 layoffs, Fire and Police Cuts



    Updated: 04-12-2005 04:47:02 PM
    E-MAIL THIS STORY PRINT THIS STORY


    SARAH KARUSH
    Associated Press Writer

    DETROIT (AP) -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Tuesday presented a draft budget that calls for laying off 754 city workers _ 4 percent of the municipal work force _ including some members of the police and fire departments.

    Detroit, which employs 16,800 people, has been struggling with a deficit of more than $300 million, and some have predicted the city could end up in receivership.

    The 754 layoffs are in addition to more than 900 job cuts Kilpatrick announced in January. At that time, he said he had no plans to touch police officers.

    In his address to City Council on Tuesday, Kilpatrick proposed reducing the number of commanders and inspectors in the department. In addition, existing classes at the police academy would be suspended, he said.

    ''Not one police officer who is out there patrolling the streets today will be laid off,'' Kilpatrick said.

    However, he said that promise could be kept only if the officers' union agrees to re-negotiate benefits.

    In addition, Kilpatrick is proposing 61 layoffs in the fire department and 47 in EMS.

    Kilpatrick needs City Council approval for the budget, but he has the authority to cut jobs on his own, as he did this winter, his spokesman, Howard Hughey, said.

    The budget also calls for two new taxes _ a 2 percent tax on fast food and a property-transfer tax. Both would require the approval of city voters.

    Kilpatrick said his plan assumes that the city will succeed in negotiating a 10 percent pay cut and changes in health care benefits for all union workers. Health care changes would save $47 million _ only enough to balance out the increases the city is facing from its insurance provider and HMOs, he said.

    Kilpatrick said the city must reduce its bulk trash pickup, but said basic services would continue to be provided at the same level, provided the unions make concessions.

    ''But if we cannot reach an agreement with our employees on shared benefit reductions, then the cuts will have to come in other, more painful ways that will mean a reduction in city services,'' Kilpatrick warned.

    The budget also envisions transferring day-to-day operations of the Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Historical Museums, which currently receive financial support from the city, to nonprofit boards.

    In a refrain he has repeated frequently in recent months, Kilpatrick, who is facing an election this year, blamed the budget problems on the state's weak economy, rising health care and pension costs and the city's shrinking tax base. With about 900,000 residents, Detroit is less than half the size it was at its peak in the 1950s.

    Kilpatrick's opponents have questioned why he did not take action to rein in the mounting deficit earlier in his term.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireLt1951
    replied
    As far as our apparatus goes. We now have all new Pierce Ladder Trucks and a couple ALF Tillers. Our Engine fleet has been updated and we now have no front line Engines more than 6 years old (with the 5 new Pierce's we just receieved). The department is in the process of standardizing our fleet with all Pierce Apparatus (they have been excellent with us as far as customer service) and the Pierce's have been awesome front line rigs. We also have a mandatory 4 man ride now. There is talk of downsizing the department through attrition. We are presently about 115 FF's short and they probably won't hire for a couple more years. There is also talk of the possibility of closing 4 ladder companies. At present we have 40 Engines, 21 Ladder Trucks, 3 Platforms and 6 Heavy Rescues covering 140 square miles. Our present manpower is around 1195 (1310 authorized) and many individuals are considering retirement (possibly as many as 50-60 in the next 10 - 12 months). At present, Detroit is doing around 17,000 to 18,000 structure fires a year (residential, commercial, indistrial etc). Total runs for everything are around 37,000. We don't run medical.

    We still have a few problems but overall things have gotten better over the last 4 years.
    Last edited by FireCapt1951retired; 04-07-2005, 12:35 PM.

    Leave a comment:

300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

Collapse

Upper 300x250

Collapse

Taboola

Collapse

Leader

Collapse
Working...
X