Detroit Fire Department
|Detroit Fire Department (DFD)|
|Annual calls||~165,000 (~9,000 Fires)|
|Facilities & Equipment|
|EMS Level||ALS & BLS|
The Detroit Fire Department currently operates 43 fire companies out of 37 Fire Stations, located throughout the city, with a total sworn personnel complement of 830 firefighters in all ranks. The Detroit Fire Headquarters used to be located on Larned Street in Downtown Detroit. On July 8, 2013 the headquarters moved to the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters on 3rd street. The building, a former MGM Grand Casino will host Fire, Police, EMS and additional services.
The Detroit Fire Department responds to approximately 165,000 emergency calls annually, with over 80% being medical emergencies and approximately 9,000 working structural fires.
- 1 Recent History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Operations
- 4 Budget cuts
- 5 Communications
- 6 Burn documentary
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Until December 31, 2013 the Detroit Fire Department was led by Fire Commissioner Donald R. Austin, a former member of the Los Angeles Fire Department and a Detroit native. Austin came to Detroit in May 2011 on the difficult mission to bring change to the Detroit Fire Department. In November 2013 he resigned due to changes in City Administration. Austin kicked off a reform of the department, which will have to be fulfilled by his successor. The new mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan named Jonathan Jackson, a 25-year veteran of the department, and a Second Deputy Fire Commissioner under Austin, as the Interim Fire Commissioner on December 23, 2013. Craig Dougherty, a former member of Engine 50 on the city's East Side and Fire Chief under Austin became a Second Deputy Commissioner under Jackson. The Administration was rounded out by Deputy Commissioner, Edsel Jenkins, C.P.A., Second Deputy Commissioner, Sydney Zack, LL.M., and Second Deputy Commissioner Orlando Gregory. By the end of March 2014 Commissioner Jackson resigned due to a life-threatening neural disease. On April 8 deputy commissioner Jenkins was named as the new Executive Fire Commissioner.
The city of Detroit has to cope with an enormous fire load, due to numerous vacant buildings throughout the city. Combined with the economic situation this results in many arson fires on a daily basis. During 2011, the DFD responded to over 9,000 working structural fires. Over 95% of the structural fires the DFD faces are caused by arson, fifty times the national average for arson-related fires. About 85% of the arson fires that occur daily in Detroit occur in vacant homes. There are no accurate statistics considering the arson rates in Detroit, due to the fact that only a fraction of the fires can be investigated with the highly understaffed arson unit. Only investigated fire scenes can be ruled arson. The others just remain "suspicious" fires.
Below is the rank structure of the Detroit Fire Department.
- Executive Fire Commissioner
- First Deputy Commissioner
- Second Deputy Commissioner
- Second Deputy Commissioner
- Chief of Department
- Deputy Chief (D.C.)
- Senior Battalion Chief
- Battalion Chief (B.C.)
- Senior Captain (Capt.)
- Captain (Capt.)
- Senior Lieutenant (Lt.)
- Lieutenant (Lt.)
- Sergeant (Sgt.)
- Fire Engine Operator (F.E.O.)
- Firefighter Driver (F.D.)
- Firefighter (F.F.)
- Probationary Firefighter (P.F.F.)
The Detroit Fire Department is currently divided in 10 divisions of Operations: Administration Division, Apparatus Division, Communications Division, Community Relations Division, Emergency Medical Services(EMS) Division, Firefighting/Fire Suppression Division, Fire Marshal Division, Medical Division, Research and Development Division, and the Training Academy Division.
Fire apparatus profile
- 25 Engine Companies (E1, E9, E17, E27, E29, E30, E33, E34, E35, E39, E40, E41, E42, E44, E46, E48, E50, E53, E54, E55, E56, E57, E58, E59, E60)
- 10 Ladder Companies (L6, L8, L17, L18, L20, L22, L23, L26, L27, L31)
- 1 Platform Company (L7)
- 6 Squad Companies (SQ1, SQ2, SQ3, SQ4, SQ5, SQ6)
- 8 Battalion Chiefs (Chief 1, Chief 2, Chief 4, Chief 5, Chief 6, Chief 7, Chief 8, Chief 9)
- 1 Tour Commander (Car 203)
- 2 Deputy Chiefs (Car 201, Car 202)
- 22 Medic Units
- 1 Tac. Unit (T2)
- 1 Haz-Mat. Unit (HM1)
- 1 Decon. Unit
- 1 Mobile Command Unit
- 1 Fireboat
Emergency Medical Services
The Detroit Fire Department operates a separate EMS Division and has no medical first responder system in place which is uncommon in the United States. This is mainly due to the vast amount of fires they have to fight every day. Committing fire apparatus to EMS calls would put too much strains on the department and leave too few units to respond to fires.
The EMS division operates with limited manpower. As a result, many calls are received without an EMS unit immediately available. The availability of EMS units is often compromised due to the amount of calls in a city which has a lot of violence, as well as the breaking down of the EMS rigs due to age, miles and lack of proper maintenance. Thanks to Mayor Bing's collaboration with business community, Roger Penske sponsored 23 new ambulances for the department, which were put into service in the summer of 2013.
In September 2013, AED devices were put in service on the fire apparatuses as a first step into performing life support to the citizens as a first responder.
Fire station locations and apparatus
As of December 2013, there are a total of 40 Fire Stations in the city of Detroit, including the Fire Headquarters, organized into 8 Battalions. Each Battalion is commanded by a Battalion Chief per shift.
|Engine Company||Ladder Company||Special Unit||Medic Unit||Chief||Battalion||Address|
|Car 200(Chief of Department), Car 201(Deputy Chief), Car 202(Deputy Chief), 203(Tour Commander)||1||1301 3rd St.(Public Safety Complex)|
|Engine 1||1||111 W. Montcalm St.|
|Engine 9||Ladder 6||Medic 21||1||3737 E. Lafayette St.|
|Engine 17||Ladder 7||Chief 5||5||6100 2nd Ave.|
|Engine 27||Ladder 8||Medic 9, Medic 19||Chief 7||7||4700 W. Fort St.|
|Engine 29||7||7600 W. Jefferson Ave.|
|Engine 30||Medic 3||4||16543 Meyers Rd.|
|Engine 33||7||1041 Lawndale St.|
|Engine 34||2||6535 Livernois Ave.|
|Engine 35||Medic 20, Medic 23||5||111 Kenilworth St.|
|Engine 39||Medic 1||5||8700 14th St.|
|Engine 40||Ladder 17||Medic 10||8||13939 Dexter Ave.|
|Engine 41||Medic 14||6||5000 Rohns St.|
|Engine 42||Medic 2||2||6324 W. Chicago St.|
|Engine 44||Ladder 18||Chief 8||8||21 7 Mile W.|
|Engine 46||9||10101 Knodell St.|
|Engine 48||Medic 11||7||2300 S. Fort St.|
|Engine 50||Ladder 23||Medic 15||Chief 9||9||12895 Houston Whittier St.|
|Engine 52||Ladder 31||9||5029 Manistique St.|
|Engine 53||4||15217 Greenfield Rd.|
|Engine 54||Ladder 26||Medic 4, Medic 22||4||16825 Trinity St.|
|Engine 55||Ladder 27||Medic 5||Chief 2||2||18140 Joy Rd.|
|Engine 56||Medic 16||8||18601 Ryan Rd.|
|Engine 57||2||13960 Burt Rd.|
|Engine 58||Squad 6||9||10800 Whittier St.|
|Engine 59||Squad 1||Medic 17||Chief 4||4||17800 Curtis St.|
|Engine 60||9||19701 Hoover St.|
|Ladder 20||Squad 2||Medic 6||1||433 Alexandrine St. W.|
|Ladder 22||2||6830 McGraw St.|
|Squad 3||6||1818 E. Grand Blvd.|
|Squad 4||5||1697 W. Grand Blvd.|
|Squad 5||8||18326 Livernois Ave.|
|Chief 6||6||11740 E. Jefferson Ave.|
|Medic 7||7||2775 W. Warren Ave.|
|Medic 12||6||2200 Crane St.|
|Medic 18||8||900 Merrill Plaisance St.|
|Haz-Mat. 1, Tac. 2, Decon. Unit||Medic 8||Chief 1||1||3050 Russell St.|
As of January 2011, in an effort to cut costs, the city of Detroit is considering privatizing the Fire Department's EMS Division.
As of June 26, 2012 the Chief of Department announced the permanent closure of 14 fire companies due to budget cuts (10 Engines, 4 Ladders). In 2013, 1 Engine and 7 Ladders were "browned out". The following companies are now "browned out":
- Engine 32 - 11740 Jefferson Ave. E. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 13 - 1041 Lawndale St. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 14 - 2200 Crane St. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 19 - 10700 Shoemaker St. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 21 - 6324 W. Chicago St. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 25 - 15217 Greenfield Rd. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 28 - 10325 Linwood St. (Browned Out 2013)
- Ladder 30 - 17475 Mt. Elliot Ave. (Browned Out 2013)
In addition to the permanent company closings, there have been units placed out of service daily due to manpower cutbacks. There were 200 demotions made. Also, the standard response to a structural fire was cut down from a 3 Engines and 1 Ladder response to a 2 Engines and 1 Ladder response.
Closed/disbanded fire companies
- Engine 2 - Organized at Hastings & Larned. Disbanded in at Hastings & Larned in 1940.
- Engine 3 - Organized at Clifford & Griswold in July 1861. Disbanded at Moncalm & Park in 1976.
- Engine 4 - Organized at Orchard & 5th in February 1865. Disbanded at Howard & 18th in 1976.
- Engine 5 - 433 Alexandrine St. W. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 6 - Organized at Russell & High in April 1868. Disbanded at Russell & Wilkins in 1994 to reorganize Engine 32.
- Engine 7 - Organized at Elmwood & Fort in February 1874. Disbanded at Lafayette & Mt. Elliot in January 1979.
- Engine 8 - 1625 W. Lafayette Blvd. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 10 - 3396 Vinewood. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 11 - Organized at Gratiot & Grandy in January 1884. Disbanded in 1976.
- Engine 12 - Organized at Grand River & 16th in December 1886. Disbanded at West Warren and Lawton in 1976.
- Engine 13 - Organized at Russell & Ferry in January 1887. Disbanded at Milwaukee & Riopelle in March 1976.
- Engine 14 - Organized at Scotten & Michigan in February 1888. Disbanded Vinewood & W. Grand Blvd. in May 1940.
- Engine 15 - Organized at Hubbard & W. Fort St. in December 1888. Disbanded at Hubbard & W. Fort St. in May 1940.
- Engine 16(Fireboat) - Organized at the foot of 5th St. in July 1893. Disbanded at the foot of 24th St. in 1955.
- Engine 18 - Organized at Mt. Elliot & Sylvester in May 1893. Disbanded July 2005.
- Engine 19 - Organized at E. Congress & Joseph Campau in January 1894. Disbanded at Elmwood & 4th in June 1949.
- Engine 20 - Detroit City Airport. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 20X(Airport Unit) - Organized at Detroit City Airport in January 1969. Placed in reserve status in April 1976.
- Engine 21 - 10325 Linwood St. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 22 - Organized at Michigan & Military in July 1896. Disbanded in July 1983 to reorganize Engine 27.
- Engine 23 - 1818 E. Grand Blvd. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 24 - Organized in July 1894 and moved to Kenilworth & Woodward in July 1899. Disbanded at Kenilworth & Woodward in May 1940.
- Engine 25(Fireboat) - Organized at the foot of McDougall in June 1901. Disbanded at the foot of McDougall in May 1940.
- Engine 26 - Organized at Crane & Brinket in June 1901. Disbanded in July 2005.
- Engine 28 - Organized at Milwaukee & Riopelle in May 1905. Disbanded May 1940.
- Engine 31 - 1697 W. Grand Blvd. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 36 - Organized at 7000 Helen St. in August 1918. Disbanded at 7000 Helen St. in February 1982 to reorganize Engine 50. Reorganized at 7000 Helen St. to form Tac. 2 in February 1982. Disbanded as Tac. 2 in September 1991.
- Engine 37 - Organized at Central & Dix in November 1916. Disbanded July 2005.
- Engine 38 - 1113 Coplin St. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 43 - Organized at Davison & Goddard in July 1921. Disbanded at Davison & Goddard in June 1983.
- Engine 45 - Organized at St. Jean & Mack in 1922. Disbanded in June 1983
- Engine 47 - 17475 Mt. Elliot Ave. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Engine 49 - 12515 Grand River. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Snorkel 1 - Organized at E. Lafayette & St. Antoine(Quarters of Engine 9) in April 1965. Disbanded at E. Lafayette & St. Antoine in June 1981 as a stand-by company.
- Ladder 1 - 3050 Russell St. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Ladder 2 - Organized at E. Larned & Beaubien in August 1871. Disbanded at E. Larned & Beaubien in November 1951.
- Ladder 3 - Organized at Montcalm & Park in February 1881. Disbanded at Montcalm & Park in May 1992.
- Ladder 4 - Organized at Michigan & 20th in September 1884. Disbanded in July 2005.
- Ladder 5 - Organized at Russell & Calhoun in January 1889. Disbanded at Russell & Wilkins(Quarters of Engine 6) in March 1976.
- Ladder 9 - Organized at Grand River & 16th(Quarters of Engine 12) in January 1894. Disbanded at W. Warren & Lawton in June 1992.
- Ladder 10 - 3812 Mt. Elliott St. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Ladder 11 - Organized at Milwaukee & Riopelle(Quarters of Engine 28) in January 1906. Disbanded at Kenilworth & Woodward(Quarters of Engine 35) in June 1992.
- Ladder 12 - Organized at Lafayette & 10th in January 1908.
- Ladder 15 - Organized at Woodward & Westminister in January 1911. Disbanded at Kenilworth & Woodward(Quarters of Engine 35) in June 1980.
- Ladder 16 - 7000 Helen St. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Ladder 24 - 18326 Livernois Ave. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
- Ladder 29 - Organized at Coplin & Jefferson(Quarters of Engine 38) in December 1927.
- Squad 7 - Organized at Greenfield & Fenkell(Quarters of Engine 53) in October 1951 as Rescue 7.
- Squad 8 - Organized at Central & Dix(Quarters of Engine 37) in January 1972 as Tactical Mobile Squad 8. Disbanded at Central & Dix(Quarters of Engine 37) in January 1978.
- Squad 9 - Organized at Jefferson & Hart(Quarters of Engine 32) in March 1972 as Tactical Mobile Squad 9. Disbanded at Jefferson & Hart(Quarters of Engine 32) in January 1978.
- Water Tower 1 - Organized at E. Larned & St. Antoine in July 1893. Disbanded at W. Larned & Wayne in May 1953.
- Hose 1 - Organized at W. Larned & Wayne(Quarters of Engine 1) in October 1876. Disbanded at Russell & Wilkins(Quarters of Engine 6) in April 1982 as a stand-by company.
- Hose 2 - Organized at Hastings & Congress(Quarters of Engine 2) in July 1886. Disbanded at Bagley & 6th(Quarters of Engine 8) in December 1971 as a stand-by company.
- Hose 3 - Organized at Elmwood & Fort(Quarters of Ladder 6) in June 1901. Disbanded at Bagley & 6th(Quarters of Engine 8) in May 1940 as High Pressure 3.
- Hose 4 - Organized at Woodbridge & 12th in April 1906. Disbanded at Concord & Jefferson(Quarters of Engine 7) in May 1940 as High Pressure 4.
- Foam 1 - Organized at Concord & Jefferson(Quarters of Engine 7) in November 1938. Disbanded at Burroughs & 2nd Ave.(Quarters of Engine 17) in December 1978.
- Foam 2 - Organized at Temple & 16th(Quarters of Engine 10) in November 1938. Disbanded at Russell & Wilkins(Quarters of Engine 6) in December 1978.
- Foam 3 - Organized at Burroughs & 2nd Ave.(Quarters of Engine 17) in November 1938. Disbanded at Lafayette & Mt. Elliot(Quarters of Engine 7) in December 1978.
- Tac. 3 - Organized at E. Lafayette & St. Antoine(Quarters of Engine 9) in June 1982. Disbanded at the Training Academy in September 1983 as a stand-by company.
- Tac. 4 - Organized at Milwaukee & Riopelle(Quarters of Engine 28) in June 1982. Disbanded at the quarters of Engine 48 in September 1983 as a stand-by company.
- Deputy 1 - Organized at W. Larned & Wayne(Quarters of Engine 1) in April 1927. Disbanded at W. Larned & Wayne(Quarters of Engine 1) in May 1940.
- Deputy 2 - Organized at Michigan & Military(Quarters of Engine 22) in April 1927. Disbanded at Michigan & Military(Quarters of Engine 22) in May 1940.
- Deputy 3 - Organized at Byron & Taylor(Quarters of Engine 39) in April 1927. Disbanded at Bryon & Taylor(Quarters of Engine 39) in May 1940.
- Deputy 4 - Organized at Rohns & E. Warren(Quarters of Engine 41) in April 1927. Disbanded at Rohns & E. Warren(Quarters of Engine 41) in May 1940.
- Chief 3 - Disbanded July 2005.
- Chief 10 - Disbanded sometime after 1986. (Renumbered Chief 9)
- Chief 11 - Disbanded sometime after 1986. (Renumbered Chief 4)
- Chief 12 - Disbanded at the quarters of Engine 50 in September 1961. (Renumbered Chief 10)
|Alarm Type||Alarm Level||Companies Assigned|
|Still Alarm||1st Alarm Assignment||1 Engine or 1 Engine, 1 Ladder|
|Box Alarm||1st Alarm Assignment||3 Engines (1 for R.I.T.), 1 Ladder, 1 Squad, 1 Chief|
|2nd Alarm Fire||2nd Alarm Assignment||3 Engines, 2 Ladders (1 Platform - Ladder 7), 1 Squad, 1 Chief, Car 203(Tour Commander)|
|3rd Alarm Fire||3rd Alarm Assignment||3 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Squad, 1 Chief, 1 Deputy Chief (Car 201 or Car 202), Mobile Command Unit|
|Motor Vehicle Accident/Elevator Rescue||Special Assignment||1 Engine, 1 Squad|
|Confined-Space Rescue||Special Assignment||1 Engine, 1 Squad, 1 Chief|
|Bomb Threat||Special Assignment||2 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Squad, 1 Chief, Haz-Mat. Unit|
|Police Assist/Access||Special Assignment||1 Ladder, 1 Chief|
The movie "Burn" is a documentary about the Detroit Fire Department filmed in 2011-2012. Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez joined the ranks of the fire department in order to give an up close view of life of the Detroit firefighters assigned to Engine 50 and ladder 23 on the city's east side an area best described as a war zone and one of the worst areas in Detroit. A few firefighters are followed up close, and with this, personal dramas also enfold. FEO Parnell loses his wife with his retirement in sight and Brendan "Doogie" Milewski was injured badly in a building collapse and left paralyzed.
The movie premiered at the Tribeca Festival in New York City in 2012. Although it tells a story that may be considered fascinating by many within the field, the commercial value was determined too low to achieve a nationwide release in theaters. The producers and directors made the decision to take the movie on a self-organized tour and have been drawing sizable audiences throughout the nation.
The movie was released on DVD on June 18, 2013.
- "Fire Department." City of Detroit. Retrieved on November 2, 2009.
- "." Retrieved on January 4, 2014.
- "FAQs | Fire Department | City of Detroit Departments". www.detroitmi.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- "About the Fire Department | City of Detroit Departments | www.detroitmi.gov". Ci.detroit.mi.us. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
- [dead link]
- "Latest News on Detroit's Fire Department". Detroit Firehouse. Retrieved 2013-12-27.