Detroit Fire Department

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Detroit Fire Department (DFD)
Operational Area
Country United States
State  Michigan
City Detroit
Agency Overview
Established 1860
Annual calls ~165,000 (~9,000 Fires)
Employees 830
Staffing Career
Commissioner Edsel Jenkins
Facilities & Equipment
Divisions 1
Battalions 8
Stations 37
Engines 26
Ladders 13
Squads 6
Fireboats 1
Ambulances 22
HAZMAT 1
EMS Level ALS & BLS
Airport crash 2
The former Fire Headquarters, located in Downtown.
The quarters of Engine 17, Ladder 7, and Chief 5 at 6100 2nd St.
A DFD Captain overseeing a fire in 1978.
Fireboat Curtis Randolph
DFD Ladder 19 and an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team van at the scene of a house fire in Detroit.

The Detroit Fire Department (DFD) provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the city of Detroit, Michigan, United States.

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 was once 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[edit]

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 had 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.[2] 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.

Fire Activity[edit]

The city of Detroit has to cope with an enormous fire load, due to numerous vacant buildings throughout the city. Combined with its, economic situation this results in many arson fires on a daily basis. In 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 by the highly understaffed arson unit. Only investigated fire scenes can be ruled arson. The others just remain "suspicious" fires.

Organization[edit]

Rank Structure[edit]

Below is the rank structure of the Detroit Fire Department.[3]

  • 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.)
  • Trial Firefighter (T.F.F.)

Operations[edit]

The Detroit Fire Department is currently divided into 10 divisions of operations: Administration, Apparatus, Communications, Community Relations, Emergency Medical Services(EMS), Firefighting/Fire Suppression, Fire Marshal, Medical, Research and Development, and Training Academy.[4]

Fire apparatus profile[edit]

  • 26 Engine Companies (E1, E9, E17, E27, E29, E30, E33, E34, E35, E39, E40, E41, E42, E44, E46, E48, E50, E52, E53, E54, E55, E56, E57, E58, E59, E60)
  • 11 Ladder Companies (L6, L8, L14, L18, L20, L22, L23, L25, L26, L27, L31)
  • 2 Platform Company (L7, L17)
  • 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[edit]

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, mileage, and lack of proper maintenance. Thanks to Mayor Bing's collaboration with the 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 citizens as first responders.

Fire station locations and apparatus[edit]

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.[5][6]

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. @ Park Ave
Engine 9 Ladder 6 Medic 21 1 3737 E. Lafayette St. @ Mt. Elliot
Engine 17 Ladder 7 Chief 5 5 6100 2nd Ave. @ Burroughs St.
Engine 27 Ladder 8 Medic's 9, 19 Chief 7 7 4700 W. Fort St. @ Ferdinand St.
Engine 29 7 7600 W. Jefferson Ave. @ Solvay St.
Engine 30 Medic 3 4 16543 Meyers Rd. & Florence St.
Engine 33 7 1041 Lawndale St. @ Lafayette Blvd.
Engine 34 2 6345 Livernois Ave. @ Walton St.
Engine 35 Medic 20, Medic 23 5 111 Kenilworth St. & Woodward Ave.
Engine 39 Medic 1 5 8700 14th St. @ Blaine St.
Engine 40 Ladder 17 Medic 10 8 13939 Dexter Ave. @ Ewald Cir.
Engine 41 Medic 14 6 5000 Rohns St. @ E. Warren Ave.
Engine 42 Medic 2 2 6425 W. Chicago Ave. @ Livernois
Engine 44 Ladder 18 Chief 8 8 47 W. 7 Mile @ John R.
Engine 46 9 10101 Knodell St. & Gratiot Ave.
Engine 48 Medic 11 7 2300 Fort St. & Downing
Engine 50 Ladder 23 Medic 15 Chief 9 9 12895 Houston Whittier St. @ Gratiot
Engine 52 Ladder 31 9 5029 Manistique St. & E. Warren Ave
Engine 53 Ladder 25 4 15217 Greenfield Rd. @ Fenkell
Engine 54 Ladder 26 Medic 4, Medic 22 4 16825 Trinity St. @ Grand River
Engine 55 Ladder 27 Medic 5 Chief 2 2 18140 Joy Rd. @ Southfield Rd.
Engine 56 Medic 16 8 18601 Ryan Rd. @ Hilldale
Engine 57 2 13960 Burt Rd. & Schoolcraft
Engine 58 Squad 6 9 10801 Whittier St. @ Lakepoint
Engine 59 Squad 1 Medic 17 Chief 4 4 17800 Curtis St. @ Southfield Rd.
Engine 60 9 19701 Hoover St. @ Manning
Ladder 14 Medic 12 6 2200 Crane St. @ Brinket
Ladder 20 Squad 2 Medic 6 1 433 Alexandrine St. W. & Cass Ave.
Ladder 22 2 6830 McGraw St. & Martin Rd.
Squad 3 6 1818 E. Grand Blvd. @ Moran
Squad 4 5 1697 W. Grand Blvd. @ McGraw Ave.
Squad 5 8 18326 Livernois Ave. @ Curtis
Chief 6 6 11740 E. Jefferson Ave. @ Hart
Medic 7 7 2775 W. Warren Ave. @ Lawton St.
Medic 18 8 900 Merrill Plaisance St.
Haz-Mat. 1, Tac. 2, Decon. Unit Medic 8 Chief 1 1 3050 Russell St.

Budget cuts[edit]

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 E. Jefferson Ave. & Hart. (browned out 2013)
  • Ladder 13 - 1041 Lawndale St. (2013)
  • Ladder 19 - 10700 Shoemaker St. & French Rd. (2013)
  • Ladder 21 - 6324 W. Chicago Ave. & Livernois (2013)
  • Ladder 28 - 10325 Linwood St. (2013)
  • Ladder 30 - 17475 Mt. Elliot Ave. & Davison. (2013)

As of October 2014, Ladder's 14 & 25 have been reinstated.

In addition to the permanent company closings, some units have been put out of service daily due to manpower cutbacks. 200 demotions have been 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.[7]

Closed/disbanded fire companies[edit]

Over the years, numerous fire companies have been closed due to budget cuts and financial crisis, particularly throughout the 1970s.[8][9][10]

  • 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. & Cass Ave. 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. & W. Grand Boulevard. 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. & Moran. 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 Miller St. in August 1918. Disbanded at 7000 Miller St. in February 1982 to reorganize Engine 50. Reorganized at 7000 Miller 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. & Jefferson. 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. & Davison. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
  • Engine 49 - 12515 Grand River & Manor. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
  • Engine 51 - 18326 Livernois Ave. & Curtis. Disbanded 2013.
  • 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 At 3396 Vinewood. (Quarters of Engine 10)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. & Sylvester. 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 Miller St. Disbanded June 26, 2012.
  • Ladder 24 - 18326 Livernois Ave. & Curtis. 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)

Communications[edit]

Response guidelines[edit]

Alarm Type Alarm Level Companies Assigned
Still Alarm 1st Alarm Assignment 1 Engine or 1 Engine, 1 Ladder
Box Alarm 1st Alarm Assignment 2 Engines 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

Burn documentary[edit]

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 is badly injured 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, its 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fire Department." City of Detroit. Retrieved on November 2, 2009.
  2. ^ "[1]." Retrieved on January 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "FAQs | Fire Department | City of Detroit Departments". www.detroitmi.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  4. ^ "About the Fire Department | City of Detroit Departments | www.detroitmi.gov". Ci.detroit.mi.us. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Latest News on Detroit's Fire Department". Detroit Firehouse. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  7. ^ v
  8. ^ http://www.detroitfirefighters.net/pdfs/Enginehistory.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.detroitfirefighters.net/pdfs/Ladder.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.detroitfirefighters.net/pdfs/CHIEF%20TO%20PUMPING.pdf

External links[edit]