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UPDATED: Detroit sends out order closing 15 fire companies. 200 firefighters to be demoted.

Fox 2 News Headlines

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In Detroit words has come down that box alarms will now consist of two engines instead of three. That’s because the city will be operating with 10 fewer engine companies. Four ladder companies are also being cut. In addition the reduction in companies means 200 firefighters will be reduced in rank and 156 will face lay offs. The union president says one impact will be a significantly older firefighting force.

Here are the list of companies that will be closing according to WJBK-TV – Engines 5, 8, 20, 21, 23, 31, 33, 38, 42 and 47, Ladder 1, 10, 16, 24 and TAC 2. Below are images of Detroit Fire Department orders outlining the cuts that have been making the rounds on Facebook since this afternoon.


Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s Fire Department cuts started taking effect Monday night. The cuts have people on edge in a city that sees its fair share of fires.

“Like ‘American Pie’ by Don McClean, the day the music died,” said union Chief Dan McNamara. “This may be the day that firefighting died as we know it. And we’re very proud of what we do.”

The mayor’s office said no one likes this but it is where the city is. They have to make cuts. They have no choice.

Also from WDIV-TV:

Between 5 and 8 fires broke out overnight on Detroit’s east side as fire crews from the west side of the city joined to help extinguish  the flames. The first fire started late Monday night and several other fires sparked through early morning.


Just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse, “the city has essentially said I think everybody better make sure they have their own garden hose,” said union president Dan McNamara.

“The citizens of the city are going to suffer because they can say what they want, they cannot justify these closings.”

“Out of a thousand people, we have 18 people under the age of 30, so you’re going to have old people like me riding the back ends, 50-year-olds on the back ends of fire trucks, and less fire trucks taking longer to get there, so guess who suffers,” McNamara said.

The city is responding saying these cuts are going to happen, but 108 of the 156 firefighters being laid off will get their jobs back, they claim, through a SAFER grant and the rest they’re hoping will be able to get their jobs back through attrition.  However, firefighters say they’re worried because right now they’re short 300 firefighters.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • cs_raynor

    Very scary, seems that the city is not only playing russian roulet with the safety of the public but with the safety of the firefighters as well.

  • Sharppointy1

    OMG. I hope we don’t see LODDs increase with this shortsighted cut. May all the Detroit Fire Department stay safe and know people are worrying for you.

  • Capt 45-2

    Like I said in the past,, let them burn brothers you have people that need you at home. Stay safe

  • Johnny Awesome

    Are fire stations being shut down or are they just closing fire companies? I know some stations have 2 or more companies at them..

  • FMCH

    Devils Night this year looks like it’s going to a big one.

    • @ElwoodBluez

      Never mind Devils Night. Tomorrow night should be interesting.


    I wonder if the neighboring municipalities and their FDs are stepping up their training in how to establish a firebreak??

  • Maxwell

    It’s a very unfortunate situation. With only a population now of around 714,000 Detroit easily knocks out between 8-15 workers every-night, 7 days a week. They are extremely busy. The people making these cuts are not the ones who will be on the streets at the mercy of their own decisions. It is literally a train wreck waiting to happen. Not that my opinion really matters but as far as I am concerned it’s almost borderline negligence. Arson continues to plague the city and the number of fires in vacants continues to rise. Some of the companies they are cutting run over 1000 working fires per year. Detroit used to be a beautiful, great city, and it is slowly being reduced to a pile of rubble. It’s a slap in the face to the people who remain day in and day out, both police and fire, trying to save Detroit.

  • Craig Johnson

    I am in awe of the passion those guys must have to stay there and do the job. There are just no words to properly describe that. Wow. Stay safe Brothers.

  • SFD

    Don’t know how Mayor Bing or Commissioner Austin can sleep at night after making that big of a cut to a department with the work load of the DFD….Does anyone know if they are still moving forward with building a new fire headquarters?

  • North Chief

    Detroit is just an example of whats to come in the US. We are the only ones who care about the effects on the citizens, the politicians dont care and the majority of the public doesn’t care unless its them who needs the service. I would bet the majority of the people who will be hurt by this dont pay taxes, vote or watch the news. This situation os being discussed here but probaly in very few other places. Apathy rules.

  • FOBS

    I cannot believe what is happening to Detroit FD.

    Are the brass taking any hits or just the folks doing the actual work?

    Stay safe.

  • Anonymous

    Are any other services getting cut or just the FD?

    • 7House

      There were cuts to just about every other city service, including the PD, but they didn’t exactly “spread it around”. I think I read they cut, but didn’t stop funding for the opera house or something. Worse yet, the mayor announced the day after he was going to do the layoffs, he made a big deal about demolishing 1,500 abandoned homes in 90 days, at a price tag of $13-15 million. That many houses is only a drop in the bucket, and they will probably be ones that have already burned several times. most of it will probably be federal money, but if he thinks they will get a SAFER grant after that, think again, our city found out the hardway.

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