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These boots are made for walking. But Charlie LeDuff asks Detroit officials if they are made for firefighting.

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The latest Detroit Fire Department story by WJBK-TV’s Charlie LeDuff has the reporter soaking his feet in a container of dirty water at the site of a burned out home. It’s part of the theatrics we’ve come to expect as LeDuff shows his disdain for one of hundreds of pairs of new fire boots purchased by the City of Detroit. LeDuff makes the case that the boots aren’t very good and that officials paid $12 more per pair than the low bidder.

As usual, Detroit officials follow the same script they always have and refuse to talk to the reporter about his story and answer questions about how taxpayer money was spent. Remember how well that tactic worked for them during the dust up about the paramedic who faced internal charges after giving away a blanket to an elderly man who was burned out of his home?

Here’s the latest from WJBK-TV:

Now we’ve chronicled leaking fire trucks, missing money, cutbacks, feces bubbling out of the floors of the firehouses and no toilet paper.  Now this week’s outrage is the new fire boots.

Now while they are fire certified, fire officials tell us that the new boots aren’t even the ones they agreed to buy this past summer.  The new boots are flimsy.  They don’t fit.  They don’t have support and nails go through the bottoms.  Nevertheless, we paid top dollar.  Why?

In July, the City of Detroit accepted bids for a $188,000 contract to purchase fire boots.  Now the low bid was $106 per pair.  But the city went with the high bidder who was asking $118 a pair.  Why?  Because that company is a Detroit-based contractor, which is allowed to charge more by city ordinance.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    God help those firefighters and city residents!! He needs to help the city officials too…they obviously need wisdom and courage!!

  • the ear

    I wonder whose boots wee supplied? I bet they are not leather.Detroit firemen continue to suffer.

  • My Mom
    • MichiganFF

      Hard to tell, but a quick google image comparison looks like they might be “Black Diamond” brand ??

  • RJ(in florida)

    buying a boot that dont meet NFPA specs?

    holy god whats next?

    i feel workmans comp setting it

  • mark

    So 2 years ago this was a bad law, and now they are abiding by it? And apparently purchasing inferior PPE to boot? (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

    They must be rubber boots, I can’t believe that there is a leather available for that low cost. Or a decent one. This is probably another “the price is cheap, but the cost is high” type situation.


  • Johnny Awesome

    How can I help?

  • Retired Chief

    I’m not sure if I feel more for Detroit or DCFD firemen. It’s a tie. Both work in absolute terrible conditions under shi**y “leaders”

  • BH

    I doubt many boots would stand up to a nail gun pressed down onto it past where the steel toe ends. That said, it still shouldn’t penetrate the sole, if my understanding of the NFPA requirements is correct.

  • Former Chief

    Ignoring the type of boots purchased and the quality of the boots purchased (the nail gun was an interesting touch) for a minute, and the fact that it appears the rank and file didn’t have input on the boot purchase, why does the Detroit administration continue to ignore Charlie and create more problems for themselves? My common sense tells me that if the media asks a question, answer it. Unfortunately, common sense seems to have left the planet in many areas.

  • Crowbar

    Benjamin Franklin said, “Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel.” Charlie Leduff buys it by the boatload. It’s a no-brainer, make sure he’s on YOUR side.

  • D. Schaefer

    What a bunch of Bull S**T.

  • ukfbbuff

    Rubber boots in 2012?

    I’m surprised that they didn’t at least investigate by trial a leather Boot instead.

    Especially since Commissioner Austin came from the Los Angeles FD and most FF’s there wear the leather type.

  • Anonymous

    One would think some form of Federal angency would step in and give the city leaders the “boot” and tkae control. Good luck guys.

    • Fire21

      There’s enough federal intervention in our lives. What Detroit need is for the citizenry to rise up, impeach the current city officials, and install some trustworthy leaders. I know, I’m dreaming to think that trustworthy leaders can be found in today’s world……

  • Bullets

    These are black diamond boots, rubber yes, but they do meet NFPA 1971 standard for structural fire fighting

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  • Dickey

    I guess I don’t get the issue…If they are NFPA compliant, what is the problem? Sure,they are not as fancy and comfortable as leather, or other rubber boot brands but they meet NFPA.

  • Big Mose

    One might think that the DFD procurement officer would get with the local DFD union Health and Safety Committe and get their input. Develop a specification and bid on that. Not tough.

  • luckyfire13

    I couldnt imagine having to deal with the issues the boys in Detroit have. Those guys up there put in some serious work and cant even get decent gear. Sure makes me thankful for what I have here in my dept in Baltimore