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UPDATE: Detroit fire commissioner says banning firefighters from climbing aerial ladders will only minimally impact firefighters’ ability to extinguish fires.

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Above is the memo from Detroit Fire Chief Craig Dougherty we first showed you on Saturday that orders firefighters to stay off aerial ladders unless there is an immediate threat to life. The problem is that the Detroit Fire Department’s fleet of 19 ladder trucks does not meet NFPA’s standards on annual and five year testing. Yesterday, local news coverage caught up with the release of the memo.

Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press

“We don’t want any accidents,” he said. “We don’t want any fatalities.”

There are times when firefighters would be allowed to use the ladders, but Austin declined to discuss them with the Free Press.

A private vendor will be used to inspect the equipment, which could be complete in six weeks, he said.

“It’s not just our ladders,” ” McNamara said. “The real question should be, ‘What else is there that the fire department is obligated to inspect and certify and they haven’t?’”  

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