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Detroit Fire Department announces plan to address drinking on the job

This comes after 2 alcohol related fire department crashes in a week & an on-duty party where booze was served

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Previous coverage here & here

After two alcohol related fire department crashes in about a week and an on-duty retirement party where booze was served, the Detroit Fire Department has a plan for dealing with its problem. It was announced at press conference today (Tuesday) and can be viewed in the video above.

Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News:

A significant reduction of on-site leadership during the pandemic has led to a “very serious problem,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said during a press conference Tuesday.

“We don’t know the extent of the problem,” the mayor said. “We’re not here to focus on who is to blame, we’re focused on how to solve it.”

Duggan vowed the city will provide mental health services for city firefighters who have endured additional strain in recent years after being cross-trained as medical first responders.

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Jack Nissen, WJBK-TV:

Firefighters already respond to an increase in runs after their role was expanded to include medical responses.

However, the presence of COVID-19 magnified rumbling concerns of stress while also sucking out resources that firefighters and first responders use to cope with the job. When the public health crisis began, the city scaled back its employee assistance program to reduce the potential for spread.

But that created its own public health crisis.

“We really should have recognized that when we put this extra stress on our firefighters, we should have dramatically ramped up our employee assistance program to help these very courageous individuals deal with the stress, deal with alcoholism, deal with whatever other issues,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We should have ramped it up.”

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