Detroit's firefighters union argues cuts threaten safety in suit - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Detroit's firefighters union argues cuts threaten safety in lawsuit

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Controversial cuts to the Detroit Fire Department are igniting a new legal battle.  The union is filing a lawsuit against the city claiming cost-cutting measures threaten pubic safety.

The fire station right next door to Grady Rogers' home is empty.

"Almost a month ... nobody [has] been over there."

Neighbors like Jeffrey Austin have taken over mowing the fire station's lawn to deter scrapers.

"It was actually up to the middle of my shin."

However, it's not the scrappers that has these Detroiters worried.

"It is unsafe," Rogers said.

"By them being there, we knew we always would have somebody to go to if something was to ever go wrong," said Austin.

The fire station is one of eight on the chopping block.  The city is permanently closing 15 companies, seven of which the city says have been browned out since 2005.  They'll also brown out at least ten additional companies every day and layoff 28 firefighters.  All of this is supposed to happen Friday, but in this neighborhood it's already beginning.

"I don't know what's going on," said Rogers.

"I believe the city could've found other ways to cut the budget besides cutting firemen and the fire department down to nothing," Austin said.

"You can't use a budget as an excuse to dismantle this fire department and make people more unsafe," said Dan McNamara with the Detroit Fire Fighters Association.

That's exactly what the Detroit Fire Fighters Association is arguing in their latest lawsuit.  The union claims the city's cuts threaten the safety of citizens and firefighters.  The brief points to data the union says proves these cuts are dangerous.

"I know we can show that this city can not make their obligation on these responses," McNamara said.

So what does the city and the commissioner have to say?  Mayor Dave Bing's office sent a statement that said in part, "The city has a plan to effectively and efficiently maintain the highest level of fire service for the city's citizens."

Components of the plan include using newly installed GPS systems in engines and rigs to better deploy resources, increasing the use of the Community Emergency Response Team and the Fire Corps and community fire prevention education.

However, the city's statement raises a few questions.  For one, the city points to GPS systems installed in rigs and engines.  There are no GPS systems at Engine 5.  The city also talks about the Fire Corps.  We couldn't find one firefighter who even knew that the Fire Corps existed.  So the question is will this plan turn into action by Friday?

"We don't know what to do Friday," said McNamara.

The Detroit Fire Fighters Association told us they expect a judge to call an emergency hearing as early as Wednesday.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Federal sting ends in gunfire in Highland Park

    Federal sting ends in gunfire in Highland Park

    Saturday, August 2 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-08-02 04:03:37 GMT
    In what started as a traffic stop, resulted in a shootout between federal agents and a pair of men known to have illegal assault rifles in Highland Park.Police say a task force of ATF and FBI agents who had previously set up a meet with two men, known to have AK-47s and AR-15s in their Chevrolet Cavalier, began to move in. The traffic stop was made near Oakland and Victor about 7:30 p.m. Friday. The car rammed the federal agents vehicle and the driver opened fire with a handgun. The agents re...
    In what started as a traffic stop, resulted in a shootout between federal agents and a pair of men known to have illegal assault rifles in Highland Park.Police say a task force of ATF and FBI agents who had previously set up a meet with two men, known to have AK-47s and AR-15s in their Chevrolet Cavalier, began to move in. The traffic stop was made near Oakland and Victor about 7:30 p.m. Friday. The car rammed the federal agents vehicle and the driver opened fire with a handgun. The agents re...
  • Officer hit by drunk driver on Detroit's east side

    Officer hit by drunk driver on Detroit's east side

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:15:06 GMT
    An officer was hit by a driver believed to be drunk Friday at 8 mile and Alcoy on Detroit's east side.Police say officers were investigating at the scene of a traffic accident when the driver ran through the barricade and hit the woman.She was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries and the drunk driver was arrested. Police had been conducting an investigation of the original accident in which one of the drivers died. Eight mile is closed in east bound lane by Alcoy.
    An officer was hit by a driver believed to be drunk Friday at 8 mile and Alcoy on Detroit's east side.Police say officers were investigating at the scene of a traffic accident when the driver ran through the barricade and hit the woman.She was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries and the drunk driver was arrested. Police had been conducting an investigation of the original accident in which one of the drivers died. Eight mile is closed in east bound lane by Alcoy.
  • Man arrested after trying to wrestle gun from officer in Detroit

    Man arrested after trying to wrestle gun from officer in Detroit

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-08-02 01:32:44 GMT
    A man was arrested after he went for an officer's gun trying to wrestle it away from Detroit Police, causing the weapon to fire.SkyFOX was over the scene on Manning Street in Detroit, where the incident occurred Friday,The bullet didn't hit anyone and police took a 27-year-old man from Roseville into custody.Police say the home was a known drug den, and when officers drove by the property -- four people ran from the home.The officer and suspect were treated at a hospital for non life threaten...
    A man was arrested after he went for an officer's gun trying to wrestle it away from Detroit Police, causing the weapon to fire.SkyFOX was over the scene on Manning Street in Detroit, where the incident occurred Friday,The bullet didn't hit anyone and police took a 27-year-old man from Roseville into custody.Police say the home was a known drug den, and when officers drove by the property -- four people ran from the home.The officer and suspect were treated at a hospital for non life threaten...
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices