Firefighters union: Detroit is choosing money over lives, shortcuts over solutions

By Dan McNamara
President of the Detroit Firefighters Association

On Tuesday, Detroit had another civilian handicapped fire fatality in an area that had its fire companies closed, further increasing response times to past the acceptable time limits recognized by insurance agencies.

There now have been 5 fires like this since the company closings have been implemented. The Detroit Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 344 (DFFA), has been showing documented factual proof in the media and has filed a lawsuit against the city.

It is upsetting that our message is being ignored by the Detroit Fire Department, the city administration and much of the media. I know it is not a nice fluffy story but it is about the real life for residents, taxpayers and Fire Fighters of Detroit.

Detroiters are being hit by a plan that they know nothing about and are facing a debilitating cut to their public safety system. The DFFA will continue to push forward our message in hopes of having the city cause a turnaround. No one will ever participate in a community where life, death and insurance rates are so easily dismissed. The DFFA continues to push to be a partner with decision makers to protect and resurrect success for Detroit.

Detroit Fire Fighters face tremendous challenges each day and keep on providing the best protection as possible. We are handicapped when our leaders ignore the realities that we see every day on the streets of Detroit. Public Safety cannot be ignored or compromised. It cannot be measured by income levels or political pull. Public Safety is about everyone in our community receiving equal protection. When leaders compromise the residents they are to protect and represent the whole system fails.

Detroit Fire Fighters will not give up or relent. Too much is at stake for anyone to stay on the sidelines while Detroit plays a game where the stakes are all or nothing. We only ask that we be allowed to provide the best service possible with the equipment and staffing we so sorely need.