Commissioner shakes up Detroit Fire Department, ousting 3 top officials

fire Cadillac and Mack

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Delivering on a pledge to fix Detroit’s long-beleaguered Fire Department, first-year Commissioner Eric Jones announced a major shakeup Wednesday.

Jones ousted three top officials – Interim Deputy Commissioner John Berlin, Fire Marshal Robin Eagan and Chief of Training Stephen Johnson, all of whom have the option of reverting to their former rank.

Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.

Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.

The shakeup comes a little more than four months after Jones, a former police chief, was appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan. Jones replaced Commissioner Edsel Jenkins after Motor City Muckraker revealed major problems within his administration. 

Jones brought in a nationally renowned expert on fire rigs, equipment and operations, Dave Fornell, to replace Berlin as interim deputy commissioner. Fornell is the author of the “Fire Stream Management Handbook” and is frequently featured in fire publications. Duggan is expected to approve Fornell as the permanent deputy commissioner as early as this week. 

The rest of the new top brass came from within the department.

Jones appointed Chief of Arson Charles Sims to second deputy commissioner, the post formally held by Craig Dougherty, who was forced out in November because fire rigs were in serious disrepair and life-savings equipment was uncertified. 

Sims will be replaced by fire investigator Patrick McNulty. The new fire marshal is Gregory Turner, one of the city’s top fire prevention experts. And Chief of Training Stephen Johnson will be replaced by Alfie Green, who has been training firefighters for the department.

Since Jones took office, aerial ladders and other equipment were certified; arson arrests have skyrocketed; and rigs have been repaired more quickly. 

http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2015/11/12/records-4-firefighters-collected-abundant-overtime-they-didnt-work/

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Donald E. Hodge

    I Love you Eric Jones! You put a new face on the term ” Our Hero”. I don`t think you have any idea how this makes the people of the city feel. Man somebody actually cares about us. Your Beautiful.

  • Donald E. Hodge

    I Love you Eric Jones! You put a new face on the term ” Our Hero”. I don`t think you have any idea how this makes the people of the city feel. Man somebody actually cares about us. Your Beautiful.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Anything in particular that lead to skyrocketing arson arrests ? Thats the part most interesting to the lay person.

    • Klann Killa

      Yeah, new leadership outside of the DFD culture that plainly stated, “Prove your usefulness or get the “puck outta here .” Also arson has essentially been taken over by DPD, which injected a whole new level of “ambition”, to the cats already down there.

    • Klann Killa

      Yeah, new leadership outside of the DFD culture that plainly stated, “Prove your usefulness or get the “puck outta here .” Also arson has essentially been taken over by DPD, which injected a whole new level of “ambition”, to the cats already down there.

    • Donald E. Hodge

      Particular interesting? Well to the people of Detroit it is. the increase in arrests comes from the fact that the Detroit Police department most likely is involved in the arresting part. Most Fire departments arresting powers are vague at best.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        I did not say particular interesting. I did not reference the people of detroit or suggest it was not interesting.

        Re read what I said. I asked anything in particular that lead to skyrocketing arrests.

        Possible answers :
        Joint task force
        Money from the state or county.
        Working with insurance industry.
        New dogs.
        New lab

        Its not crazy to ask. I did not pose it as a negative. Its whats holding detroit back, you can torch a house, I think collect money on it, thats unclear if its tied up in court or insurance paper work for years. Then that dude bounces, moves to southfield and leaves his hood with a burned out house for the next 5 years.

        You stop that, or make it no worse than say 20% worse than a nice suburb, fix the schools, then you will have 200k people move back to detroit.

        • Donald E. Hodge

          New Lab? New dog?, Joint task force. you are a Moron! they don`t even have the money to buy equipment they need. Go a way. your a Bore. 10.000 people die every day. please let it be you on Friday

          • SnowStormsinDetroit

            Laughing out loud!!!!

            Mr. Hodge that guy is a moron in his sleep. But when he wakes up and starts talking…..he’s a whole brand new type of stupid, the likes of which ive honestly never even seen before. And I’m not even trying to be funny.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Thanks brother, good looking out.

          • nishnob

            LMAO!! Brilliant, Don!!

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Anything in particular that lead to skyrocketing arson arrests ? Thats the part most interesting to the lay person.

  • Squirtle

    Oh look, another regime change that will inevitably fail to produce any real change in the department and will become vilified just like the one before it.

    How exciting.

    • Donald E. Hodge

      Thanks for being Positive.

      • Squirtle

        When you’ve been through a few of them and nothing changes, you tend to lose faith.

        • Donald E. Hodge

          yeah man, I understand. try not to let it get you down. I know that might sound mundane But I was one of the cats that thought Kwamie was going to start to put D town back on her feet. So I was extremity Pissed about that one. Hang in there, your not alone Baby.

    • Donald E. Hodge

      Thanks for being Positive.

  • Klann Killa

    Buh-buy John boy ?, and DO let the door hit you, you fuckin’, flip-flop, prick. This was a good move that was loooong overdue. The Boys are ecstatic ????

    • SnowStormsinDetroit

      My sentiments egggzzzackly Klan Killa. I have no personal knowledge of these guys, but do know the only way to improve failed departments is to FIRE A FEW MUTHAFU#@AS!!!

      • Klann Killa

        My man Snow!!! Whadup Dogg?!!! That’s REAL TALK right there. The sight of rolling heads tends to make one straighten up, and fly right don’t it? BTW, big ups to you on the evisceration of one A.S. from D.D., a couple of weeks back on the topic of “nailing it.”??? PRICELESS. You turned that “white sheet into a red cloth.” Pulled the covers right off his punk-@$$. Also dug the “Seniors vs Soldiers” piece. Way to shut em down Dogg ??. DD thought I played “too rough”, and banned Ya Boy, no big though. Stay tuned to the resurrection of KK ????? Keep spittin’ the real. Peace ✌?️

    • Donald E. Hodge

      KK, I am so happy for you guys! There must be singing and Dancing in every fire house in the city when that was announced. The new man in charge of operations and equipment, Dave Fornell. I have to say, amazing guy. Enjoy Brother, you folks deserve all of it! and more.

      • Klann Killa

        Greatly appreciated!!!? Too bad for Steve J who was not part of the problem, and a good guy, best of luck to you Bro. Congrats to my boy, Dr. Alfie Green who is QUITE qualified to run the show, fine job Bro!!!! ????????. Gonna take your word on this Dave cat, but I’m sure he can’t be worse than those two pricks, Craig, and John. I’ll keep you posted. Peace ✌?️

        • Donald E. Hodge

          It is good to hear from you KK Captain Dave Fornell published a book called ” Fire Stream Management Handbook “. We had to read it in Fire Science back in school. Great Book for Firemen KK. I went on line to find it and buy it for you but these cats Wanted 895.00 dollars for it! it is out of print. Maybe Eric Jones can pick up a copy or two for the Fire houses to read. this cat is the real deal KK. we need to do Beers. Talk to you. 🙂
          PS. For Detroit Fire To even get Captain Dave, tells me That DFD is going to Blow them out of the Water…….Yeah.!

          • Klann Killa

            895.00!!!??? Does it put the fires out too!!?? I’m a firefighter, not a dope dealer. LOL??? I did hear the cat knew his shit, BUT this is the “D”. I’m at work today, and I’ve had 4 dwelling fires, and I’m not even half way through my tour, not to mention the other fires throughout the city today. Where is this cat from?

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Captain Dave P. Fornell is a line officer in Casstown, OH. ( easy KK ) also captain in a hose company in Dandury, Conn. a city of 85.000. fire chief in Westchester, Illinois outside of Chi-town; instructor in engine company operations……..so on and so on……Google his name when you get back to the Fire House. Be careful.