Official statement from Detroit Fire Fighters Association
In a disastrous turn of events, Mayor Dave Bing today issued layoff notices to 164 fire fighters and announced the closing of 16 fire companies putting into immediate danger the safety of Detroit’s fire fighters, residents, visitors and taxpayers.
"These decisions are indefensible," said Dan McNamara, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association Local 344. "Earlier this year, the city and the DFFA sat together and hammered out an agreement that would have greatly minimized these cuts and kept the city protected. However, at the last minute, they decided not to honor the deal – even though it had already been signed."
McNamara continued, "Mayor Bing is now calling for $23 million in cuts from the Detroit Fire Department. In the agreement they backed out of, we proposed up to $31 million in real savings including significant give backs and necessary restructuring – with no layoffs and only closing six fire companies permanently."
These cuts by the city will put its Fire Department and its residents at great risk – increasing response times and further taxing an already greatly reduced workforce.
"For as long as we’ve been fighting fires in the City of Detroit, we have guaranteed that if you call us we will come," said McNamara. "If these cuts remain, there will be times when we won’t have the necessary resources to respond. Add to this the Fire Commission Donald Austin’s previously stated policy to ‘let buildings burn’ we have a disaster waiting to happen that will likely result in not only the loss of property, but potentially the loss of lives."