Detroit Fire Department: Drunken firefighter responding to emergency crashes engine

‘We are outraged,’ DFD commissioner says

Detroit Fire Department: Firefighter was drunk while on duty, crashes engine into woman's car
Detroit Fire Department: Firefighter was drunk while on duty, crashes engine into woman's car

DETROIT – Trenisha Hawkins’ car was struck by a Detroit fire engine Sunday night.

Her sister was sick insider the home and as soon as the Detroit Fire Department Squad Six arrived, the 26-year-old firefighter behind the wheel of a $500,000 rescue vehicle struck Hawkins’ car.

The Detroit Fire Department is investigating what they’re calling a dinner, but sources are calling it a big party at Engine 50, on Detroit’s east side.

Sources told the Local 4 Defenders there was drinking, a lot of drinking and members of Squad Six were on duty and drove the fire engine to the party.

Squad Six is a little over half a mile from where Hawkins’ sister got sick, but when the call came in, Squad Six was more than two miles away and at least one person on the fire crew was impaired when her sister needed help.

A supervisor took the firefighter for a drug and alcohol test. One source said the result was a bodily alcohol content of .108, but other sources said it was much higher.

It is a crime in the state of Michigan to drive with a bodily alcohol content of .08 or higher.

The firefighter was not arrested.

“I believe it wasn’t reported to the police,” said attorney Steve Haney.

Haney has a history of dealing with the Detroit Fire Department. He worked with a homeowner who sued the department last year when firefighters posed in front of his house on fire.

Haney said the firefighters had poor judgement and he wants accountability.

“We are outraged,” said Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.

Jones said the firefighter has been suspended and the case has been turned over to the Detroit Police Department where an arrest could be made.

He wants to know who was at the party, who was drinking and who knew about it -- including department superiors.

“We know one fire fighter consumed alcohol,” Jones said. “We need to follow the facts and where they lead. We are outraged someone would consume alcohol and drive an emergency response vehicle.”

The Detroit Fire Fighters Association released the following statement regarding the incident:

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.