DETROIT – The Detroit Fire Department is undergoing changes after several firefighters and leaders were accused of drinking on the job.
Mayor Mike Duggan promised that changes were coming after a firefighter reportedly crashed a fire engine while drunk and a fire chief crashed responding to a call. He said new rules have been put in place and fire crews have been disciplined.
In February, there was a party at a Detroit fire house on the city’s east side. When a call for help came in, the driver of a heavy rescue engine arrived and struck a woman’s parked car. The DFD said he was above the legal blood alcohol limit while on duty and drove a fire engine drunk.
A week later, an overnight fire chief crashed a department SUV off the road and into a fence, where it dangled over the freeway. The DFD said he was also driving drunk.
Since those two incidents, sources said the chief who was at the retirement part on the east side was questioned about how much alcohol he was allegedly drinking and how much drinking did he see in the fire house. Since the chief failed to shut the party down, sources said he has been suspended for a week.
The night chief that crashed onto the Lodge Freeway has since retired.
A directive came out from the Detroit Fire Department that no parties of any kind can be held at station houses or department property every again.
Neither DFD members who the department said were driving drunk have been charged. The prosecutor’s office said both cases are under investigation.