Whistleblower says Detroit Fire Department drunk driving incident is part of widespread problem

Sources say a party was happening at Engine 50

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

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

READ: Detroit Fire Department: Drunken firefighter responding to emergency crashes engine

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 man who asked to remain anonymous spoke with Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley.

“Luckily there was no one in that car, or a child crossing the street that day,” he said.

The man isn’t a firefighter, but has been in fire stations citywide. The Fire Fighters Union said a firefighter on duty driving drunk is an isolated incident. The man who spoke to Local 4 said it’s not an isolated incident.

“There’s other stations that have alcohol flowing freely,” he said. “You go in the mess room, the table littered with different beer cans and different liquors.”

A 37-year veteran senior chief was there and the party wasn’t shut down. That same chief then took the driver of the truck who hit the car for the alcohol screen and called a deputy chief to tell him that a firefighter was driving drunk.

Sources told Local 4 that in that moment a dangerous mistake was made by those fire officials.

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