Everything we know about the recent drunk driving incidents involving Detroit firefighters

Whistleblower says incidents are part of widespread problem

The veteran firefighter was later found trapped in a department SUV, dangling over the Lodge Freeway. He was taken into custody for suspicion of drunk driving.
The veteran firefighter was later found trapped in a department SUV, dangling over the Lodge Freeway. He was taken into custody for suspicion of drunk driving.

DETROIT – There have been two separate drunk driving incidents involving Detroit firefighters recently.

The first incident happened on Feb. 21 when the operator of Squad 6, a heavy rescue engine, smashed into a parked car on Detroit’s east side while responding to a call about a woman who was sick. The firefighter was screened for alcohol and the department said he tested over the legal limit.

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

Sources said that that firefighter and his crew were at a retirement and promotions party at Engine House 50 when the call came in. Sources said that alcohol was being consumed at that party.

The second recent incident happened on Monday morning. Acting Chief 5 did not respond to calls about a house fire on Detroit’s west side.

The veteran firefighter was later found trapped in a department SUV, dangling over the Lodge Freeway. He was taken into custody for suspicion of drunk driving.

“I take this very seriously. It is not going to be tolerated,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

Duggan said that the department and himself should have seen tit coming and should have beefed up the employee assistance program.

The Firefighter’s Union said they welcome help.

Mayor Duggan launches plan to address drinking at Detroit firehouses
Mayor Duggan launches plan to address drinking at Detroit firehouses

READ: Detroit firefighters call for change following drunken engine crash


Firefighter accused of driving, crashing fire engine while drunk

A woman’s car was struck by a Detroit fire engine on Feb. 21.

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

The woman’s sister was sick inside a home on the city’s east side 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 her 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.

Woman speaks out after car struck by Detroit fire engine driven by firefighter accused of being drunk: Click here to read the full report, or watch the report below.

Woman speaks out after vehicle hit by Detroit firefighter engine
Woman speaks out after vehicle hit by Detroit firefighter engine

Detroit fire captain arrested after crashing department vehicle

A Detroit fire chief’s SUV was found dangling above the Lodge Freeway at Milwaukee and Baltimore early Monday morning.

The SUV was the Detroit Fire Department’s Chief 5. A fire captain was taken into custody on Monday. Sources said the captain was driving under the influence.

The incident began Monday morning at 2 a.m. when a call came out about a fire on Detroit’s west side at Majestic and Livernois.

The captain was supposed to be at the call, he would serve as the head coach of the firefighting operation. Repeated calls were made on the radio, but the captain could not be reached, sources said.

Sources told Local 4 that the captain had been suspended in 2016 after an incident involving codeine that was not prescribed to him.

Detroit fire captain arrested after crashing department vehicle under influence of alcohol, sources say: Click here to read the full report, or watch the video below.

Detroit fire captain arrested on suspicion of driving under influence while on duty
Detroit fire captain arrested on suspicion of driving under influence while on duty

READ: More Local 4 Defenders coverage


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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.