DETROIT – When he took his post as Detroit Fire Commissioner, Chuck Simms promised to reach out and visit every firehouse in the city.
It was all in an attempt to reach out to people in the department and listen to their needs after a string of drinking-on-the-job incidents over the past several months.
Simms said his priority was to address the morale of the fire department and visit with firefighters to listen to their concerns. Simms said he heard the same thing at each stop.
“We just need to do a better job with communicating with the men and women out in the field. I think once they see us out here they really feel like their concerns are being heard,” Simms said.
While Simms was talking with firefighters, a disciplinary hearing was going on for two Detroit firefighters that were part of a crew that drove a fire engine on duty to a bar outside of Detroit. The driver of the fire engine tested positive for alcohol. The supervisor with him tested positive for marijuana.
The department’s new employee assistance program liaison also visited firehouses, letting firefighters know that there is help for them when they need it. The commissioner says communication is the key.
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