Detroit firefighters receive early Christmas gift from Art Van Furniture

Art Van Furniture donates 150 mattress sets to firehouses in Detroit


Detroit firefighters working Christmas will rest better at the firehouse after receiving a donation of new mattresses from Art Van Furniture.

Mayor Bing was joined by Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of the store, and Detroit Fire Commissioner Don Austin to accept 150 mattress sets for firefighters in the city on Monday.

The donation was made through the Detroit Public Safety Foundation in support of the Mayor's Active and Safe Detroit Campaign.

Watch: Wyandotte family helps those in need.

"I am pleased that Art Van Furniture, a local family-owned business, has made such a significant commitment to support our City and its first responders," Mayor Bing said. "Our dedicated firefighters are grateful for such generous support from the communities they serve."

Fourteen sets of mattresses and box springs were delivered this morning to City of Detroit Fire Department Engine 50 Ladder 23 on the city's east side.

The firehouse is one of the busiest in the country and was featured in the documentary Burn, which chronicles the daily experiences of Detroit's dedicated firefighters.

An additional 136 mattress sets will be delivered by Art Van Furniture to Detroit fire stations after the first of the year.

"Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Dave Bing and the generosity of corporate citizens like Art Van Furniture, Detroit's firefighters will have comfortable beds to sleep on in the fire houses. These new mattresses will help them get a good rest in preparation for responding to calls for assistance," said Jim Nicholson, chairman of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation.                                             

The Safe Detroit Campaign is a $50 million initiative to help Detroit become a safer and healthier place to live, work and visit.

Read: Metro Detroit charities for homeless.

The campaign aims to bring together leaders from business, government, philanthropic organizations and the community to raise money for recreation center programs, equipment and assistance for the Fire and Police Departments, and support for the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and Broken Windows Policing Initiative.

"We wanted to step-up and do our part to help the city of Detroit," said Elslander "It is an honor and a privilege for us to help ensure comfort and proper rest for these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day."

Detroit's first responders are still in need.

Police Department wish list:


  • Shotspotter (automatic alerting system based on audio gunshot monitoring)
  • Video surveillance infrastructure (extend beyond downtown)
  • Mobile reporting devices (example: ipad/blackberry)
  • Wireless body cameras to record officers' actions and interactions with citizens
  • 20 Patrol Fleet Vehicles
  • Update training facilities
  • Safety upgrades for precincts such as cameras/bullet-proof glass, etc.
  • Simulated Shooting Range
  • Mounted Police expenses (Vet bills, hay, horseshoeing)
  • K-9 Unit

To see more items on the police wish list click HERE.

Fire Department wish list:


  • 23 ambulances (Fleet has an average of 149,000 miles)
  • 20 fire apparatus (No reserve fleet and many mechanical issues with fleet)
  • Computer-Aided dispatch with station alerting system
  • Medical priority dispatch system (MPDS)
  • Fire station computers
  • Laptops for Arson Investigators
  • Personal Protective Equipment (Required to perform at the scene of emergencies)
  • Automatic External Defibrillators (AED)
  • Repairs to Engine #59
  • Repairs to Engine #8
  • Repairs to Engine #34
  • Repairs to Ladder #17
  • Repairs to Ladder #8
  • Repairs to Ladder #18
  • Repairs to Ladder #21

    Supply Needs

  • Ajax
  • All purpose cleaner/degreaser
  • Bar soap
  • Black pens
  • Bleach
  • Blue/red pencils
  • Brooms
  • Carbon Paper legal
  • Carbon paper standard
  • Dish soap
  • File boxes
  • Floor scrub brushes
  • Floor wax
  • Garbage Bags
  • Hand brushes
  • Hand soap
  • Hand towels
  • Highlighters
  • Lawn mowers
  • Mop Heads with handles
  • Paper clips
  • Paper towels
  • Push brooms
  • Red pens
  • Scouring pads
  • Snow Shovels
  • Soft bristle rig brushes
  • Sponges
  • Staples
  • Toilet brushes
  • Toilet paper

To see more of the fire department's wish list click HERE.

To learn more about the program and to help support the Detroit's first responders visit

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