Detroit fire union sues city for negligence

Detroit fire union sues city for negligence

Posted: Updated:

By Alexis Wiley
FOX 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- The union representing Detroit firefighters is taking the extraordinary step of suing the city leaders for negligence. They say officials are putting the lives of firefighters and citizens in jeopardy.

"This is one of the most disastrous times in the Detroit Fire Department," said Dan McNamara, President of the Detroit Firefighters Association. "We're seeing a rise in civilian injuries, firefighter injuries and fatalities.

McNamara says cuts have stripped the department to the bone. He says the city has closed 15 fire companies and at least eight more are out of service every day. "Unless somebody stands up and does the right thing this catastrophe is going to continue on," said McNamara.

The union's lawsuit claims the city is breaking the law because Detroit's charter requires the city to provide adequate protection for all its citizens. Firefighters say that is not happening. "They're not letting us do that," said McNamara.

A judge has ruled the union can depose city officials, forcing them to give sworn statements. "We want to find out who's ultimately responsible," said McNamara.

Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin is fighting back, however. In a statement he says that Mayor Dave Bing has made public safety a top priority and cites the securement of nearly $30 million in FEMA grants that prevented 108 firefighter layoffs and allowed the city to rehire 26 firefighters. "Despite a tighter budget in recent years, the Fire Department is deploying its resources in the smartest and most efficient manner possible to maintain a high level of service," said Austin.

Depositions are scheduled to begin Feb. 11.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday's storm captured by Fox 2 viewers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:48:38 GMT
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
    We have more video of the storm and storm damage from across southeast Michigan. It's Fox 2 viewer pics and video that you sent to us.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:26:48 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
  • Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Person of interest sought in April Millsap murder

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:57:45 GMT
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
    We now know more about who police are looking for in the murder of April Millsap, 14, of Armada. Sunday, police released a sketch of a person of interest in the unsolved case.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices