Detroit's first post-bankruptcy budget: 'Balanced and modest' spending. Detroit may let abandoned buildings burn; film documents firefighters' tough times - U.S. News. The documentary 'Burn,' which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows Detroit firefighters facing a staggering problem: the city has three times as many structure fires as Los Angeles, a city more than five times its size.
Detroit to lay off 164 firefighters – USATODAY.com. DETROIT -- As Detroit continues to work through its financial difficulties, the city will lay off 164 firefighters by the end of July, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's office announced Monday.
The layoffs could be temporary, as the city hopes to secure a federal grant that would restore the jobs of 108 firefighters. Still, there is no guarantee the city will be awarded the grant, Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin said during budget talks this spring. "Since I became mayor, I've made public safety my top priority, and I've said I would protect the jobs of police and firefighters, but fiscal realities have made this untenable," Bing said in a statement.
"With my administration continuing to work to fiscally stabilize the city and with recent cuts to the city's budget, we're announcing the layoffs of 164 Detroit Fire Department firefighters by the end of July. " In his statement, Bing said Austin and his staff have developed a plan to maintain the highest levels of fire service by: Firefighters say Detroit burned on new boot purchase. By Charlie LeDuffFox 2 News.
Detroit Fire Department memo: Aerial ladders are unsafe for use. Detroit Fire Department Faces Layoffs, Mayor Calls For 18 Percent Force Reduction. After a night spent battling a wave of blazes on the city's east side, captured on video by Detroit Urbex, members of the Detroit Fire Department found themselves having to respond to more bad news from the mayor's office.
In a statement released Monday, Mayor Dave Bing announced Detroit would be cutting 164 firefighters -- more than 18 percent of its force-- by the end of July. He expects to eventually restore 108 of those positions with funding from a federal grant. Most of the remaining 56 firefighters will be eliminated through attrition. Only Detroit Fire Department boat still in water; truck trouble. DETROIT, Mich.
(WJBK) - Equipment problems have plagued the Detroit Fire Department for years. The promise of new trucks is still on hold and now another important piece of equipment is in jeopardy. The Detroit Fire Department's only boat is not winterized and truck troubles also persist. "We're always fixing them," said Tom Ilich, Detroit fire truck mechanic. FOX 2: "We're told the city finally has money to fix them is that true? " Detroit reaches deal limiting pension cuts - Apr. 16, 2014. If approved, the deals would significantly limit proposed cuts in pension benefits compared to what had previously been proposed.
The first deal was reached with the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association, which represents more than 80% of Detroit's retired public safety workers. Retirees would suffer no cuts to their current pension benefits and would receive nearly half of their annual cost of living increases moving forward. Later Tuesday, the city struck an agreement with the General Retirement System, an even larger fund that covers civilian workers for most city departments. The general fund was in worst financial shape than the one that covered police and fire fighters.
Those retirees would see a 4.5% reduction in benefits and lose their cost-of-living adjustment altogether. Detroit residents wait less for police, ambulances; see how long. Pay cuts coming to Detroit police, fire officers - Aug. 2, 2013. The 10% cuts apply to 1,200 police lieutenants and sergeants and 400 comparable officers in the fire department.
The cuts, announced this week, will take effect in September. Bill Nowling, spokesman for Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager overseeing the city's reorganization effort, said other city employees took the same 10% cut in 2012. The cuts for these officers was delayed because of union contracts that were in effect. "We had to make this cut due to disparity between management and rank and file," said Nowling. Detroit Fire Department captain: Our equipment is 'junk' Detroit Fire Department captain Bruce Holben is frustrated.
“It’s real frustrating,” he said on Thursday, after his team put out an early-morning fire on Detroit’s southwest side. “We don’t have any money supposedly but you know, it’s these people – how would you like to live in a part of the city where the truck or the pump doesn’t work?” DFD responded to a call near the corner of Fort St. and Campbell around 3:30 a.m. and arrived to see a vacant house engulfed in flames.
“It was out of control when we got here,” Holben said. And from the start – and day-to-day -- his firefighters are playing short-handed. “Half of our sticks don’t work,” he said, noting that the first engine to arrive didn’t have a working aerial hose. It was the second time in a day’s time the crew couldn’t get the engine started and when they finally could, they couldn’t shut it off. “It’s an unreliable piece of equipment,” Holben said. “Time is always important,” he said. Detroit is going dark - Jul. 19, 2013.
And if you're walking around the city, it might make sense to bring a flashlight -- about 40% of the 88,000 street lights don't work.
Those are two of the problems highlighted by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as he approved a bankruptcy filing for the state's biggest city. The problems have fed on themselves, resulting in 78.000 buildings either abandoned or ruined. "Does anybody think it's OK to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses? " asked emergency manager Kevyn Orr, in a news conference on Friday. Orr said the city had filed for bankruptcy because it would take more than 50 years to pay off the city's $11.5 billion in unsecured debt while not conducting even the most basic maintenance, such as filling potholes and plowing snow.
Related: Detroit bankruptcy filing came with only 5 minutes to spare.