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After Colbert Report segment, Detroit Fire Department gets offers of free alarm systems

The Colbert Report

The Detroit Fire Department is getting calls from software companies as far away as California and Oregon.

The companies want to donate updated alert systems after the department's current system was featured on the comedy TV show, "The Colbert Report.”

The show aired a Detroit Free Press video about emergency alerts coming into fire stations via fax machine.

Firefighters rig up contraptions like soda cans full of screws on top of the fax machines.

So when the cans fall over, firefighters hear the alert.

Colbert jokingly suggested room for further budget cuts:

"Why bother with dispatchers, when homeowners can fax the station directly? If there's a fire, just remember the old saying: stop, drop and roll over to your Canon LC 2050 Laser Class fax machine, then load the paper tray, paste your document text side down into the feeder, dial your local fire department and hit send."

Deputy Fire Commissioner John Berlin says the offers have overwhelmed and humbled him.

The Colbert Report
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Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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