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New equipment arrives at Detroit's firehouses

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

Detroit’s long-suffering firefighters are getting some much-needed new equipment.

The city unveiled five brand-new fire engines Friday. They’re part of a total ten new vehicles the department added to its fleet this month.

The rigs will go to five fire stations spread across the city, says Detroit fire commissioner Edsel Jenkins.

“This is going to promote our reliability, and boost confidence in the Detroit Fire Department to be there on time,” said Jenkins.

City officials say more new fire equipment is due within the next few months.

Detroit has allocated more than $20 million for new fire equipment over two years. The funds come from money borrowed when the city exited bankruptcy.

Jenkins says the rest of the city’s long-rundown fleet is improving too, even if dysfunctional equipment remains.

“And when they go down, they get them up as soon as they can,” he says. “So the fleet is solid.”

“I think with these new apparatus going out into the field, it just shows [firefighters] that the mayor is looking out for their well-being and their safety by investing in new vehicles.”

Butsome dispute Jenkins’ assertion that quality and maintenance of the city's fire fleet is better than it’s been in many years.

The issue of firefighter morale is similarly unclear. Duggan’s administration has cracked down on rules that forbid firefighters from speaking with the press.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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