FAQ

What is a box alarm?
A box alarm is a reported structure fire, such as a dwelling or commercial building. For a box alarm, 3 engines, 1 ladder, 1 squad, and a battalion chief are dispatched.

What is a still alarm?
A still alarm is a fire that can be handled by 1 or 2 companies. A still alarm could be anything from a vehicle fire to wires down to a garage fire.

What is a special?
A special is a non fire-related run, such as assisting EMS, a vehicle accident, or an activated carbon monoxide detector.

Are Detroit firefighters paramedics as well?
Although many have EMT or paramedic certifications, it is not required for Detroit firefighters. Firefighters here are trained simply as medical first responders.

Isn’t Detroit EMS a division of the fire department?
It is totally separate from the fire suppression division, and the medics who run on our ambulances are not firefighters.

What does it mean when companies are “browned out?”
Every day, the DFD closes several companies in order to cut back on costs. Although the companies aren’t technically disbanded, many are closed every day with Devils Night being an exception. Included in the list are Engines 21/31/47/42, Ladders 1/16/24, and TAC 2. A number of Medic units are also frequently browned out.

What do the battalions consist of?

The 1st battalion includes the downtown area and Engines 1/5/8/9, Ladders 20/6/10, Squad 2, HazMat Unit 1, and Battalion Chief 1.

The 2nd battalion covers the a portion the northwest and some of southwestern Detroit. Engines 55/49/34/42, Ladders 27/21/22, and Battalion Chief 2.

The 4th battalion, covering northwest Detroit, includes Engines 54/53/30/59/57, Ladders 25/26, Squad 1, and Battalion Chief 4.

The 5th battalion includes Engines 21/31/35/39/17, Ladders 7/28, Squad 4, and Battalion Chief 5.

The 6th battalion covers the eastern portion of the city and Engines 32/38/41/23, Ladders 14/16/19, Squad 3, and Battalion Chief 6.

The 7th battalion, in southwest Detroit, includes Engines 27/29/48/33/10, Ladders 13/8, Fireboat 1, and Battalion Chief 7.

The 8th battalion, which covers part of the northwest and some of the northeast, includes Engines 51/40/44/56, Ladders 17/24/18, Squad 5, and Battalion Chief 8.

The 9th battalion covers the northeast and includes Engines 47/50/58/60/52/20, Ladders 31/23/30, Squad 6, and Battalion Chief 9.

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Comments
  1. Kelly says:

    Hey there, I have a question about employment.. I live in Georgia and will be relocating to Michigan very soon.. I have wanted to become a firefighter for sometime now and what better time than now.. a new place new career.. what would be involved? What step would i need to take?

    • detroitfires says:

      If you want to work for Detroit, you need only a high school diploma, clean record, and be in shape.

      Anywhere else in Michigan, you’ll need Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, and most likely Paramedic training. Local community colleges offer all of the above.

  2. Joe says:

    Who is first due at Ford Field? What apparatus do they have?

  3. Joe Sidun says:

    Who is first due at Ford Field and what apparatus do they run?

    • detroitfires says:

      The first due engine company to Ford Field is Engine 1, stationed 111 W. Montcalm. Engine 1 is a 2000 American LaFrance 1250 GPM pumper with a 500 gallon tank.

      First due truck is Ladder 20, a 2001 American LaFrance/LTI tractor-drawn 100′ aerial, stationed Alexandrine with Engine 5 and Squad 2.

  4. Jeff says:

    Hello, I was curious about your battalions. Which trucks are in each of your battalions? Also what is DFD’s run numbers/ bussiest truck and engine? Thanks alot!

    • detroitfires says:

      Hi, Jeff. Here’s a quick rundown:

      The 1st battalion includes the downtown area and Engines 1/5/8/9, Ladders 20/6/10, Squad 2, HazMat Unit 1, and Battalion Chief 1.

      The 2nd battalion covers the a portion the northwest and some of southwestern Detroit. Engines 55/49/34/42, Ladders 27/21/22, and Battalion Chief 2.

      The 4th battalion, covering northwest Detroit, includes Engines 54/53/30/59/57, Ladders 25/26, Squad 1, and Battalion Chief 4.

      The 5th battalion includes Engines 21/31/35/39/17, Ladders 7/28, Squad 4, and Battalion Chief 5.

      The 6th battalion covers the eastern portion of the city and Engines 32/38/41/23, Ladders 14/16/19, Squad 3, and Battalion Chief 6.

      The 7th battalion, in southwest Detroit, includes Engines 27/29/48/33/10, Ladders 13/8, Fireboat 1, and Battalion Chief 7.

      The 8th battalion, which covers part of the northwest and some of the northeast, includes Engines 51/40/44/56, Ladders 17/24/18, Squad 5, and Battalion Chief 8.

      The 9the battalion covers the northeast and includes Engines 47/50/58/60/52/20, Ladders 31/23/30, Squad 6, and Battalion Chief 9.

      Detroit receives about 30,000 fire calls annually. Engine 40 and Ladder 25 are probably the busiest west side companies and Engine 50 and Ladder 23 would likely be the busiest on the east. If I can get hard numbers for you I will. ~ Dan Miller

  5. Joe says:

    Which Truck Companies carry water, Booster Tank size, Booster Pump GPM’s and amount of Booster Hose. I am aware that Detroit Ladder Companies have carried water since the 50’s. I think its great and just wanted to know the current stats.

    • detroitfires says:

      Joe,

      Most trucks in the city of Detroit carry at least 250 gallons of water on their rigs, and some carry up to 500 gallons. The pumps on the aerials are capable of pumping two booster lines, and while the amount of hose varies, but is generally between 100-150′ per line.

      Thanks for asking!

  6. aron podczervinski says:

    I am a firefighter in CO. Can me and my crew come to Detroit to help with devils night and actually help fightfire? I am from there and have family still in the Detroit area.

    I am also getting married in May is it possible to have an apparatuse show up at the reception? Who would I contact on both matters?

    respectfully
    Aron

    • detroitfires says:

      Aron,

      Unfortunately, the DFD no longer allows outside individuals to fight fire due to the liability. They do welcome volunteer patrols to keep an eye on the neighborhoods. You can volunteer on the city’s website.

      As far as the rig at the wedding, it may be possible if your wedding is near a fire station, but it would be entirely at the discretion of the officer and firefighters. You could contact the department at http://www.detroitmi.gov/DepartmentsandAgencies/FireDepartment.aspx. It may be better to check with a less busy department nearby.

      Thanks for the questions. Be safe!

  7. Tyler says:

    Hey, my names tyler, i will be out of high school in the next few monthes and wondering if detroit would be hiring at all or if anyone would now any time at which they would be? i understand the finanacial situation they are in but detroit has been the only place i have ever wanted to go

    • Hi Tyler. They’re talking massive budget cuts right now, and hiring isn’t in the near future. We’ll post here as soon as they are, as well as on Facebook.com/detroitfires. Good luck in your career, and hopefully the city can offer you a position sooner rather than later.

  8. Eric says:

    I currently live in WI and i’m on my 2nd year of my 2 year paramedic degree. I’ve been a firemen for about 3 years and that is where my heart truly lies. My question, come September..ish.. I need to find someplace to do my medic internship, I was reading somewhere that Detroit EMS does do field internships but is that limited to only certain colleges in the area or anywhere; or did I outright read some bogus info. Now, mind you our program coordinator is a damn smooth talker, and he’s gettn people in to some pretty cool places. If Detroit is out of the question he already said he could get me in back in my home town of a lil ‘ol place named Chicago. My preferance, though, would be to get my foot in the door in Detroit. Something about that town though, it’s just drawin’ me in…
    Thanks

    • As it stands now, the DFD EMS division only does ride-alongs for students at Wayne State University. However, EMS is expected to hire this summer and it sounds like you have the proper credentials to get a job. You would start as a basic and move up to paramedic with more seniority. Good luck!

      • Eric says:

        Hey Daniel, thanks for that info i’ll definetely look into that. Would I just have to get in touch with city HR? Also, I know the financial state the city and DFD are in, as Tyler said above, but if I were to get a job with DFD EMS and the time came for the fire division to hire in the future, do you think this would help/hurt my attempts of transfering from EMS to fire, or working on both if possible. I guess i’m asking what would give me a better chance of eventually becoming a firefighter with DFD someday?
        Thanks again!!

      • Actually, preference is typically given to city employees, and with EMS being a division of the DFD, it would absolutely increase your chances of being hired by suppression. In addition to the connections you would make within the fire department, there are often academy classes that consist only of previous city employees. The Detroit HR department is online at http://www.detroitmi.gov/Departments/HumanResourcesDepartment/tabid/118/Default.aspx.

        All you need is a Michigan basic license to apply (MI uses NREMT). All the best!

  9. scott french says:

    Not to ask a already asked question but DFD will NOT allow riders at anytime? I have heard on a few different occasions that its allowed only if you get clearance from the Dep Chief of FF tops.

  10. Kendrick Flanagan says:

    Hello, I currently live in Ohio and am planning on moving out of state within the next year or two. I’m a volunteer firefighter at my local FD and am currently in school for my FF1 and FF2. I realize that Detroit FD is currently having major cuts but if/when they do begin to hire again, what is the process? Is there a civil service exam first? How can I stay updated on possible dates of exams/hiring processes?

    Thanks!

  11. Roger Freely says:

    Hello I was wondering what apparatus you have at each station and the station location. I plan to travel around the US in 2013 and would like to visit the stations. I am a photographer in Los Angeles, CA Thanks

  12. anthony says:

    i was looking at some fire trucks online and i was to that i have never seen a TAU fire truck and a TAC fire truck i looked them up and i came up with nothing i was wondering what they are and what the are do

    • The TAC stands for “Trash and Cars.” It is a small Pierce pumper built on a Ford truck chassis, capable of supplying enough water to battle a normal house fire. The original intent of the TAC was to fit into parking garages in which a normal engine could not.

  13. Nestor Sanchez says:

    Good Afternoon,

    My name is Nestor Sanchez I live in Southwest Detroit, I wanted to know if there is any volunteer work available in any fire stations you might know of I am 22 years old have had 3 years of college however currently not enrolled and am very interested in committing,

    I’m currently not enrollled in school for this semester so i decided to take the next step and be active within my community if possible.

    If any information regarding firestation volunteer work becomes available. Feel free to email me at this email address ness.lonestar@gmail.com as well thank you.

    Regards

  14. Emil Hagopian says:

    I am interested if you have any history, photos, etc. of back in the 1940’s when the Fire Battalions sponsored youth baseball. My uncle played for Battallion 11, he lived near Warren and Spinoza Drive or Evergreen. I have a few photos of him in the uniform and somewhere I have a long panoramic photo of opening day ceremonies on Belle Island, probably 1943-1945, not sure.
    Even if you can point me in a direction where I could find information that would be great. My uncle eventually was signed by the Yankees, and played with Mickey Mantle on the Joplin Miners, their farm club.
    I appreciate any help you may give, or just to read my blurb.
    Thanks for everything you do.

  15. Adam smith says:

    Hello which battalion runs most fires, I know they all do but who is top

  16. Lew Gibson says:

    I wanted to know if the ladders trucks carry water or if it’s just a high-pressure pump? If so how much water. My Company is looking into buying a ladder and looking at different options.

    • Most of the ladders carry 250-500 gallons of water with two 1″ booster lines preconnected. They work great for car/trash fires and knocking down fire in a dwelling while the engine is hooking up.

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