September 8, 2010 by staff
Captain Dan McNamara, a veteran of 33 years, says Fox 2 that the city needs more firefighters 200-300 to operate properly and keep citizens safe.
Tuesday’s fires were scattered across at least three districts, including the east of the city. Strong winds helped fan the flames and the fire spread to many abandoned houses. No injuries were reported, but residents complained about the delayed response times.
McNamara spoke with Fox 2′s Sherry Margolis on Wednesday afternoon. The following is a transcript of the conversation:
How to evaluate the response of the previous night by the fire department?
“Abmissal. Unfortunately, this is something we’ve been saying to the mayors, city hall and fire our administration for nearly a decade. We have been dimished to the point that we are worried for our safety as firefighters, but no one listens to us. We’re down probably 200-300 firefighters. Of the 65 fire companies that have left the city, 8-10, closed one day leaving giant holes. And the fire has not changed. It is time weight response and the amount of people we send there. And when they arrive at a fire in time, and fires can double in size every 2-3 minutes, we have a very serious situation on our hands. ”
The situation yesterday was a perfect storm when it comes to how fast a fire spreads, especially in high winds.
“We live in Michigan. We have always handled the time. Of course, this was the perfect storm. But it is a day in which he warned was coming. We have enough of a response. We have enough firefighters to get appropriately to each one of our problems. ”
How many would you say you need to keep everyone safe?
“We need a minimum of 200-300 firefighters hired to open just above these companies. And as we’ve talked to everyone we said the same thing a decade ago. We need staff. You can not replace the response time. There is no substitute have the firefighters on the scene. It is shameful for us that we have to ask for help from other cities to get in. ”
Given the economic crisis is in town, what would you say to Mayor Dave Bing? Do you understand your position as well?
“I do not agree with their positions, but I understand. It has always been put in terms of the security ecnomics. It is the belief of the Association of Firefighters who has to give priority to certain things for a big city, and Public safety must come first. You must have a police, fire and EMS response. You have to have that. That is the job of government to provide these services. We must find a way. ”
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