Heroes: Detroit Fire Department
They are composed in the midst of chaos. They are the ones who run in, when everyone else is running to get away. They put their lives in harms way every day, to protect the lives and property of strangers. They are the brave men and women of the Detroit Fire Department.The City of Detroit encompasses 143 square miles or 370.4 square kilometers, to put that into perspective, you could include the island of Manhattan, and the cities of San Francisco and Boston within the boundaries of Detroit. The city’s population piqued at 2,000,000 people in the late 1950’s, and has steadily declined to a population of roughly 700,000 today. Detroit's tax base has also eroded and budget cuts have effected the Detroit Fire Department. There are currently 988 firefighters, down from about 1188 in 2004, and that does not include another 100 or so employees in arson, fire inspection, training, communications and community education whose ranks also have been severely cut. To complicate matters, there are an estimated 40,000 vacant buildings in Detroit mostly due to the decline in population and that has also taxed the resources of the Fire Department having to respond to arson fires.There are currently 66 Detroit Fire Department companies, but because of budget constraints 8 to 10 of those 66 might be idle on any given day. There are on average 35 fires per day in Detroit, the fire department also responds to 38 alarms, 5 rescues, and 13 non fire emergencies on any given day.