As of 2013, the DFD had about 781 firefighters. 60% of the City's 11-12,000 fires each year are in abandoned buildings.
The department has been plagued with a series of problems, including poor EMS response times.
Chief of Operations Derrick Grochowski was removed by Austin on Friday, September 23, 2011, after a broken fire engine was unable to save a child trapped in a house. Grochowski was to return to his position as a battalion chief.
In 2013, the DFD got a two-year FEMA SAFER grant of $24.2M to help pay for 150 firefighters. The Detroit Public Safety Foundation helped write the grant. In 2011, the City got a $22.5M grant to keep 108 firefighters. Another 26 firefighters were re-hired with an additional $5.6M 2012 SAFER grant.
- New Detroit fire commissioner has many challenges ahead. Detroit Free Press, 21 May 2011
- Detroit fire official bounced from post. Detroit Free Press. 24 September 2011.