Mayor, Fire administration and Detroit Fire Fighter Association announce five-year tentative agreement with pay raises for firefighters & EMTs, reduced work week

Mayor, Fire administration, and Detroit Fire Fighter Association announce five-year tentative agreement with pay raises for firefighters & EMTs, reduced workweek

  • Tentative contract includes wage increases for all members and additional increases for firefighters with EMT or Paramedic classifications
  • Agreement puts firefighters and EMTs under one contract

DETROIT -- Mayor Mike Duggan, Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones, and Detroit Fire Fighters Association (DFFA) President Thomas Gehart today announced a labor agreement that provides pay increases for all members, combines contracts for EMS and firefighters and includes a 42-hour workweek. The agreement between the City and the DFFA runs for five years and benefits 1,118 DFFA members.

The five-year agreement provides:

  • 3% annual raises for DFFA employees
  • 4% increase for Firefighter/EMT classification
  • 2% increase for employee possessing a paramedic license
  • 1% increase for employee possessing EMT license
  • Shortened work week from 49 to 42 hours to reduce stress among employees

“Once again, the City and the union have come together to ensure that our emergency personnel are recognized for their sacrifice and compensated for their contributions to keeping our city safe,” said Mayor Duggan. “This contract will allow us to build on the progress we have made in improving our response time and helping our employees cope with high-demand jobs."

Under the contract, DFFA members are offered EMT training by the City. Training days are built into the work schedule to allow for training without affecting members’ availability to respond to emergencies. As of today, 779 firefighters at 33 fire companies are taking medical runs. The raises in this agreement compensate for the additional work and skill.

The Medical First Responder (MFR) training also has helped to decrease EMS response time. When Mayor Duggan took office, Detroit’s EMS response time was between 16 and 18 minutes. That number today is in line with the national average of 8 minutes, as firefighters have received MFR training.

With the creation of the Fire/EMS Division under the agreement, participating firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics will man fire apparatus and ambulances.  It also provides EMS personnel the opportunity to become firefighters.

“We worked collaboratively with the DFFA to improve medical and fire services for the residents of Detroit,” said Eric Jones, Executive Fire Commissioner. “Simultaneously, we structured the contract to improve the health and well-being of our employees.” 

Union members ratified the contract by a vote of 502-94. The contract now goes to the Detroit City Council for approval. The current DFFA contract expired June 30, 2020. The new tentative contract once approved goes into immediate effect and expires on June 30, 2026.