Detroit Fire Department FAQ

How many people die in residential fires each year?

Unfortunately, Detroit has an average of 47 residential fire deaths each year. More importantly, the majority of the victims are children and senior citizens. Many of these fatalities occur as a direct result of a careless smoker, a careless cook, improper use of auxiliary heating appliances, or a child with a match (inadequate supervision of children). Most of the homes are not equipped with smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are an early warning detection device when there is a fire and can save lives. Every home should have at least one smoke alarm on each floor level, because the sooner the fire is discovered the greater the chance of saving lives and property. You can’t rely on a fire engine to save your life.

What is your department's average response time to fires?

Our average response time to fires is 6 minutes 59 seconds.

What is a typical workday for a firefighter?

The Commanding Officer assigns fire station duties to the crew for that day. Duties include cooking, cleaning, monitoring the dispatch radio, flag mounting, attendance reporting, and hydrant inspecting. Firefighters also participate in community events and in-service training activities. The in-service training involves classroom instruction and hands-on training at the fire station and/or the Department Training Academy. Emergency incidents may interrupt assigned duties, such as emergency and non-emergency incidents, which includes but are not limited to residential, commercial, vehicle, trash fires, and false alarms. Firefighters are permitted to rest and sleep during their 24-hour tour of duty.

How many firefighters are at each fire station?

The number of firefighters assigned to a firehouse can range from four (4) to twelve (12).  The number of Firefighters at any given firehouse varies according to the amount of apparatus assigned to the firehouse. There will be at least 4 firefighters who work 24 hours a day per Engine, Ladder, or Tactical Mobile Squad. Medic vehicles are staffed with a minimum of 1 paramedic and one (1) emergency medical technician who works 12-hour shifts around the clock. 

How many fire engines does each firehouse have?

There are 46 firehouses and 80% of the firehouses have at least one fire engine.

How many fire stations are in the city of Detroit?

There are 46 firehouses strategically located throughout the city.

How do I obtain a copy of a fire report?

Obtaining a fire report:

  1. A fire report may be obtained 24hrs. after a fire incident by calling Fire Marshal Budget Operations
  2. In order to obtain a fire report you must be able to show proof of residency or ownership
  3. Fire reports can be picked up at the Fire Marshal Budget Operations Office.
  4. 3rd party adjusters and non owners can also contact Fire Marshal Budget Operations for more info.


Fire Marshal Budget Operations Office

How does a person become a Detroit firefighter?

The City of Detroit establishes an eligibility list for the position of Firefighter every two years or as economic budget constraints allows and through a selection process.

The selection process:

  1. Application

    Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen, possess a valid motor vehicle operator’s license, and possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. (at time of appointment). The Detroit Civil Service Commission will notify applicants of the time and place to report for your examinations.

  2. (Phase 1) Written Exam (Phase 2) Physical Capability Testing and Oral Assessment

    The initial testing will be conducted under the direction of the Detroit Municipal Civil Service Commission. Those applicants who score sufficiently high enough will proceed to the next level. Prior to the test, preparation materials will be provided.

  3. Background Investigation

    A personal history questionnaire will be required from each candidate along with a pre-interview and fingerprints. Candidates also will sign waivers allowing the Background Officer to conduct an extensive background investigation. At this time, the candidate must submit a high school diploma or G.E.D.

  4. Oral Interview

    The candidate will be required to go before an Oral Interview Board consisting of Fire Department and Human Resources representatives.

  5. Medical/Stress Evaluation

    This step will involve a physical examination including vision and cardiovascular stress tests. Candidates must be free of dependence and addiction to narcotics, alcohol or other controlled substances. The vision requirements state that vision must be correctable to 20/30 and no more than 20/100 binocular uncorrected in each eye.

  6. Appointment

    Firefighter candidate names will be submitted to the Executive Fire Commissioner for final selection and appointment to the Detroit Fire Department’s Training Academy. Fire candidates will be notified by letter of an appointment date to report to the Fire Academy. Fire recruits will be required to successfully complete approximately five months of paid training when they enter the Detroit Fire Academy. All trainees will be required to successfully complete a one-year probation from date of appointment.