Detroit Fire Commission fires back against allegations that workers are forced to perform unsafe cleanups

Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 20:06:43-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The head of the Detroit Fire Department is firing against union allegations that his employees are being forced to perform cleanups in an unsafe manner.

In response to Union President Mike Nevin, Fire Commissioner Eric Jones says proper training and equipment have always been prioritized by his department and that many steps are taken to keep his staff safe.

Nevin made claims that employees were cleanup scenes without proper equipment. Jones called the claims misleading and said firefighters have routinely cleaned up at scenes with blood and other bodily fluids; and a policy recently put in writing is merely for clarification.

Jones' top executives Thursday showed 7 Action News a wide variety of safety equipment, including special masks and gloves every rig is equipped with. Officials also provided documents verifying about 1200 firefighters and EMS have received specific training to handle bodily fluid aftermath cleanup.

The fire commissioner also refuted Nevin's claims that firefighters are now asked to cleanup body parts and bones at fatal scenes. He said a policy leaves that work in the hands of the medical examiner.

Marine Pollution Control Corp of SW Detroit and the city's Fire Department have also renewed a contract, where the contractor will be called to handle more intense or large scale cleanups.