Why We Search: Demolitions in Flint

 

The safest vacant building is the demolished vacant building

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Flint, Michigan’s Emergency Manager Darnell Early has released the city’s latest quarterly report which highlights a drop in fire calls from this time last year. The reported 58 percent reduction is in part due to the city’s efforts to push fire prevention throughout the neighborhoods and increased demolition of neglected properties, among a few reasons.

The reporting, by mlive.com, is vague and as the union president is quoted, it is unsure how much of an impact the demolitions have had,

Earley told the state in his latest quarterly report that for fire calls have dropped 58 percent from 4,441 at this time last year 2013 to 1,862 over the same period this year.

This year, Flint firefighters responded to 313 entrapments, commercial and structure fires through June 30, according to Kovach. He said firefighters responded to 317 of those calls over the same time frame last year.

Genesee County received $20 million from the federal government and over 1,500 residential properties are expected to be demolished. Officials continue to push for continued funding for more demolitions in the future.

While even the slightest reduction is good news, it is not the best for Flint firefighters. The department faces the loss of 19 positions due to the end of a SAFER grant. Chief David Cox Jr. has said that he will reduce staffing in order to keep firehouses open despite the loss of the grant.

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BioPicBill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/FirefighterNation.com, JEMS.com, LawOfficer.com and FireEMSBlogs.com. Bill started in the fire service, as a third generation firefighter in 1986, on the eastern shore of Maryland and then continued after moving to Prince George’s County. He served as a volunteer sergeant and lieutenant at Hyattsville. Bill’s writing has been on Firehouse.com, Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine, FirefighterNation.com, the Jones and Bartlett 2010 edition of “Fire Officer: Principles and Practice”, The Secret List and Tinhelmet.com. His recent writing on firefighter behavioral health has been nominated for 2014 Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Series.

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