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Heroes Continued

Posted by
Ralph Jones (Detroit, United States) on 1 February 2012 in Documentary & Street and Portfolio.

Mission Statement:
To document the city in an attempt to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness of Detroit, her buildings, and her people.

They are composed in the midst of chaos. They are the ones who run in, when everyone else is running to get away. They put their lives in harms way every day, to protect the lives and property of strangers. They are the brave men and women of the Detroit Fire Department.

The City of Detroit encompasses 143 square miles or 370.4 square kilometers, to put that into perspective, you could include the island of Manhattan, and the cities of San Francisco and Boston within the boundaries of Detroit. The city’s population piqued at 2,000,000 people in the late 1950’s, and has steadily declined to a population of roughly 700,000 today.  Detroit's tax base has also eroded and budget cuts have effected the Detroit Fire Department. There are currently 988 firefighters, down from about 1188 in 2004, and that does not include another 100 or so employees in arson, fire inspection, training, communications and community education whose ranks also have been severely cut. To complicate matters, there are an estimated 40,000 vacant buildings in Detroit mostly due to the decline in population and that has also taxed the resources of the Fire Department having to respond to arson fires.


There are currently 66 Detroit Fire Department companies, but because of budget constraints 8 to 10 of those 66 might be idle on any given day. There are on average 35 fires per day in Detroit, the fire department also responds to 38 alarms, 5 rescues, and 13 non fire emergencies on any given day.

The photograph above was taken at the scene of a fire probably caused by a natural gas leak. The house was destroyed but fire fighters were able to minimize the damages to most of the homes surrounding it.

There is a documentary film that will hopefully be released some time in 2012, that chronicles a year inside a Detroit Fire Department firehouse. "Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit", is being produced and directed by Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez. I look forward to seeing it and I hope you will too.
http://detroitfirefilm.org/

Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.

http://www.ralphjones313.com/

Mission Statement:
To document the city in an attempt to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness of Detroit, her buildings, and her people.

Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.
We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.

http://www.ralphjones313.com/

Chris Pereira from San Francisco, California, United States

great portrait

1 Feb 2012 6:07am

STEED from D, France

Doubt instant....

1 Feb 2012 7:55am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

A moment of reflection! Nicely captured Ralph! ;-)

1 Feb 2012 12:20pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

This is a great pov Ralph, and a perfect expression capture - wow!

1 Feb 2012 3:40pm

Seldom Seen from The Southwest Deserts, United States

I can't even imagine doing that job in freezing conditions. My hats off to these guys.

1 Feb 2012 4:27pm

Lougris from Toulouse, France

de très beaux portraits dans cette série très bien réalisée !

1 Feb 2012 6:13pm

Thierry Masson from orly, France

interesting: "the rise and fall of Detroit City". Remember some John Lee Hooker songs about his life when the city was at the top.

1 Feb 2012 6:44pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

Don't you just wonder what his thoughts are at this moment ... and they could be so complex!

2 Feb 2012 1:10am

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Excellent. The whole series is.

2 Feb 2012 2:11am