Donated Fire Apparatus has been Idle in Detroit

A fire truck that is in need of improvements and was given to the City of Detroit has been sitting idle.

Macomb County businessman Joe Rippolone was a man with toys, including a big yellow fire truck.

In September 2011, he heard about the tragic death of 3-year-old Ivory Ivey after Detroit firefighters didn’t have working equipment to reach her when she became trapped in the upstairs of her family’s home on Cooper Street. He knew exactly what to do with his fire truck.

“Let’s call Detroit. They need help,” said Rippolone. “I figured if a truck could show up on scene without water, we have a truck that can carry water, and save someone’s life. It was the right thing to do.”

Former Mayor Dave Bing and former Fire Commissioner Don Austin posed for pictures when accepting the donation. Since then, it hasn’t been on the road.

If Detroit’s not going to use it, Rippolone would like the truck back to give it to another city–like Highland Park.

A spokesperson for the City of Detroit tells 7 Action News the reason the fire truck has never been in service is because it would require significant repair work. And, the city doesn’t have the urgent need for another ladder truck to be added to its fleet at this time to justify the expense.

Mayor Duggan has since called Rippolone to let him know the city intends to use his donation for training.

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