Fire Equipment Stolen from Detroit Fire Scene

A Jaws of Life generator has been stolen from the Detroit Fire Department. The generator disappeared from a locker on the side of Squad 3 as firefighters battled a 10 p.m. fire in a vacant house, according to a source in the Detroit Fire Department.

One of the crew members noticed the door ajar on the side of the truck and closed it before leaving for another incident, one of a handful of calls that night. When firefighters arrived at a car accident on Belle Isle a short time later, they realized the generator was gone.

“It’s very disappointing because the stuff that we use on a daily basis is being taken off the rigs,” said Detroit Firefighter James Plieth, 6th Battalion director for the Detroit Fire Fighters Association Local 344, adding that a chain saw and other equipment has been stolen in the past few months. “What we work with is limited. For us to be missing a piece of equipment as vital as that generator is huge.”

The generator is part of six sets of Jaws of Life assigned to fire stations across the city, Plieth said.

“We pull people out of cars with that, so if they’re on the freeway and they get in an accident, that’s a vital piece of equipment to extricate them from a vehicle,” Plieth said.

Squad 3 now is using a generator loaned by Apollo Fire Equipment of Romeo.

John Surprenant, vice president of operations for Apollo Fire, said new generators for the Jaws of Life cost between $5,000 and $8,000.

The theft was posted on the Facebook page for Detroit Firehouse on Tuesday, garnering dozens of comments and offers to help replace the generator from as far away as Grand Rapids (ID), Toronto and Louisville (KY)

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