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Posted on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Inside the Ypsilanti Fire Department: working a challenging job in uncertain times

By Courtney Sacco

With staff cutbacks along with the looming possibility of the city pursuing a hybrid police and fire department, firefighters with the Ypsilanti Fire Department have experienced a great deal of uncertainty throughout the past year.

Now operating under newly named Fire Chief Max Anthouard, most of the firefighters are still unclear what their department — as well as their jobs — could look like in the near future.

Beginning Feb. 6 of this year, staff photographer Courtney Sacco spent six weeks getting a look at life in the fire house by photographing firefighters as they worked shift one at the Ypsilanti Fire Department.


Daniel Brenner

Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

Good work Courtney. The hard work, effort and early morning shoots really paid off. Nice story


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 3 p.m.

I encourage people to listen to this 911 tape. Benton Harbor also went PSO to 'save some money'. Listen to how many people call 911 BEGGING for help for the firefighter who is injured. The response they got was that police were already on scene. No one was helping this man who was injured. One truck was there for a house fire.,0,7892706.story


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

The so-called "hybrid" police and fire department is nothing more than semantic game playing. We have two chiefs managing two separate departments. If "hybrid" means maintaining both departments at grossly understaffed and underfunded levels, the city manager has done a masterful job. What is so sad and what angers most of us "ordinary" residents is that the city manager, in his quest to demonstrate to our elected city council members that he is actually doing something, is simply experimenting with the number one priority of local government – public safety. How dare him and how dare our elected officials sit idle and let it happen. Congratulations to all of our police officers and firefighters for continuing to perform their jobs in an exemplary manner despite the continued uncertainty and horrific workplace anxiety created by our city "leaders."


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Great video/photography. I'm glad you put in 6 weeks with them and wish we could get more behind the scenes reporting like this. Can't we do this in other areas and in other industries? I really like this.

Courtney Sacco

Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

i'm glad you enjoyed the story. We will be trying to do some more stories like this.


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

We are lucky to have such dedicated people working in Ypsilanti's Fire Dept. My highest praise and appreciation to you all for all you do. Can't imagine how they must feel thinking that they may soon be required to ALSO cover shifts with our police officers, and to show up to a fire with a 'well meaning' but truly untrained (with regard to fire fighting) police officer. Had our fire fighters wanted to be police officers, they would have chosen that occupation and been properly trained. The same goes for our police officers. What must either of these departments think when they hear of read about how much time our city government spends thinking up new things to distract from the serious issues in our city. OH say for much time and new money will be spent on yet again changing the direction of city streets. How many MORE "medical marihuana" dispensaries does a city the size of Ypsilanti need!!! Do we actually want a marihuana dispensary to be one of the first things, first impressions, that people see when they exit the expressway to enter our city??? I would implore, beg, plead.....that we put our energy, and financial resources into supporting the men and women who protect this city. If we don't we will loose more good people. Nicely done story and video. Thank you.


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

Five firefighters per shift today, compared to 11 per shift not long ago. Nothing but respect for our city fire department.


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

Excellent piece. Video was well done.


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

1000% support for the Ypsilanti Fire Department. They are Ypsi at its best and they are ALWAYS there when needed.