Reporting Mike Campbell
DETROIT (WWJ) - Two trucks filled with toilet paper and other essentials will be distributed to Detroit fire stations which were recently reported as being without some of the basics.
Detroit Chemical and Paper Supply company Vice President Terry Radzinski said he and his business partner, Joe Vicari of the Andiamo Restaurant Group, put together two truck-loads of supplies including paper towels, facial tissue and cleaning products, along with “… body and hair shampoo. We read that (firefighters) couldn’t even take showers after their runs so we got a pallet of that as well,” Radzinski said. ”There’s 52 stations, we were told, so we had enough for all 52 locations … so they all get their equal share.”
This initial donation of about $20,000 in supplies is being paid for by the two businessmen. Vicari said they’re just fortunate to be in a position to lend a hand. ”You know, I just took a tour of the warehouse. They have a few cases but not as many as they need,” he said.
Fire Commissioner Donald Austin said a temporary lag in supply delivery was caused by a change in the purchasing process in July. But some say the problem existed even before that time, due to budget cuts and other nebulous issues.
Radzinski said he and his partner are already planning to make another donation, with a number of suppliers indicating their desire to pitch in as well.
Police Departments in need will also receive some of the supplies.
DFD Chief and warehouse superintendent Nathaniel Tobi said they should be set for a very long time. “And the system is in place where we won’t have to go through this again,” he said.
City firefighters battle blazes in a community with nearly 80,000 abandoned buildings — including a half-dozen shuttered fire stations that scrappers have been looting for stainless steel and copper.
At the same time, the cash-poor city has cut pay and benefits for emergency personnel.
Hundreds of firefighters took to the streets in July to protest cuts in pay and benefits after the newest contract stipulated a 10 percent across-the-board pay cut and a hike in medical co-pays. The firefighters’ union last started airing commercials in 2011 protesting cuts.