The signature drive will be mostly symbolic, because Pennsylvania has no recall elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Nutter, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and even a Catholic priest had to raise their voices to be heard over the chants of "Re-call, re-call" and "bind-ing, bind-ing" - the latter referring to the binding-arbitration awards that Nutter has appealed.
Although the union has sought new firehouses, it protested the event to show continued displeasure with Nutter's policies. One carried a sign with an acronym for the mayor's name: "No good/ Ugly/Two/Timing/Evil/Rat."
After the event, Nutter said that he respected the firefighters' right to protest but that he just wanted to celebrate the opening of the new station, at Magee Avenue and Keystone Street.
"It's America. People have many opportunities and certainly a right to express themselves in a variety of fashions," he said. "The community folks may not have been too happy about their timing, given that they were celebrating their new station."
The firehouse cost the state $2 million and the city $4.7 million. The neighborhood and its Engine Company 38 had been without a station since 2010, when construction on an Interstate 95 ramp forced the old one to close.
On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN