December 26, 1991 |
In 1974 the Club Valiants, an organization of African American firefighters, filed a discrimination suit against the City of Philadelphia charging that blacks were under-represented in the Fire Department. The Third Federal District Court found that hiring practices for firefighters were indeed discriminatory, demonstrated by the fact that minorities made up only 7 percent of the department at that time. The court eventually imposed hiring and promotion quotas and after years of litigation, the suit was settled in 1985 with the acceptance by the Valiants and the city of a consent decree that mandated a hiring formula for black candidates for firefighter.
February 22, 1988 |
The Philadelphia Fire Department will soon begin charging for emergency medical services that previously were offered free. Fire Commissioner William C. Richmond said the fee program, which was proposed to City Council last July, will save the city money and should curtail abuses of the system by people who make unnecessary emergency calls. "We have people calling in for animal problems," Richmond said. "It seems funny now, but it's not humorous at 4 o'clock in the morning after a squad's already been out 13 times.
January 29, 2015 |
A fiery sex scandal threatens to burn up multiple firefighters' careers, including some top brass, according to former Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. Ayers told the Daily News today that the investigation into a young paramedic's claims of sexual misconduct began shortly before he retired in June. The paramedic filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging misconduct against another paramedic. Soon after, rumors surfaced that she had sexual encounters with numerous firefighters, paramedics and supervisors in firehouses while on- and off-duty all around the city.
November 18, 2008 |
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers defended the proposed "deactivation" of seven fire companies yesterday, saying that overall staffing in the 2,400-member department would be maintained, and that firefighters would respond to "any and every emergency in an urgent and timely manner. " The data presented - a compendium of color-coded maps, tables of total runs of individual fire companies, and charts and graphs showing response times to fires and medical emergencies - reviewed the comparative performance of the city's 61 engine and 29 ladder companies.
March 6, 2001 |
Responding to criticism that the fire company received too little municipal funding, the Township Committee voted last night to increase its allocation over last year's by $10,000. The funding for the company, which covers Woolwich and Swedesboro, is included in a township budget that received preliminary approval. Final approval is expected April 2. "They've done one heck of a job," said Deputy Mayor Sam Casella. Last year's budget for the company was $35,000. This year's would be $45,000, said Jack Schock Jr., chief financial officer for Woolwich.
February 22, 2011 |
Five weeks after Camden laid off a third of its firefighters, the shock waves are reverberating outside city lines. Camden's fire department was cut to such bare bones that a structure fire on any given day requires all seven companies to respond, leaving none to attend to any other fire or rescue emergencies in the city. Suburban fire companies - most staffed by volunteers - are filling the void in the densely populated, nine-square-mile city. "We've seen a direct impact," said Robert Mortka, president of the Camden County Fire Chiefs Association.
May 11, 1989 |
Bristol Borough Council has appointed a new fire chief and other leaders of the fire department in the borough. At a meeting Monday night, the council voted unanimously to appoint Andrew Bidlingmaier, 35, as the chief. Bidlingmaier, who has been a member of the department for 19 years, will be paid $2,000 a year as chief. He had served as fire marshal for the department. Michael Plebani, the borough's fire chief since 1981, resigned, effective Monday, to "pursue other career objectives," according Council Chairman Donald McCloskey.
March 12, 2015 |
We know enough now about the death of Firefighter Joyce Craig to say that many things went wrong the night she lost her life battling a West Oak Lane basement blaze. It's also clear that Craig's death is wrapped up in a larger problem: The Fire Department needs to recommit to giving its members the training they need and want. Craig's professionalism and bravery are not in question. Neither is the bravery of other firefighters who gave their lives battling fires in recent years: Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, killed in 2012 when a roof collapsed in an abandoned factory in Kensington.
July 19, 2010 |
It was Sept. 14, 1967, when Firefighter Robert P. McHugh and Battalion Chief James H. Malone screeched to a halt in front of a burning house on 19th Street near Montgomery Avenue. A crowd of neighbors gathered outside, and a woman told the firefighters that a baby was trapped on the second floor. Fire apparatus had not yet arrived. McHugh opened the front door and saw the smoke and fire. Disregarding his own safety, he dashed up the stairs through the choking smoke and was able to make out what looked like a pile of blankets on the floor.
May 8, 2015 |
Gathered outside a hulking, vacant North Philadelphia commercial building, city officials Wednesday announced a joint initiative between the Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Fire Department to inspect derelict properties. The idea is to evaluate dangerous, empty structures larger than 15,000 square feet - so-called mantraps - for the safety of firefighters and the public. Many such buildings, like the one at 3617 N. Eighth St., will be demolished. But the media event, attended by Mayor Nutter, L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams, Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, and others, also appeared to serve as a forum to bolster Williams as he and his beleaguered department weather a barrage of criticism.