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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 2, 1994 |
The Newtown Square Fire Department needs a green light from the township to guarantee a green light when responding to calls. At the Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting Monday night, the department proposed the installation of an Opticom traffic-light system, which would enable an emergency vehicle to activate a green light. "It would increase response time and decrease the chance of accidents," said Doug Everlof, assistant fire chief. Everlof said the department had problems with jams at traffic lights along West Chester Pike.
April 9, 1997 |
A faulty electrical outlet that sparked a three-alarm West Philadelphia fire Saturday night in which five people died was responsible for two previous blazes in the converted rowhouse. According to a report released yesterday by Fire Commissioner Harold B. Hairston, the Fire Department was not notified of the blazes, which apparently were several months apart and extinguished without injuries. Saturday's fire started about 10:34 p.m. in an electrical outlet providing power to a space heater in the bedroom of a first-floor unit of the building at 718 N. 42d St. Flames quickly spread to the underside of a box spring and mattress and then engulfed the room before racing out a door into the hallway and roaring up the stairs to the second floor.
August 9, 2010 |
A 12-year-old autistic child who died in a West Philadelphia rowhouse fire Saturday night might still be alive if not for a recent city policy of temporarily shutting firehouses to save money, the head of the firefighters union and community members said Sunday. "This is just a Russian roulette game, and now a kid is dead," said Bill Gault, president of Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The city's top fire official, however, defended his department's response time and faulted a lack of functioning smoke detectors in the house and a possible delay in reporting the blaze.