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NEWS
December 15, 2013 | BY DANA DIFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
MORE THAN two months have passed since an ambulance's electrical wiring shorted, sparking a blaze that destroyed the vehicle and ravaged a firehouse at 4th and Arch streets in Old City. But plywood still blocks the windows and garage doors of the Ben Franklin Firehouse, and the firefighters and paramedics who worked there remain reassigned to other stations. That irks the firefighters' union, whose leaders complain that the shuttered firehouse leaves the city's historic district vulnerable because the next-closest stations are blocks away, increasing emergency response time.
NEWS
December 8, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia Housing Authority high-rise in North Philadelphia was evacuated Friday night as flames roared through the 16th floor, authorities said. No injuries were reported. The fire at the 18-story Fairhill Apartments, 2443 N. 11th St., was reported about 8:50, authorities said. The Red Cross said it was helping more than 100 people from at least 160 units. There was no word on when they would be able to return. By 10 p.m., the fire had been knocked down and the last few residents were being taken from the building.
NEWS
November 3, 2013 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
CHERRY HILL Camden County firefighters are getting help fighting what can be one of their biggest risks on the job: their own health. Cardiac disease is the number one killer among firefighters over 35, and 44 percent of all deaths in the line of duty are from sudden cardiac arrest, statistics show. Those numbers were behind a new health screening program, "Helping Heroes," launched Friday by the county freeholder board and Cooper University Health Care. "We want to change those statistics," said Louis Bezich, Cooper's chief of staff.
NEWS
November 1, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Council members and public safety officials spent two tense hours Wednesday sparring over the details of the promotion and subsequent demotion of 14 Philadelphia firefighters. Council's Committee on Labor and Civil Service heard testimony from Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, Public Safety Director Michael Resnick, Human Resources Director Albert D'Attilio, and firefighters' union president Joseph Schulle, as well as several firefighters and their spouses, some of whom held back tears as they spoke of hardships at home triggered by the demotions.
NEWS
November 1, 2013 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
WHEN PHILLY firefighters and paramedics ousted their hotheaded union president last summer, there was hope for a fresh start in the caustic relationship between Mayor Nutter's administration and the union. So much for that. Compelled by a subpoena from City Councilman Jim Kenney, a vocal union ally, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers testified yesterday at a hearing on the department's recent retraction of promotions for 14 employees. A Common Pleas judge had ordered the promotions, following a lawsuit from the union.
NEWS
October 31, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
VENTNOR, N.J. - There was a moment a year ago, as Sandy was already sending water through their town, when the firefighters on Ventnor's second platoon realized the depths of their own predicaments. "Phil, me, Flynn, Joe Callahan, we're seeing the water level rise," recalled Capt. Michael Cahill of the Ventnor City Fire Department. "And we're saying to each other, 'If it's this high, it's got to be in our living rooms.' " And it was, pretty much. Half of Ventnor's 42 firefighters had homes damaged in the storm.
NEWS
October 25, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
EDWARD SCARDIGLI had a passion for helping people, and he got plenty of chances as a Philadelphia firefighter. For most of his 26-year career, he was assigned to Engine 16 in West Philadelphia, one of the city's busiest companies. He managed to emerge unscathed from two of Philadelphia's most horrendous fires more than three decades ago, the Gulf Refinery in 1975, in which eight firefighters were killed, and the ARCO refinery fire in which then-Mayor Frank Rizzo was injured. At the Gulf fire, he saw his fire engine melt in the intense heat.
NEWS
September 29, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
  PHILADELPHIA The same Common Pleas Court judge who initially ordered the city to promote 14 members of the Fire Department ruled Friday the city has the right to withdraw those promotions. Judge Leon Tucker's decision is the latest move in a battle between the city and Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters over the 14 promotions. City spokesman Mark McDonald welcomed Tucker's decision. "From the start, the Nutter administration asserted that the fire commissioner has discretion in promoting individuals from the civil service list.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Jonathan Lai and Darran Simon, Inquirer Staff Writers
A 66-year-old man shot and killed his wife Wednesday night, then turned the gun on himself, authorities said. Henry Yip, a retired firefighter, killed his wife, Vicki Yip, 54, in their home on the 300 block of East Washington Avenue in Magnolia, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. Magnolia police responded to the home about 7 p.m. after getting a call from a relative, who had, the Prosecutor's Office said, "received an alarming phone call from Henry Yip. " As they arrived on the street, an officer saw a person inside the home and heard a gunshot.
NEWS
September 26, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Hours after city officials announced on Tuesday an appellate court victory in a fight with the firefighters' union, the union filed a new lawsuit in an attempt to keep 14 recently promoted firefighters at their new ranks. Last week, the city won a Commonwealth Court ruling allowing fire officials to return five captains to the rank of lieutenant and nine lieutenants to the rank of firefighter. But Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler issued an emergency motion Tuesday afternoon preventing the Fire Department from moving forward with 14 demotions until a hearing is held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of Common Pleas Judge Court Leo Tucker.
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