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Philadelphia Fire Department

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NEWS
January 19, 2012 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the state agency that oversees the city's finances commissioned a report on the Philadelphia Fire Department two years ago, it was with the hope that a rational examination of the department's political hot-button issues could be done. That study, released Wednesday, did not shy away from some of the most controversial problems - referencing in the first few pages the distrust between labor and management, and the history of racial and gender tensions in the ranks. The report also described a Fire Department culture "resistant to change," and was critical of a management structure that "tends to reinforce the status quo. " "The gap between the current reality and the department's aspirations for itself is wide," the study said.
NEWS
February 9, 2001 | by Yvonne Latty, Daily News Staff Writer
Firefighter Tim McShea is a modest kind of a guy. For 23 years, he has been a hard-working firefighter, spending most of his career assigned to busy Ladder 22 in Juniata. But besides fighting fires, this decorated firefighter spends every minute of his spare time volunteering. He coaches kids for Holy Innocents CYO Athletics and St. Hubert's High School JV Softball. He's president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 22. He sings with the Mummers Chorus and runs the Juniata Strutters.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
HAVING YOUR BOSS unzip his pants and "adjust himself" in front of you should not be part of anyone's workday. Neither should opening a desk drawer and discovering that a colleague has ejaculated all over its contents. But these stomach-turning events - and others just as offensive - were not unusual for female members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, the Daily News has found. Such incidents hint at larger ingrained problems - sexual harassment, discrimination and questionable relationships between supervisors and subordinates - that the department's leaders have ignored for years, critics say. In fact, the Inspector General's Office referenced systemic issues in its investigation into allegations that 15 Fire Department employees had sexual encounters with or sexually harassed a mentally troubled female paramedic.
NEWS
May 6, 2010
WILLIAM RICHMOND was the fire commissioner during the siege on Osage Avenue. 1985: The MOVE Commission said that after a police helicopter dropped a bomb on a bunker on the roof of the MOVE house, starting a fire, Richmond conferred with Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor and decided to let the bunker burn. The commission said allowing the fire to burn constituted the use of fire as a tactical weapon. The MOVE Commission report also said that Richmond had advised Sambor that they could let the bunker burn and contain the blaze later.
NEWS
July 29, 1991 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / MICHAEL BRYANT
ARSON INVESTIGATOR Tom Halpin, of the Philadelphia Fire Department, examines the charred remains of Philadelphia Suzuki in the 2600 block of Castor Avenue. A four-alarm fire destroyed the Northeast motorcycle dealership early yesterday morning. The cause of the fire, which gutted the building, was under investigation.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Philadelphia Fire Department employees have accepted undisclosed punishment in a sexual harassment scandal that has roiled the department, officials said Tuesday. The employees, whose names and ranks were not released, waived a departmental hearing on the allegations against them and chose to accept punishment, Frank Keel, a spokesman for the firefighters' union, said in a statement. They are among seven - two battalion chiefs, a captain, a lieutenant, a paramedic, and two firefighters - who faced discipline for their interactions with a paramedic who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the department last year.
NEWS
September 21, 1994 | By Henry Goldman, Dianna Marder and Wanda Motley, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Contributing to this article were Inquirer staff writers Richard Jones, Dale Mezzacappa, Walter F. Roche Jr. and Daniel Rubin
The eight-alarm Quaker Lace factory fire might have been contained and 12 nearby houses saved if the owner had not removed the fire walls from the rambling 150-year-old structure two weeks ago, a city official said yesterday. Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Bennett Levin said that inspectors were at the vacant North Philadelphia factory on Sept. 8 for a routine inspection and found demolition work being performed inside without a permit. Inspectors declared the building dangerous at that time, Levin said, because fire walls had been torn down.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A day after an internal presentation of a Philadelphia Fire Department critique detailing errors and delays in the December blaze that killed Firefighter Joyce Craig, the report's author wrote in an official department log that he was being pressured to redact portions of his work. Deputy Chief Rich Davison, the author of the report, wrote that Deputy Commissioner Jesse Wilson - the department's second-in-command - had asked for redactions and explained his request with the suggestion that "some statements in the critique could hurt the city," according to a copy of the entry obtained by The Inquirer.
NEWS
July 19, 2004
RE VERN Anastasio's letter (July 1): I couldn't agree more. As the son of a retired Philadelphia firefighter, I believe it is morally wrong to cut the city budget on the backs of the hard-working men and women of the Philadelphia Fire Department. After 9/11, the brave men and women who protect our streets and neighborhoods are needed more than ever to keep our great city safe. I also agree that the Street administration "is doing a perfectly horrible job growing our economy, our jobs, our services and our fiscal security.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA & DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writers gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
I T SEEMS a darker story lurks beneath the salacious headlines about the sex scandal that's consuming the Philadelphia Fire Department. The woman paramedic at the center of the controversy - which threatens to tarnish the careers of at least a dozen firefighters, paramedics and top brass - is a mentally troubled young woman who was preyed upon by those who should have protected her, according to numerous sources who asked not to be named because of...
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NEWS
July 21, 2015 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
IT WAS HOT and hellish enough yesterday, but then an arsonist or two had to go and blow up a building, allegedly, in South Philly, police said. Philadelphia police say the three-alarm blaze that gutted a building on Juniper Street near Snyder Avenue and sent flames high into the air just after 3 a.m. yesterday has been deemed suspicious, though the Philadelphia Fire Department won't make an official ruling until today. "That s--- was flaming. It was hot, burning up the whole block," said Harry Little, 69, who lives across the street from the three-story building.
NEWS
May 27, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph C. Flores, 59, of Northeast Philadelphia, a retired Philadelphia fire official, died Saturday, May 16, at home of unclear causes. Mr. Flores retired as a captain in the Philadelphia Fire Department in 2004 after a 28-year career. A Navy veteran, he was certified as a fire-protection specialist and worked professionally and as a volunteer to prevent fires. During his years with the Fire Department, he specialized in planning for the evacuation of high-risk populations - those in hospitals, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, schools, high-rise buildings, industrial settings, and day-care centers.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A day after an internal presentation of a Philadelphia Fire Department critique detailing errors and delays in the December blaze that killed Firefighter Joyce Craig, the report's author wrote in an official department log that he was being pressured to redact portions of his work. Deputy Chief Rich Davison, the author of the report, wrote that Deputy Commissioner Jesse Wilson - the department's second-in-command - had asked for redactions and explained his request with the suggestion that "some statements in the critique could hurt the city," according to a copy of the entry obtained by The Inquirer.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Philadelphia Fire Department employees have accepted undisclosed punishment in a sexual harassment scandal that has roiled the department, officials said Tuesday. The employees, whose names and ranks were not released, waived a departmental hearing on the allegations against them and chose to accept punishment, Frank Keel, a spokesman for the firefighters' union, said in a statement. They are among seven - two battalion chiefs, a captain, a lieutenant, a paramedic, and two firefighters - who faced discipline for their interactions with a paramedic who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the department last year.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
HAVING YOUR BOSS unzip his pants and "adjust himself" in front of you should not be part of anyone's workday. Neither should opening a desk drawer and discovering that a colleague has ejaculated all over its contents. But these stomach-turning events - and others just as offensive - were not unusual for female members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, the Daily News has found. Such incidents hint at larger ingrained problems - sexual harassment, discrimination and questionable relationships between supervisors and subordinates - that the department's leaders have ignored for years, critics say. In fact, the Inspector General's Office referenced systemic issues in its investigation into allegations that 15 Fire Department employees had sexual encounters with or sexually harassed a mentally troubled female paramedic.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
THE LURID SEX scandal that has haunted the Philadelphia Fire Department since it became public a week ago has, amazingly, become even more controversial. Joe Schulle, the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, suggested at a news conference yesterday that the city is trying to cover up information about the scandal, which is threatening to topple the careers of seven Fire Department employees. Schulle said the union has only received redacted portions of a report summing up an Inspector General's Office investigation into allegations that numerous firefighters had sexual encounters with a woman paramedic, who, multiple sources have said, is mentally troubled.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | By Chris Hepp and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
More than a dozen members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, including supervisors, have been accused of having sex with a paramedic while on duty, according to a well-placed source in the Nutter administration. The sex acts were consensual and are alleged to have been committed in Fire Department facilities and vehicles, the source said. The allegations were investigated by the city Office of the Inspector General, which has completed a report and recommended disciplinary action, according to the source.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA & DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writers gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
I T SEEMS a darker story lurks beneath the salacious headlines about the sex scandal that's consuming the Philadelphia Fire Department. The woman paramedic at the center of the controversy - which threatens to tarnish the careers of at least a dozen firefighters, paramedics and top brass - is a mentally troubled young woman who was preyed upon by those who should have protected her, according to numerous sources who asked not to be named because of...
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | Inquirer Editorial Board
It's a sad day in Philadelphia when a firefighter is killed, even though it's accepted that facing death is part of the job. Added to the list of the fallen Tuesday was Joyce Craig-Lewis, 36, who died in the smoky haze of a basement fire inside a West Oak Lane home. She becomes the first female member of the Philadelphia Fire Department to die in the line of duty. An investigation is ongoing to determine how Craig-Lewis became isolated and trapped in the basement. Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said basement fires are particularly challenging.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
ALBERTO GONZALEZ knew what he'd be doing first thing yesterday morning when he heard the news. "Did you hear that?" his wife asked. "I think they said a firefighter died. " Gonzalez sat up in bed and focused on the newscast. Joyce Craig-Lewis, an 11-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department and mother of two, died early yesterday morning after being trapped in the basement of a burning West Oak Lane rowhouse. She was the city's first female firefighter killed in the line of duty.
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