August 16, 2016 |
As a Philadelphia firefighter, Steven Mesete often is required to spring into action at a moment's notice, abruptly sending his heart into rat-a-tat mode. "You can be sitting still, and then running at 100 miles an hour," he said. One day last week, Mesete ramped up his cardiovascular system in a much more controlled fashion, walking on a treadmill with wires stuck to his chest and a cardiologist standing nearby. The 41-year-old firefighter with Engine 49 in South Philadelphia was among the first in the 2,200-member department to undergo what is now a mandatory physical exam every two years.
June 26, 2016 |
LOOKING AT Henry Magee's family tree is like looking at the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department. "I think [firefighting] is something that runs in the bloodline," said Magee, 66, known as "Harry," who retired from the department in 2013 and serves on the board of directors of the Fireman's Hall Museum in Old City. The Magee family's fire legacy began in 1887, when James Magee, an illiterate Irish immigrant, joined the department as a 26-year-old hose man. He transferred several times to different stations, ending at Engine 45 in Swampoodle in 1898.
May 18, 2016 |
One morning in March 1968, Joseph A. Hall was riding on a bus from his Northeast Philadelphia home to his job as a city firefighter at 16th and Parrish Streets. When the bus stopped on Frankford Avenue near Oxford Street, Mr. Hall and Vincent Lehman, a fire battalion chief riding the same bus, saw flames shooting from a three-story rowhouse on Oxford. Before other firefighters arrived, newspaper stories reported at the time, the two men rescued two children who were about to jump from a third-floor window.
April 9, 2016 |
Mayor Kenney is expected to name Adam Thiel, Virginia's deputy secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security, as the next leader of Philadelphia's Fire Department, according to three sources with knowledge of the choice. Thiel, formerly the fire chief of Alexandria, Va., has worked in fire and emergency services for more than two decades in four states, according to a biography describing his current role in Virginia. He participated in response and recovery efforts for 9/11, Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Isabel, and multiple blizzards, another online biography said.
February 1, 2016 |
The patient was one the medic recognized. She had been to his home more than a few times. He was a diabetic who often slipped into hypoglycemic shock, and his family called medics over once or twice a week. The medic - a veteran with 13 years on the job - and her partner, a trainee, found the patient passed out in the basement. As they treated him, he started to come to. And that's when he reached under his pillow and pulled out a gun. "I'm not going to the hospital," he told the stunned paramedics.
December 31, 2015
By Michael Nadol and Edward M. Dunham Jr. In 2015, a series of audits and investigative reports have highlighted ongoing challenges and flaws in Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). These efforts largely followed up on previous expert reviews by Mayor Nutter's Special Independent Advisory Commission and City Council. Outside the spotlight's glare, the city has been actively working to rebuild and reform its building safety programs: Annual funding for L&I has increased from $21.5 million to $31.5 million over the past three years - with authorized positions up from 300 to 384. A comprehensive technology upgrade has been launched, and the first phase is operational.
October 26, 2015 |
Donald H. Fey, 82, a Korean War veteran, former Philadelphia firefighter, and retired fund-raising writer, died Sunday, Oct. 18, of heart failure at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Mr. Fey, of Drexel Hill, whose daughter is award-winning writer and actress Tina Fey, was a professional writer for more than 30 years, primarily in fund-raising and development. He helped raise more than $500 million for schools, hospitals, and public-service agencies. In 1992, he retired from Thomas Jefferson University, where he was director of development communications.
August 17, 2015 |
The Philadelphia medic noticed smoke rising from the engine just as he steered his ambulance off I-95. He and his partner were on their way to a medical emergency when their ambulance began to smoke. Then, a bang - a "loud explosion," the medic remembered. They pulled over and scrambled from their seats as the smoke grew heavy and thick. On the side of the road, they watched as flames licked up the side of the ambulance. In the year since that fire in 2014, sources and records obtained by The Inquirer indicate that accident wasn't an anomaly - that an ambulance bursting into flames is just an extreme example of the deteriorating, sometimes dangerous fleet operated by the Philadelphia Fire Department.
July 21, 2015 |
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.