January 19, 2012 |
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.
February 9, 2001 |
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.
October 22, 2014 |
Robert R. Cowden Sr. was sworn in as a Philadelphia fireman at age 19 on Aug. 3, 1959. For 32 years, he devoted his life to fighting fires, first as a rookie, later as a lieutenant and captain, and finally as a city fire battalion chief. His climb up the Philadelphia Fire Department hierarchy mirrored a family pattern in place for four generations; Cowden men had served as city firemen since 1889. They thrived on the work and the challenge. "They lived and breathed it. It's not their job, it's who they were," said Mr. Cowden's son, Robert R. Jr. Mr. Cowden, 74, died Wednesday, Oct. 15, from complications of congestive heart failure at his daughter's home in Montgomery County.
October 8, 2014 |
A 1975 federal consent decree designed to remedy discrimination against blacks in the Philadelphia Fire Department has been dissolved. As a result of a ruling last week by U.S. District Judge Timothy Rice, Philadelphia is free of the court-ordered hiring requirements put in place to boost the percentage of African Americans serving in the city fire department. When the decree was issued 39 years ago, about 7 percent of the city's fire fighters were black. Today the figure is about 27.6 percent and an African American - Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer - leads the department's 2,100 uniformed employees.
September 28, 2014 |
Memorial services are set for Saturday, Oct. 18, for John R. Hild Sr., 71, a retired Philadelphia fire captain and safety administrator, who died Tuesday, Aug. 12, of bladder cancer at a hospice in Lecanto, Fla. A longtime resident of Southwest Philadelphia, Mr. Hild had retired to Crystal River, Fla., in 2003. Born in Philadelphia, he graduated in 1961 from John Bartram High School, where he played baseball. After high school, Mr. Hild enlisted in the Marine Corps and served eight years as an active reservist.
July 29, 1991 |
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.
September 21, 1994 |
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.
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.
December 13, 1994 |
George V. Hink, 76, a retired battalion chief in the Philadelphia Fire Department who followed in the footsteps of his father, former City Fire Commissioner George E. Hink, died Saturday at Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Woodbury. A Woodbury resident since 1967, Mr. Hink retired after he was disabled by the collapse of a fire escape during a 1965 fire at 10th and Market Streets, said his son Michael P. Hink. Up until the injury, Mr. Hink was "very much following in his dad's footsteps," said Robert Wauhop, who worked with Mr. Hink in the early 1960s and is now the Philadelphia Fire Department's deputy commissioner for operations.
July 30, 2014 |
Westville authorities want the Philadelphia Fire Department to pay for the borough's fire boat, claiming that it was totaled by the wake of a Philadelphia fire boat. In documents filed in state and federal courts, Westville alleges that both departments responded to a fire at Dock 4 at the BP Petroleum plant in Paulsboro. According to the lawsuit, on the evening of Sept. 16, 2010, Westville firefighters arrived first in their FB7 vessel, contained the blaze, and advised Philadelphia that further assistance was not needed from the city's boat, the Independence.