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.
March 19, 2015 |
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.
February 25, 2015 |
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.
December 3, 2010 |
Egbert Weldon Board, 82, one of the first African Americans to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Philadelphia Fire Department, died of complications from an infection Sunday, Nov. 28 at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Mr. Board worked in the department for 27 years before retiring in 1986. In the heat of battling fires, he was "as cool as the other side of the pillow," a coworker once told his son Michael, also a former firefighter. Mr. Board was known for his work as chairman of the board of deacons at the Second Baptist Church of Germantown.
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.
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.
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.
January 30, 2015 |
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...