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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
October 22, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
      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.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 28, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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
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
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
December 13, 1994 | By S. Joseph Hagenmayer, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
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.
NEWS
July 30, 2014 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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NEWS
October 22, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
      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.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 28, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 30, 2014 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 22, 2014
RE: "FOP prez and reporter's ethics" story: Stop crying, you big baby! You're saying the Daily News reporters brought diapers, food and paid utility bills for their sources. When the cops pay their "confidential informants" - yes, pay them - what do you think they do with the money? I bet most of them buy drugs! You can't do it and then bitch when other people do it to get info. They are doing their jobs, like you cops do yours. Bobby LaVelle Philadelphia No lesson plan Just can't understand how executives, like the school superintendent, can use their knowledge and expertise to to further their careers but develop amnesia when they actually get the position.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
SOMEONE IN Southwest Philly needs to start snitching. Because someone knows how the Gesner Street fire started in the wee hours of July 5, destroying eight homes, taking the lives of four tots and injuring the mother who tried to save them. Neighbors have said they heard fireworks going off just before the inferno erupted. Its heat melted siding off homes across the street. But none of the residents I spoke with would even speculate about who might have caused the fire. "Whoever did it, it was an accident," said a neighbor.
NEWS
July 4, 2014 | By Casey Fabris, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two tour buses, one for the crew of the rock band Styx and the other for the band Foreigner's crew, caught fire Wednesday afternoon in a Philadelphia bus lot. No injuries were reported in the blaze on the 100 block of Callowhill Street. The cause was under investigation. The Styx bus caught fire first, which in turn caused the Foreigner bus to catch fire, Styx publicist Amanda Cagan said in an e-mail. Chief Peter Crespo of the Philadelphia Fire Department said the blaze was reported at 12:24 p.m. and fire trucks arrived on the scene five minutes later.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Fire Department on Wednesday unveiled its newest piece of training equipment: a mobile apparatus with stairs and windows that will allow firefighters to practice escaping from harm's way. The Survivability Mobile Training Unit, which officials said costs $170,000 and was paid for with grant money, is expected to save the city money. "It reduces cost for time and travel," Mayor Nutter told reporters during a news conference at the National Constitution Center. Firefighters normally have to travel to the Fire Academy in the Northeast for fire escape training, Nutter said.
NEWS
March 27, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
THE PHILADELPHIA Civil Service Commission today will hear a pitch on how the Nutter administration plans to make staffing changes to ambulance runs - but not without resistance from the union that represents the city's firefighters and paramedics. Nutter is seeking approval from the Civil Service Commission to allow the Fire Department to implement a new deployment plan for 9-1-1 calls - one that replaces the two paramedics who are dispatched with one paramedic and one EMT. Paramedics receive more in-depth training than their EMT counterparts.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
JOHN WILLIS got to see what few Americans have ever seen - the explosion of a hydrogen bomb. He was an Air Force enlisted man stationed on the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific in the 1950s when the United States conducted a series of nuclear tests there. Enewetak and nearby Bikini Atoll were hammered by a total of 43 nuclear explosions between 1948 and 1958. John Willis was stationed on Enewetak after his enlistment in 1953. He was discharged in 1957.
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