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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 26, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 16, 2016 | By Tom Avril, Staff Writer
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.
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
April 9, 2016 | By Chris Palmer, Julia Terruso, and Tricia L. Nadolny, STAFF WRITERS
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.
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 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
August 17, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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NEWS
August 16, 2016 | By Tom Avril, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 26, 2016 | By Olivia Exstrum, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 18, 2016 | By Walter F. Naedele, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
April 9, 2016 | By Chris Palmer, Julia Terruso, and Tricia L. Nadolny, STAFF WRITERS
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.
NEWS
February 1, 2016 | By Aubrey Whelan, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
October 26, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 17, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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.
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