July 27, 2015 |
On a Thursday afternoon in early May, AlDora Sample was gasping for breath. She called 911 a few minutes past 5 p.m. from her home in Camden. But the paramedic squad stationed in the city was tending to a drug overdose, so the dispatcher summoned a team from three miles away, in Pennsauken. At rush hour, it took the medics more than 12 minutes to get to Sample's tan-sided house on Ware Street. Was that fast enough? Emergency medicine experts say evaluating a paramedic service based on its response times is a tricky proposition at best, depending on the type of emergency, geography, and other factors.
July 15, 2014 |
DONNY SMITH, president of the Mayfair Civic Association, wants to split the sprawling 15th Police District into two districts, with a guaranteed number of officers patrolling each neighborhood. Right now, Smith said, the quieter neighborhoods like his suffer quality-of-life crimes, such as theft when cops are busy responding to the 15th's high-crime areas. "We're a blue-collar neighborhood," Smith said. "People are at work all day. They don't want to come home to find their house was broken into because there aren't enough police patrolling the streets here.
July 10, 2014 |
IT WOULD HAVE been impossible for firefighters to arrive any quicker at Saturday's devastating blaze on Gesner Street that claimed the lives of four young children. That's the message that Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer wanted heard loud and clear yesterday as the city, in an unusual move, released 9-1-1 recordings and a list of GPS-tracked response times of the first four companies to arrive on the block in the Elmwood section of Southwest Philadelphia. "You cannot get there quicker than a minute," Sawyer said, referring to the time between when a firefighter from Ladder 4, around the corner from the fire, notified dispatchers that the ladder truck was heading there and when the truck arrived on the block at 2:48 a.m. "That's not humanly possible," he said.
January 9, 2013 |
ON A RECENT weekday, two paramedics sat on the cots they almost never have time to sleep on at their neighborhood fire station. Their shift had just begun, and they jokingly bet on how many runs they'd make that day. But before they could finish the thought, a bell rang. First run. Time to go. They hopped into their ambulance, hit the sirens and raced to the scene. Someone had reported a man who was high on drugs, and the paramedics persuaded him to climb in the ambulance and go with them to the hospital.
October 13, 2011 |
Four years ago, City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a report revealing a Philadelphia EMS system in crisis: Sick people waiting too long for ambulances; paramedics dangerously overworked; and non-emergency calls overwhelming the system. The report echoed the pleas of paramedics who had long called for change, and recommended steps to relieve pressure on the stressed 911 system. Four years later, little has changed, Butkovitz said Wednesday as he released a follow-up audit that analyzed Fire Department data from 2009.
August 23, 2011 |
Question: My husband lost his job and hasn't found anything yet. We have had to cancel some plans, aren't giving gifts on gift-giving occasions, and weren't able to contribute any cash to some group family things we'd previously committed to (family is paying our portion now). We've also gotten some unasked-for but much-appreciated help from parents in the way of groceries. We do have a small amount of savings we have not yet dipped into, for mortgage payments when my husband's unemployment payments run out. I feel horribly guilty spending any money on anything.
August 2, 2011 |
LAST AUGUST, just five days after the start of a city policy of rolling brownouts at selected fire stations to save money, a 12-year-old boy with autism died in a raging fire in his West Philadelphia home. Although there is no evidence that Frank Marasco's death was a direct result of the city's brownout plan - in which about three fire stations are temporarily closed once a week on a rotational basis to save $3.8 million in overtime - his untimely death set off a heated debate about the city's cuts.
August 13, 2010
I LIVE IN North Philly. I have lived in this area for more than 50 years. My home was broken into and it was ransacked and robbed about four times last week. I was pushed back inside my home and robbed twice on Sunday. I reported this to the Philadelphia police and they were on the case in a hurry. In less than a week they caught the robber in my home who had just broken into it again. Now he is back in jail and my neighbor and I can finally rest peacefully in our own homes after several years of torment.
April 10, 2008 |
I remember Camden. I remember working at WCAM radio from 1959 to 1962 on the top floor of City Hall. I remember the short walk to the shops and the theaters. My favorite was the Stanley Theater at Broadway and Market Street. Back in 1926, when the movies were silent, it cost $1 million to build. It was a palace that featured both movies and stage shows. It was a time when a quarter would buy you singers, dancers and plate spinners, as well as a double feature straight from Hollywood.
March 27, 2008 |
The Philadelphia Fire Department is hard at work hiring paramedics, Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said yesterday. But City Council members considering his agency's annual budget were clearly impatient with the pace, since understaffing has been a significant problem. Mayor Nutter budgeted $3.9 million more for the fiscal year that starts July 1 to help the department hire more paramedics and put more medic units on city streets. Ayers told Council that he is short 31 paramedics now but has the money to hire 80 more, meaning he could hire 111 if his department could find them.