A Philadelphia firefighter and Northeast resident who recently gained national publicity by posing shirtless for a beefcake-style calendar died Saturday in an apparent suicide.
City police have confirmed officially only that a suicide occurred on the 7800 block of Lawndale Ave. in Fox Chase.
But colleagues of the victim have acknowledged publicly that he was John Slivinski Jr., 32, a member of the fire department’s elite Rescue 1 special operations unit.
Authorities have not identified the cause of death. One published report stated it was a gunshot wound to the head. The Northeast Times was awaiting comment from the city medical examiner’s office as this week’s editions went to press.
Slivinski’s motive is not known. His father discovered the body at about 4 a.m. at the younger man’s home and called police.
This spring, Slivinski caused a stir within the fire department that gained regional and national news coverage. The physically fit former U.S. Marine posed in fire gear from the waist down and bare from the waist up for pictures in front of the Logan Circle fountain in Center City.
The photos were for use in a charity calendar showcasing sexy firefighters from around the nation.
When Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers learned of the bare-chested photos, he reportedly removed Slivinski from his highly coveted job with Rescue 1 and reassigned him to another unit, citing what the commissioner deemed as the firefighter’s inappropriate portrayal of the department.
Ayers later reinstated Slivinski to Rescue 1, the same unit where the firefighter’s father previously had served.
Slivinski’s father, also named John, is still active in the fire department, although the family, through the city firefighters union, has declined comment on the death. ••