Fireman in calendar flap took own life, cops say, but why?

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. ••

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