The Philadelphia Fire Department gained a new commissioner on June 14, one day following the retirement of the often-controversial Lloyd Ayers, who served 40 years as a firefighter, including the last decade as commissioner. Mayor Michael Nutter named Derrick Sawyer as Ayers’ successor last month.
An investigating grand jury convened by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has chosen not to recommend criminal charges in connection with a 2012 arson that destroyed a vacant Kensington warehouse and claimed the lives of two city firefighters.
Five members of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s formerly segregated Engine 11 were among dozens of firefighters, paramedics and civilians honored during the annual Firefighter Recognition Day, presented by Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters on Sept. 8.
Even as City Hall and Philadelphia’s firefighters union embarked on new contract arbitration last week, Mayor Michael Nutter yielded ground in his administration’s prolonged legal war with firefighters over their recently expired 2009 contract.
The earsplitting shrill of referees’ whistles and derogatory chants echoed from City Council’s balcony, deafening council members and spectators alike on the floor of the venerable chamber and rendering Mayor Michael Nutter’s ceremonial budget address secondary to the spectacle.
The leader of the city’s firefighters union said his organization will not seek to have Mayor Michael Nutter “recalled” from office after members loudly demanded Nutter’s ouster during a Jan. 8 demonstration at the city’s newest firehouse.