As of 0800 this morning I am no longer assigned to the PFD 4th Battalion. I have been transferred to a new station in the Kensington section of the city. I am now the Captain of Ladder Company #10 located at Kensington & Castor Ave. It’s a bittersweet move for me but one that I am looking forward to.
I have spent the last 7 out of 8 years in the 4th Battalion which generally covers most of Center City Philly, river to river. Back in January I was transferred in the normal officer rotation but I stayed in the 4th Battalion. It was a highly unusual move that had me fielding many “Who did you piss off?” phone calls. The short answer was- “no one I know of”. Yet like all bureaucracies you never know.
My transfer to Squrt 43 was also highly unusual because I was promoted to Captain out of that company a couple of years ago. Rarely do you go back to the same company you already served in. You need special dispensation for that. The stated reason officers rotate to begin with is to gain experience in different parts of the city, in different units. (Or so they say). Keeping me in the 4th clearly violated this policy.
Needless to say going BACK to a company that runs day and night without many actual fires was not what I was looking for. Not that Squrt 43 isn’t a good company. There are some of the best firefighters in the city stationed there and I am proud to have served with them. (Especially the “D” plt). In the five months I worked on the D plt. I quickly developed a liking for them. But 3,500 runs a year and a two-hour commute through the worst Philly traffic has to offer wasn’t on my dream sheet.
So I asked to see the Commissioner. After a couple of memo’s and angry phone calls to our union, the Commissioner gave me a meeting. I went to see him to discuss my transfer. He was cordial and I thanked him for seeing me. We discussed the transfer and he assured me I wasn’t in trouble or anything like that. In fact he chalked it up to a seniority issue and the need for experienced officers in tough assignments. Riiight.
I was cordial as well (having no other choice) and reminded him of my previous assignments. I asked him to keep me in mind if any other spots became available. He inquired if I was taking the Battalion Chief’s exam and I told him I was. He said there would be movement in any event after the test and I would be involved one way or another. I thanked him for his time and went on my way.
The results of the Battalion Chief’s exam were announced last week. I finished 21 on the list. As of now it doesn’t look like they will get to me this time. Seventeen may be the magic number. Although I managed to improve (I was 24 last time) that wasn’t good enough. There’s always next test.
Miraculously some guys did improve, rather spectacularly too. For instance the guy who finished 23 last time managed to score #1 this time. The guy who finished 25 last time is #9 this time. And this guy is #4:
Phila. fire captain suspended, then promoted
A Philadelphia fire captain was suspended for 30 days without pay for “musing” in an e-mail about ways to get minority recruits around an application deadline. But Capt. Troy K. Gore’s actions and subsequent punishment apparently won’t stand in the way of a promotion and $8,000 pay increase.Why would it? A suspension for conspiring to circumvent Civil Service Law is NO REASON not to be promoted.
Gore’s suspension will cost him about $6,300 out of his $75,513 annual salary. It’s the highest penalty Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said he could give, short of firing.
That’s right, 30 days with intent to promote.
Gore was placed on paid leave March 6 pending an investigation into a Feb. 28 message to fellow members of Club Valiants, the city organization representing African-American firefighters.
Paid leave? Is that something new???
His message sought log-in and identification information to get minority candidates into the application system after the Feb. 5 deadline for new recruits.
The city’s Office of Inspector General determined that the system could not have been manipulated the way Gore suggested. Gore sent out an e-mail shortly after his first message, calling it a “bad idea.”
Never mind calling the integrity of the entire electronic filing process into question. Can’t wait until we e-vote.
Gore’s suspension without pay ended April 27, and on Friday he was appointed acting chief of the department’s Fourth Battalion, normally a precursor to a permanent promotion. The battalion chief position pays $83,591.
Thank God I’m out of there. It’s a shame for the taxpayers and firefighters still there. They deserve much better.
The promotion to acting chief was part of the normal process. Gore placed fourth out of 43 captains who took the fire battalion chief test in March, and was therefore among those in line for advancement into one of seven vacant battalion chief slots, Ayers said.
In my opinion there is NOTHING NORMAL about a promotion process that delivers results like this.
If you can stomach it here is the LINK to the rest of the article.