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




  1. Andrew says:

    10’s sounds like a good place to go. Maybe not as glamorous a neighborhood, but more work it would seem.

  2. Bob G. says:

    NO WAY…you’re at Castor & Kensington?

    My God…I went there on a school outing in like SECOND GRADE (long before you were born), when that was a brand NEW station!
    We even got “Junior Fire Marshal badges…LOL.

    I even remember when KIDDIE CITY and RENEL’S used to be there…(now I AM showing my age).

    Remember Cap…”NO good deed EVER goes unpunished”.
    But congrats anyway…make the best of it, Boss!

    Stay safe out there.
    (and have a great weekend)

  3. Wagonsx says:

    Congratulations on your transfer. Change can be good. At Ladder 10 I’m sure you will be busier, and it is closer to home. Good luck.

  4. Old NFO says:

    Make the best of it CA, and we’ll see what falls out of the ‘other’ issue…

  5. Thanks guys. Truck 10 is a great company and I am pretty excited about going to the “House of Doors”. It’s much closer to home yet far enough away. Funny I could never have landed this spot before… why now? Funny, now I am getting the “Who do you know?” calls.

  6. Squid says:

    Congrats on the move Capt, plenty of fire duty for ya there. If Lt. Sierra is still there give him a shout from the UD guys in the 185!

  7. One word for you: Penicillin. Just sayin,…

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