If you look closely at the video, you will see the roof of one of the buildings flying through the air. Sadly, as reported, one PGW worker was killed. As it turns out he was a young man who was friends with the daughter of one of the firefighters at my station. Philly is a small town like that. It’s not rare to meet a complete stranger and after talking with them for a few minutes you both realize you know one or two of the same people.

My station responded to this incident as more alarms were struck following the explosion. Our Medics transported the victim and were so shaken that they had to be taken out of service for the remainder of the shift. Even for battle tested street medics, an incident like this will shake you up. This morning as we got a play by-play account of the job, we found out that once again it was extremely lucky we didn’t lose a half a dozen or more firefighters. They moved away shortly before the blast. The other PGW workers are in the hospital, still fighting to recover. Say a prayer for them and their families.

This incident is a sad example of how misguided the Nutter administration’s policies are when it comes to emergency services. This has to be about the sixth extra alarm fire in the past month and the seventh fire death of the year. Incidents like this are why you must have sufficient companies trained and ready to go. In a big city with an old infrastructure, things go wrong sometimes. The fire department keeps them from getting worse. 

By and large the PGW employees we work with always do a first-rate job. They are knowledgeable, professional and quick to respond when there is an emergency. We are always glad to see them. So today while I was working you can imagine how we all felt when we were called out for a reported gas leak. Smelling natural gas as we walked up the street was just a bit unnerving after the events of last night.

And once again the PGW worker arrived and went to work just like every other day. Hats off to the crews of PGW. God bless.



  1. Retiredone says:

    When the lord was creating fire fighters, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, you’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one. And the lord said, have you read the specification on this person? Fire fighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual everyday person would never touch, while putting in the back, of their minds the circumstances. They have to able to move at a second’s notice and not think twice of what they are about to do, no matter what danger. They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on half-eaten meals, and they must have six pairs of hands. The angel shook her head slowly and said, six pairs of hands. No way. It’s not the hands, that are causing me problems said the Lord, it’s the three pairs of eyes a fire fighter has to have. That on standard model? Asked the angel. The lord nodded. One pair to see through the fire and where they and their fellow fire fighters should fight the fire next. Another pair here in the side of their head to see their fellow fire fighters and keep them safe. And another pair of eyes in the front so that they can look for victims caught in the fires who need their help. Lord, said the angel, touching his sleeve, rest and work on this tomorrow. I can’t, said the lord, I already have a model that can carry a 250-pound man down a flight of stairs to safety from a burning building, and can feed a family of five on a civil services paycheck. The angel circled the model of the fire fighter very slowly. Can it think? You bet, said the Lord. They can tell you the elements of a hundred fires and can recite procedures in their sleep that are needed to care for a person until they reach the hospital. And all the while they have to keep their wits about them. Fire fighters also have phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a scene full of pain and hurt, coaxing a child’s mother into letting go of the child so that they can care for the child in need. And still rarely get the recognition for a job well done from anybody, other than from fellow fire fighters. Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the fire fighter. There’s a leak, she pronounced, Lord it’s a tear. What’s the tear for? It’s a tear from the bottled-up emotions for fallen comrades. A tear for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American Flag. It’s a tear for all the pain and suffering they have, encountered. And it’s a tear for their commitment too caring for and saving lives of their fellow man! What a wonderful feature, Lord, you’re a genius, said the angel. The Lord looked somber and said, I didn’t put it there.

  2. Old NFO says:

    Good update, just try to stay safe CA… I’m hoping the number of deaths will get the Nuts off the dime and stop the brownouts.

  3. Cm says:

    As the wife of a PGW employee who was working that night doing the same job as the men who were injured….I thank you for your post. This ways heavy on the hearts of all the PGW workers as well as their families. Alot has been said negatively about PGW lately but they are a family and care about each other no matter how long they have been on the job.

  4. Dustoff says:

    Sorry to hear Capt. As NFO said. (Stay safe buddy)

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