By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A follow-up on a story we brought you last Friday: the mayor’s plans to transfer hundreds of senior firefighters to new stations. Today, a city councilman called for formal hearings on the matter.
First District councilman Mark Squilla plans to convene a hearing November 27th on the fire department transfer plan.
“A lot of our constituents have been used to the firefighters in their area, and they feel comfortable that they know where they’re going. And they’re fearful if they implement this policy, it may cause danger to the community,” Squilla explained earlier.
Two hundred ninety-three senior firefighters will be moved in January, and 156 of them have more than ten years’ tenure.
The Nutter administration says the transfers will build the skills of the firefighters by exposing them to new parts of the city.
Councilman Jim Kenney doesn’t buy it.
“They don’t seem to have a good reason. It doesn’t make sense to move a guy or woman around the city who has been on the department for 20, 25 years,” Kenney said.
Kenney says the policy may be to punish the department.
Squilla doesn’t go that far, and says his focus in calling for a hearing will be on public safety.
Members of the firefighters’ union, which has already criticized the plan, showed up in City Council on Thursday to voice their misgivings (photo below).