O’Neill: Philadelphia must delay firefighters from DROPing

A Philadelphia City Councilman wants to give firefighters close to retirement another year to leave the city.

The city of Philadelphia is currently shopping for a vendor to create a new firefighters examination, which means a new fire academy class might be a year away.

City Councilman Brian O’Neill said the mayor needs to invoke the Extraordinary Extension clause to keep firefighters on the job. O’Neill says dozens of firefighters enrolled in the DROP retirement incentive program, are required to leave before replacements will be ready.

“There are 70 firefighters who are in their last year of DROP who could stay another year, no training required keeps them on the street and its vital to public safety that we do this,” said O’Neill.

Councilman O’Neill said the extension clause was used to retain police officers back in 2008 and needs to be invoked here.

“It will be better fire protection and generally public safety protection for the people of Philadelphia because people that are on overtime who are burned out are not the same as a firefighter coming to work fresh,” he said.

The Nutter administration said it is reviewing the request.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.