Councilman Kenney seeks restored rank for demoted Philly firefighters

 Firefighters battle a fire in Philadelphia (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

Firefighters battle a fire in Philadelphia (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

Philadelphia City Council will probe the demotion of 14 firefighters after they were promoted to officer positions.

The firefighters call the personnel moves demotions. The Nutter administration says it was forced to promote the firefighters based on a court ruling. When that ruling was reversed, the administration simply returned the firefighters to their previous ranks.

Councilman Jim Kenney, who said he is upset about the moves, sought the hearings on the matter.

“None of these individuals has been certified as rejected by the fire department as is required by Civil Service Regulation 14, entitled probationary period,” Kenney said. “These individuals were invited to attend a promotional ceremony on July 17 and honored as newly promoted fire captains and fire lieutenants by Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.”

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Honoring the firefighters at the ceremony resonated emotionally with Kenney hard, whose father served as a fire department battalion chief.

“In 1967 and 1975, when my father was promoted to captain and then battalion chief, I attended those ceremonies with my brothers and my mother,” he said. “Those are some of the most important memories I have growing up.”

Kenney says the promotions shouldn’t be taken away.  City officials maintain it’s a case of management prerogative.

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