Philly awards to kin of fallen firefighters, police may rise to $50,000

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 Black ribbons hang over the garage door of the Fire station in Mt Airy. (Bas Slabbers for NewsWorks, file)

Black ribbons hang over the garage door of the Fire station in Mt Airy. (Bas Slabbers for NewsWorks, file)

A measure calling for a greater contribution to the families of Philadelphia police officers and firefighters who lose their lives while performing heroic deeds in the line of duty has advanced.

The bill would increase the payout from $25,000 to $50,000 to the families of those in the uniformed services who are killed on the job.

Councilman Al Taubenberger said Wednesday it’s one payment the city never wants to make.

“I think it is a great start, though, to show the families that we care deeply.  It is something, in addition, that might help a significant burden in a very burdensome situation,” he said as a City Council committee approved the legislation.

Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said the award has not been increased since 2002.

“Firefighters have been serving Philadelphia for more than 280 years,” Thiel said. “They risk their lives every day to protect the residents of this city.  When they make the ultimate sacrifice, the city should honor that loss and support the family members left behind.”

Under the bill, the money would also be paid out more quickly, over three years instead of about four.

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