Sex and the City (Of Brotherly Love)

Some Power Play?

philly ambo reports that, “A Philadelphia paramedic has alleged that about a dozen fellow Fire Department employees pressured her into sex – including a supervisor and two Fire Academy instructors – over a four-year period, according to a source with knowledge of the woman’s account.”

Indeed, one of the assignations is said to have occurred in the back of a fire department ambulance.

Apparently Philadelphia does not have a “Bill Clinton” clause, i.e., no sex between employees and supervisors, but “relations” are taboo on city property.

It would seem that no one can say that the affair has not been investigated with the department’s Special Investigation Unit, the EEOC, and the City’s Inspector General all having a look around.

It is also reported that the Police Special Victims Unit was notified but did not have the cooperation to proceed.

Is there anybody that hasn’t figured out that sex between co-workers is rarely a good idea and sex between a boss and someone they supervise is never a good one?

No “chain-of-command” mucking about would seem to be the order of the day.

Elsewise, how to avoid an accusation of pressure?

A Missed Opportunity

Inspector General Amy L. Kurland yesterday declined to confirm the investigation.”

Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer referred questions to mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald…”

He said, “While I am not confirming what you are asking about, I can say there was a recent independent investigation that was sent to the Fire Department for follow-up consistent with departmental regulations and procedures.”

He also said, “Allegations of this sort will be handled through this matrix. The administration will not respond to rumors.”

“Joe Schulle, president of Local 22 of the firefighters’ union [IAFF], declined to comment on the probe, saying: “We are aware of the Inspector General’s investigation, but cannot and will not comment, as we do not know the specifics of the allegations or the conclusions drawn in the IG’s report.”

Is there not a leader in the whole bunch?

Acknowledge what is both obvious and the truth:  serious allegations have been made and a full investigation is underway which will go wherever the facts lead.

Then say, “Neither the City of Philadelphia nor the fire department will tolerate sexual harassment or abuse of any kind.”

Now, how hard is that?

And, as a life long union member I am very disappointed that the local did not make a similar statement on behalf of all of their members.

In both cases it is nothing more than taking an important opportunity to state the obvious moral standard.





  • Stephen Grepps says:

    If this is true,why did it take the complainant 4 years to report. Seems to me that the individual did not get what they were looking for and now they are complaining. Grant it what was done was wrong, it t is true. But are they not adults? Sad to think about the marrages that are going to be ruined.

  • TheHonestTruth says:

    It’s all about “the faces in the picture frames.” Depending on the “who” involved will drive the outcome….just like the department from which you retired.

  • female firefighter says:

    Stephen Grepps your comment is appalling and clearly one of a male. As a female in the fire service I can’t say I haven’t been subject to similar pressures. I’m glad the investigation is underway (at least I hope it is as neither party has really made it clear). But for any woman to come forward with these allegations is terrifying and it shouldn’t be. This is 2015, not 1960. She obviously had some fear for her career, probably didn’t want to be treated like a rookie (or worse) if the investigation didn’t end in her favor. It is a challenge (sometimes daily) for some of us to prove our worth as women in the fire service because of males (I refuse to call you a man after the comments you have written) like you. How could she not be leery about coming forward when it was probably males like you pressuring her in the first place? “The individual did not get what they were looking for” this comment makes me sick to my stomach. How dare you even put a morsel of blame on her when you don’t even know the circumstances. “Sad to think about the marriages that are going to be ruined” clearly the husband’s didn’t care enough to think about their marriages, why should she have to be so considerate? Those wives deserve to know what kind of person they married.

  • UnionFire says:

    Interesting read. I wish there was more information about the allegations. As a male fire fighter with over 30 years of service, I have witnessed “pressure” on female fire fighters. Early in my career, I was also guilty of questioning not only their abilities, but sometimes there motives. Fortunately, I have grown a lot. I have worked with women fire fighters who could outwork some of the men. And I have seen both sides of the “pressure” put on women to perform. 17 years ago I met and became friends with one of our female fire fighters. 15 years ago we married. I still see and hear to this day how “she can’t compete”. We have trained together, worked out together (she is an IAFF peer fitness trainer), and have fought fire together. I would put her up against anybody.
    Female firefighter, you are right. It is 2015, not 1960. It is a shame we still treat people like it were. It is time for our profession to recognize people for what they are capable of, not what some absurd bias thinks they should be.

  • female firefighter says:

    Unionfire it’s very refreshing to read your comment. I’m glad to be reminded of the men like yourself that I have the privilege to work beside.

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