A ceremony was held recently to dedicate the restoration of service of Engine 39 at Ridge and Cinnaminson in Roxborough
Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel and FEMA Deputy Administrator Peter Gaynor were among the speakers who reiterated the importance of Engine 39 in providing additional EMT support services and crisis management assistance in the community. Engine 39 was one of several companies decommissioned by the city back in 2008.
Engine 39 was one of four engine companies, which had been closed for 11 years, to reopen in a move to restore critical fire and EMS service to neighborhoods across the city.
The engines affected include:
· Engine 1 at Broad & Fitzwater in South Philly/Center City
· Engine 8 at 4th & Arch in Old City
· Engine 14 at Foulkrod & Darrah in Frankford
“The restoration of these companies shows how committed we are to keeping our residents safe,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I’m grateful to all our firefighters and EMS providers for their dedicated service to Philadelphia.”
The four companies – which had been in service since the 19th century – were among seven that were deactivated on Jan. 5, 2009, as part of citywide budget cuts.
The reopenings were made possible by the recent graduation of 121 EMT-certified firefighters, who were hired using a $16.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with additional money from the city.
This is the first time in the Philadelphia Fire Department's history that any decommissioned company has been restored, according to records kept by Fireman’s Hall Museum.
“With the city’s continued high demand for fire and EMS response, we see this as restoring a baseline capacity for us to meet national standards,” said Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel. “These engines will truly have a major impact on response times and, we hope, positive outcomes throughout the city.”
The return of the companies, whose members will also respond to EMS calls, complements the five additional ambulances that went into service on Nov. 1. The PFD now has 60 medic units in service during peak hours.