CHIEFS ROSS B. DAVIS AND SIMMLER WIN RIGHT TO FIGHT CITY’S FIRES
Court Overrules Philadelphia Mayor, but City Head Orders 24-Hour Day for the Two Men He had Placed on Inactive List
CHIEF ROSS B. DAVIS and Deputy Chief William Simmler, Philadelphia, start another chapter in a fight that has attracted nation-wide attention in the fire service.
More than a year ago Mayor Wilson tried to demote Deputy Chief William Simmler. Chief Davis came to the defense of Simmler, and the next step was the removal of both men from active duty by the Mayor. They drew their pay, but could not attend fires.
Both men were fire fighters who wanted to work. They protested to the Civil Service Commission and to the State Supreme Court, winning in both cases.
Chief Davis felt that since he could not attend fires, he could be spared to attend the I.A.F.C. convention at New Orleans last month. But the Mayor thought otherwise and would not give him permission to leave the city.
Common Pleas Judge Louis E. Levinthal recently ordered that both officers must be restored to active duty. So now they can again roll to fires and take command.
But there is a hitch. Davis and Simmler asked for work and they arc now given plenty to do. They have been ordered on 24-hour duty and must roll to all fires, no matter how small. Davis has been given time off for meals; Simmler must take his meals when he can. Simmler gets every fourth day off —Davis does not.
Charles A. Gill, a Battalion Chief, who has been Acting Chief during the long feud, has been made Acting Deputy Chief. He is assigned to day duty with Sundays and holidays off, and with permission to respond to all extra alarm fires.
The Civil Service Commission will now consider the case of Gill, as there is no designation of “Acting Deputy Chief.”
The Mayor has ordered the appointment of thirty-seven provisional Captains and ninety-one provisional Lieutenants to bring the department’s strength up to a level consistent with the state law which limits the working hours of firemen.