Sources: Former Virginia fire chief to head Philadelphia department

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  • Published: 04/08/2016 12:00 AM

Mayor Kenney is expected to name Adam Thiel, deputy secretary of Virginia's Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs department, as the next leader of Philadelphia's fire department, according to three sources with knowledge of the choice. Thiel, formerly the fire chief of Alexandria, Va., has worked in fire and emergency services for more than two decades in four different states, according to a biography describing his current role in Virginia. He participated in response and recovery efforts for 9/11, Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Isabel, and multiple blizzards, another online biography said. It was not immediately clear when Kenney would introduce him as the city's next Fire Commissioner. Lauren Hitt, Kenney's spokesperson, declined to comment Thursday. Thiel could not be reached for comment. Kenney had previously announced that he would search nationally for new leaders of the fire department, prison system and Department of Human Services. He has yet to name commissioners for prisons or DHS. Thiel would replace current Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, who was appointed two years ago by then-Mayor Nutter. Two fire department sources briefed on Kenney's search said he had been close to giving the top job to Raleigh Fire Chief John T. McGrath, who worked in Philadelphia fire department for more than 30 years. McGrath's candidacy, however, apparently ended when the administration learned that he had taken a partial DROP payment when he retired, the sources said.


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