Reports: New Fire Commissioner Chosen

Adam Thiel comes from Virginia.
Adam Thiel | Virginia.gov

Adam Thiel | Virginia.gov

Adam Thiel, Virginia’s deputy secretary of public safety and homeland security, has been chosen as Philadelphia’s next fire commissioner, according to reports at multiple outlets.

Mayor Jim Kenney declined to confirm the appointment in a conversation with 6ABC on Thursday.

“We’re not going to announce it ’til next week. I mean I want everybody to get it at the same time,” he told the station. “We had planned on doing it next week, and that’s when it’s going to happen.”

Prior to his current statewide post, Thiel was fire chief for Alexandria, Virginia. He earned master’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, and completed undergrad work at the University of North Carolina.  His bio on the Virginia.gov website doesn’t indicate any connections to Philadelphia.

6ABC reported that Club Valiants, an international association of black firefighters, has announced its opposition to replacing current fire commissioner Derrick Sawyer.

“While we respect the mayor exercising his prerogative to choose his own administration, we do not believe that there is justification for removing an effective leader with a stellar record,” the organization said in a released statement. “In Commissioner Sawyer’s tenure, Philadelphia has experienced its lowest recorded annual fire death rate in its entire history. It appears to our organization that the motivation behind removing Commissioner Sawyer goes far beyond improving the department or changing its leadership’s perspective.”

No word on when the formal announcement will be made.

Follow @joelmmathis on Twitter.