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PHILADELPHIA CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. CUMMINGS (01/12/54)

January 12, 1954

PHILADELPHIA CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
v.
CUMMINGS, APPELLANT



Appeals, Nos. 189 and 190, Jan. T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1952, Nos 1258 and 1259, in case of Civil Service Commission of City of Philadelphia v. Walter Cummings and Edwin Jones, Jr. Order reversed

COUNSEL

John Patrick Walsh, with him Leon Rosenfield and Walsh, Tubis & Dunn, for appellants.

Jerome J. Shestack, with him Richard H. Markowitz, Assistant City Solicitor, Robert M. Landis, First Deputy City Solicitor and Abraham L. Freedman, City Solicitor, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 376 Pa. Page 201]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

Appellants, Edwin Jones, Jr. and Walter Commings, are hosemen in the Fire Department of the City of Philadelphia. At the time of the incident which occasioned this litigation, Jones was the regular driver of a thirteen ton fire truck operated by Rescue Squad No. 2 and Commings was the Acting Lieutenant in charge of the truck. On December 4, 1951, at about

[ 376 Pa. Page 2025]

:30 P.M., Jones, Cummings and three others manned the fire truck in response to an alarm, originating from an alarm box in the vicinity of Orthodox and Large Streets.

They proceeded east on Orthodox Street and were following Pumper No. 20, driven by hoseman Joseph Lamack. While Jones' attention was momentarily diverted by a truck from another fire company approaching the fire from Large Street, Lamack, in an endeavor to use the nearest hydrant, made an abrupt stop after clearing the intersection at Large and Orthodox Streets. When Jones looked ahead again and saw that Lamack had stopped, he applied his brakes and swerved the truck, but nevertheless struck the rear of the pumper truck. The ensuing crash damaged both pieces of apparatus and injuries were sustained by eight men.

While Jones and Cummings were confined to the hospital as the result of injuries they sustained in the accident, a Fire Board of Investigation took testimony and found both men chargeable with disobedience of General Order No. 18 establishing a minimum safe distance to be observed between fire apparatus going to and returning from a fire. Discipline having been recommended by the Fire Board, the Deputy Fire Commissioner ordered that both Jones and Cummings be suspended without pay for 10 days and in addition perform 20 days' extra duty without pay for the infraction of this rule of the Fire Department.

They appealed from this order to the Civil Service Commission which assumed jurisdiction of their appeals because it concluded that the 20 days of extra duty without pay really constitute a 20 day ...


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