Adam Thiel building priority list as new Philadelphia fire commissioner

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Philadelphia's new fire commissioner Adam Thiel is officially on the job after being sworn in Monday. (WPVI)

Philadelphia's new fire commissioner Adam Thiel is officially on the job after being sworn in Monday.

"As many of you know this is my second day as the fire commissioner of this great city of Philadelphia," Thiel said.

Thiel comes from a top post in Virginia.

One veteran gave us this assessment on Thiel:

"He's an outsider coming from a small town to the big city. We would have preferred someone who came up through the ranks. We'll see how he does. This could be an eye-opening experience for him."

Tuesday was Thiel's first public experience as commissioner. It comes during Emergency Medical Services Month; EMS workers, with their expertise, are major players in this town.

"On average, we're called to care nearly 700 times per day," Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Jeremiah Laster said.

The goal of the fire department campaign this week is to encourage the public to think of using alternatives to calling 911 when they seek attention to non-urgent medical issues.

"We really don't want people to hesitate. If you think you're having a medical emergency or you see an injury happen, call 911. If you need a ride or there's something you don't think you need an ambulance for, please don't," Thiel said.

Thiel is also clearly up to speed on issues related to the hiring of minorities.

"I would assert that any organization to be successful must be diverse and must be inclusive, I mean that in all respects," Thiel said.

Commissioner Thiel says he is still building a list of top priorities and that will prompt him to visit firehouses all across town in the weeks ahead.

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