Firefighter Ed, the Shooting Star

Tonight on PHl17 a report airs at 10pm on 42-year-old Ed Verbitski. I talked with Ed at the station house on Grays Ferry Avenue where Squad 47 is based and also under I-95 where Ed was rehearsing with the Fancy Brigade, Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars. Ed is a Mummer and Philadelphia’s Firefighter of the Year. People are alive today because of Ed and the other men of Squad 47. Squad 47 trains to rescue people in every environment, under any conditon and they’ve done it. I want to thank the Squad for sharing time with me. Ed’s father, his brother, sons and other relatives are also involved with the Stars. As Ed Verbitski said to me, “I have the best of both worlds.”

Best B&B

The last two nights I had the pleasure of being with the best B&B as determined by the thousands of people who took part in the PHl17 Viewer’s Choice Poll.  The viewers selected Quaker City String Band and Bill McIntyre’s Shooting Stars as the finest performers on New Year’s Day.  I presented the awesome Viewer’s Choice trophy for String Band to Quaker City President Harry Brown, Jr., and the band Wednesday night at the QC clubhouse.  Thursday night, I handed over the equally powerful Viewer’s Choice trophy for Fancy Brigade to Mickey Adams and the brigade at their clubhouse.  The winners get to keep the trophies.  They are not passed around year to year.  Every form of recognition can be important, but the Viewer’s Choice Awards for Best String Band and Best Fancy Brigade are reflective of the people’s choice.   Each club earned it.   Congratulations Shooting Stars and Quaker City!