Mayor Kenney is expected to name Adam Thiel, Virginia's deputy secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security, 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 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 spokeswoman, 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, 43, would replace Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer, who was appointed two years ago by Mayor Michael Nutter.

Two Fire Department sources briefed on Kenney's search said he had been close to giving the top job to Raleigh (N.C.) Fire Chief John T. McGrath, who worked in Philadelphia's 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.

The sources also said the job had been offered to Fred Endrikat, currently with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and a former chief of the Philadelphia Fire Department's Special Operations Command. But Endrikat turned the job down, the sources said.

Thiel would inherit a department with 63 fire stations and more than 2,200 firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs. In 2011, the last year the department posted statistics about its call volume on its website, firefighters and medics answered more than 97,000 calls for fires and more than 337,000 calls for medical emergencies.

Kenney, a firefighter's son, announced in February that the Fire Department was doing away with "brownouts" - temporarily closing firehouses - and forced staff rotations, two policies implemented during Nutter's administration as cost-saving measures.

cpalmer@phillynews.com

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