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Philadelphia's New Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel Sworn In

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Adam Thiel took the oath of office, becoming Philadelphia's new Fire Commissioner at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning, inside the auditorium of the Fire Administration Building at 3rd and Spring Garden Streets.

Only CBS 3 was there as the 43-year-old commissioner, surrounded by family members, emerged from the brief ceremony.

"I'm really happy to get here and get started," Thiel explained. He had previously led fire departments in four states, most recently serving as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security in Virginia.

"My goal is to visit one firehouse each day to get to know my fire department family," he said.

The Commissioner explained he also plans to forge stronger departmental ties with community groups. "I look forward to meeting community groups, faith-based groups around the city," he said.

An immediate priority, the commissioner explained, is working with other city agencies on plans for the Democratic National Convention this summer. He expressed full confidence in the department.

"The city did a great job with the Papal Visit, along with other events," he explained.

Local 22 President Andy Thomas pledged his union and members will work with the new commissioner on important issues like prying loose funds for departmental improvements. "We're looking forward to working with the new commissioner," he said.

"There are big challenges ahead, but we're looking forward to a good result." Following his swearing-in, Commissioner Thiel joined his family for a celebratory luncheon, later getting measured for his new fire department gear.

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