Fourteen retirements have set off a chain reaction of 27 promotions in the D.C. Fire Department, including the selection of Dennis N. Logan as the city's only black deputy fire chief.
The fire department, in its announcement, emphasized that all the retirements were based on long service, and none on disabilities. A high proportion of disability retirements - ranging above 80 percent in some recent years - had become a major political issue, with Congress calling for a tightening of qualifications.
Fire Chief Jefferson W. Lewis presided last week over a ceremony that elevated the 27 firefighters to their newranks.
Promoted to deputy chiefs were Logan, who now heads the firefighting division; Carmel Del Balzo, who became the city's new fire marshal, and Leonard R. Hanback, who now heads the department training division.
Former captains who became battalion chiefs are Lawrence L. Beard-more, Howard E. Dixon, Robert C. Bingham and Ramon F. Granados.
New captains, promoted from lieutenant, are Michael C. Tippett, James R. Luckrow, Theodore L. Kramer, Richard L. Grace and Joseph A. Quander.
Named as lieutenants are former sergeants Eugene L. Perticone, John G. McCall, Paul E. Jackson, Francis C. Holmberg, Stephen P. Lapmhier, James M. Greco and David C. Morris.
Newly promoted sergeants are Richard O. Ward Jr., John J. Harvey, Harold B. Jordan, Jack R. Bryant, Thomas E. Dolan, William A. Fisher Jr. and David W. Sims.
Logan, the only black now serving as deputy fire chief, has been a member of the fire department for 26 years. A battalion chief since 1973, he formerly had responsibility for community information programs.
Del Balzo, the new fire marshal with 28 years of service, has directed firefighting operations through much of the midcity area. Hanback has served for 27 years throught the city.
The surge of retirements was caused by a pension bonus granted to those who left before Oct. 1.
The retiree with the longest service was Deputy Chief Joseph R. Jeffrey, with nearly 36 years. A deputy chief since 1977, Jeffrey was head of the fire prevention division and an architect of legislation recently passed by the D.C. City Council requiring smoke detectors in every residential building in the city.
Deputy Cheif John P. Breen, with nearly 33 years of service, was fire marshal for four years before becoming an acting assistant fir chief and head of the training division. He had been a deputy chief since 1970.
The head of the firefighting division, retiring Deputy Chief James H. Lambert, had served on the department for 28 years. He headed the firefighting division and had been on training and administrative assignments.
Battalion chiefs who retired last week were James R. Stephenson, with 33 years of service, from the station at 2101 14th St. SE; Theodore R. Coleman, with 26 years of service, stationed at departmental headquarters, and John O. Kennedy, with 31 years of service, from the station at 3522 Connecticut Ave. NW. Kennedy headed the Protestant Society of the police and fire departments.
Other retirees were lieutenants Richard Mangum and Peter H. McGallaria, firefighters William H. Norton and Lawrence Quarry, assistant marine engineer Austin R. Gibson (on the harbor fire boat) and civilian employe John J. Kilma.
In another recent ceremony, fire chief Lewis honored eight firefighters and a civilian employe for heroic acts and special services to the department.
Bronze bars for heroic actions were presented to three firefighters for rescues from burning buildings in June. They were Charles C. Diggs Jr., John M. Bruton and William J. Gross.
Among those honored was Jack Hughes, a volunteer firefighter from West Lanham who is employed by the Washington Gas Light Co. Hughes rescued three persons from a burning car after an accident.
Special service awards and commendations went to James C. O'Connor, Robert A. Morehose, Capt. Donald M. Mayhew, James T. Hencken and William D. Warren.