2811 Druid Hill Dr
Monday - Friday
L to R: Roy Parker and Charles Miller, 11th Class David Pipkens, 2nd Class James Edwards and John Murray, 3rd Class.
Recipient of Meritorious Award
Burris, Wilson, Sessomes and Lt. Johnson First Crew To Perform and successfully Defibrillate a patient.
(PO) S. Stewart, M. Eagle, Act Lt.
"Despite Our Glorious Past, Our Future Is Now!"
African-Americans have a long and storied history in the Baltimore City Fire Department dating back to 1953. In the first class of blacks were Lee D. Babb, Cicero Baldwin, Ernest H. Barnes, Louis Harden, Earl C. Jones, George C.W. McKnight, Jr., Charles T. Miller, Roy Parker, Charles L. Scott and Lindsay Washington. Up until that time, the Fire Department had been like a "private club" for white males only. When the first blacks were admitted to the Fire Department they had to deal with segregated beds, toilets and face bowls. Many were not allowed to use the same kitchen utensils, drink coffee or read the newspaper. Certain firehouses had "Reserved for Colored People" signs. Blacks couldn't join the local union until eight years after they broke the color line. The Social Association of Fire Fighters (SAFF) led by Charles R. Thomas with the help of the law firm Brown Allen and Watts, Labor Leader A. Philip Randolph, The NAACP, The Urban League and some white supporters forced the Local 734 Union to bring the "Negro Issue" to the floor. Blacks were still denied Union membership until 1961 and were allowed to join only after the Union charged an unjust monetary fee.
Vulcan Blazers History
During 1959, Fire Fighter Herman Williams was first black to be promoted to the rank of Engine Engineer, but he was not allowed to drive the Fire Apparatus to fire. Some 33 years later, Williams became a Fire Chief and served from 1992-2001. He was Appointed Chief of the BCFD. in 1992. By Mayor Schmoke.
1960 - James Chambers was promoted to rank of Fire Pump Operator. One year later, James Thomas became the first black Lieutenant.
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