FDNY Celebrates African American History Month

February 13, 2018

On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh welcomed FDNY members and friends to celebrate and honor African American History Month at FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn.

First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh and Chief of Department James E. Leonard underscored the importance of diversity in the FDNY and the Department’s role in reflecting the City of New York.

“Diversity matters because it makes us stronger, expands our expertise, widens our perspectives and backgrounds, ultimately, enabling us to develop new and innovative solutions to the complex problems we are faced with every day,” said First Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh. “Today serves both as a reflection and a celebration of the extraordinary contributions African Americans have made to this country, the city and this Department - it is also a day to highlight the many African American leaders who make important contributions to our city and our way of life.”

“The African-American membership in our Department is a group that continues to grow with each new class of Firefighters, EMTS and Paramedics that enter our ranks,” said Chief Leonard. “This job is always looking to improve, and part of improving is doing a better job of reaching out to every community we serve, looking to recruit brave men and women to this job, and working so hard to provide fire safety education to every New Yorker.”

Chief of Department Leonard presented honorary guest and New York 1 Reporter Cheryl Wills the badge of her father, Firefighter Clarence Wills, from Engine Company 1 in Manhattan. Firefighter Wills was the first African American Firefighter in his company.

For additional photos of the celebration, click here.