On July 1, 1950, the first Black career firefighters were hired by Engine Company No. 9 in Richmond.
On July 11, the Richmond Fire Department is celebrating the 71st anniversary at 5th Street and Duval Street at 1:30 p.m.
Chief Melvin D. Carter will be giving a presentation titled, “Light the Way.”
The men hired were all in the same company as the fire departments were not integrated until 1963.
First up – the members of Engine Company No. 9. On July 1, 1950, RFD (then named the Richmond Fire Bureau) hired the first black career firefighters in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Ten men were selected from 500 applicants: Charles L. Belle, William E. Brown, Douglas P. Evans, Harvey S. Hicks II, Warren W. Kersey, Bernard C. Lewis, Farrar Lucas, Arthur L. Page, Arthur St. C. John, and Linwood M. Wooldridge. Arthur C. St. John was called to return to…