Brampton firetruck honours Black firefighting pioneers for Black History Month

Published February 27, 2023 at 8:00 am

Brampton black history month fire truck

Brampton Fire and Emergency Services are honouring Black men and women who have helped save lives and made groundbreaking contributions to the firefighting community.

In honour of Black History Month, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services (BFES) is using one of its fire engines to raise awareness of firefighting pioneers from the Black community.

The truck is wrapped in the names and stories of inventors like George Reid, who in 1878 was the first person to use a pole to get to the first floor of his fire station. Reid’s innovation would lead to the installation of fire poles in fire stations around the world.

There’s also Joseph W. Winters, who received the patent for a fire escape ladder mounted on fire wagons, and Garrett Morgan, who designed safety-hood smoke protection. Morgan made national news in 1916 for using his gas mask to rescue men trapped in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie after an explosion.

The truck also pays tribute to Molly Williams, an enslaved person who was not only the first known female firefighter but also the first known Black firefighter in the United States back in 1818.

“Visibility is key for the meaningful recognition of the contributions of the Black community,” said Michelle John, a BFES Fire/Life Safety Education Officer and a member of the Brampton Black Employee Engagement Network (BEEN). The dedicated fire truck serves as a reminder of those contributions and the many others, as we commit to further learning and education about the Black trailblazers who paved the way for so many.”

BFES is encouraging Brampton residents who see the truck out in the community to say hello and snap a picture of the truck when safe to do so.

For more information on all the ways the City of Brampton is commemorating Black History Month click here.


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