CLARKSVILLE, IN (February 28, 2023) – Although Black history can be celebrated throughout the year, Black History Month offers an opportunity to reflect on and share the successes and accomplishments of African Americans in the fire service. In that spirit, the Town of Clarksville would like to pay tribute to those brave professionals serving the Clarksville Fire Department.
Deputy Chief Dennis Johnson was the first black firefighter to join the Clarksville Fire Department. Dennis was hired in 1997 and will soon complete his 26th year with CFD. During his time as Deputy Chief, he has been passionate about diversifying our department to represent our community.
“I want to hire as many minorities, Hispanic, Black, Women, as I can,” said Deputy Chief Johnson. “I would like to see the Clarksville Fire Department get more diversified in that aspect.”
Firefighter Josh Middleton works on C-crew and serves as the vice president of the fire union. Josh was hired in 2019 and shares a love for photography. Using his photography skills, Josh was able to update the department’s photos archive.
Firefighter Dom Smith works on A-crew and is very engaged in physical fitness and wellness. Hired in 2021, Dom previously served as an auto body technician and has an excellent understanding of mechanical apparatus. This serves him well with all of the different equipment that the department encounters while on calls.
Firefighter L. T. Thomas is one of our newest firefighters and is now training to complete his basic fire certifications. Thomas is a probationary firefighter who comes from the banking industry and has a Master’s degree. He will spend almost 300 plus hours working through his basic training.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were more than 1,041,000 firefighters serving in the United States as of 2020. Of that number, only 8.3% are African American. The Fire Administration says this represents significant forward motion, when seen through the lens of the past. However, the USFA believes that there is more work to be done to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce.
“We currently have four Black firefighters and one female, and I would love you see those numbers go up,” said Deputy Chief Johnson.
The Clarksville Fire Department is currently accepting applications for new firefighters, and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. You can CLICK HERE to learn more.