Savannah Fire recognizes 50th anniversary of reintegration - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah Fire recognizes 50th anniversary of reintegration


On Wednesday, Savannah Fire and Emergency Services recognized the 50th anniversary of the department being reintegrated. On May 1, 1963, the first six black firefighters were employed by the city of Savannah. The term reintegrated is used because back in 1826 an ordinance was enacted providing for the enrollment of more black men. The six men hired in 1963 were former Savannah State University students and some of them were at the event Wednesday.

"I came to the fire department to retire from it, I didn't come to just pass on until something good came by. When I came to the fire department, I was looking for regular, steady, long-term employment," said Lewis Oliver, joined Savannah Fire on May 1, 1963.

At that time, the enrollees were paid $1.21 per hour.

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