The African American Fire Fighters Historical Society’s mission is to collect, preserve and disseminate historical data, and information relating to the contributions made by fire fighters of color, and others who have made a contribution to such history; to be used for the purpose of education, fire prevention and mentoring. AAFFHS is a 501C (3) Charitable Organization in need of support from people like you. In 2010 we started our Annual Salute Dinner honoring African American fire fighters. This is the only event of its kind in the world and we are proud of having this event as the Signature of our brand.
All honorees over the last 8 years were deserving of their recognition. Most have never had their contributions acknowledge. These individuals are humble men and women, who just were doing what needed to be done. With your new interest in our organization I would like to share with you a few of our honorees which shows how your contribution would help continue our mission.
We have been able to reveal the stories of people like Edward Collic, Baltimore City Fire Department’s First African American Lieutenant Pilot (driver of the fireboat). Lt. Collic held this position for over 10 years as Acting Lieutenant. always placing 1st or 2nd on the promotional exam and had to deal with either one or no promotions depending on his placement on the list. One year he was even removed from 1st and had the 2nd place person promoted over him. After a time, someone didn’t get the memo that he was Black and he was finally promoted to possibly be the First African American Fireboat Lieutenant Pilot in Maryland.
At this event we have had the opportunity to honor people like Mrs. Carrye Brown, recognizing the 20th Anniversary of her appointment to the highest fire service position in the country. In January 1995 Carrye E. Brown was nominated by President Clinton, as Our Nation’s 1st Woman and 1st African American to head up the U.S. Fire Administration. Her responsibility was for legislation, regulations and standards for all fire departments in the country. Mrs. Brown still holds the record for the longest serving person in that position.
I believe the most touching of all we have been blessed to honor, was The Gorham Family. Chapel Oaks Volunteer Fire Company in Prince George’s County was established after a tragic fire August 1946 in the home of Leroy and Lillian Gorham. The death of 5 year 7-day old Jean, 2 year 2 month 10-day old Ruth and their 11 month 5-day old little brother Leroy Jr.; in this fatal fire was the inspiration for an African American Community to do for self. Without any knowledge or experience men from all over the area started Maryland’s only all African American Volunteer Fire Department to provide fire protection for the Deanwood Park and Chapel Oaks Community. It is our hope the aforementioned information gives you an idea of what we do and why we do it.
Thanks for your interest
George Collins, President & Founder
African American Society Fire Fighters Historical
George Collins, Co-Founder and CEO of the African American Firefighters Historical Society. The African American Fire Fighters Historical Society was founded on January 23, 2009. It was started as part of an event celebrating the 55th reunion of the class of Feb 8th 1954. This was the last class of the first 41 African Americans accepted into the Baltimore City Fire Department. We want to become a repository for the stories of the first African American firefighters who are now reaching the end of their lives. The African American Fire Fighters Historical Society (AAFFHS) has been on a road to destiny since it was founded in January 23, 2009 by Co-founders and Baltimore Fire Fighter George Collins and Ret. Lt. Michael Jenson.