Raleigh Diversity Milestones

This is the time of year that attentions turn to diversity and inclusion. And an occasional question to Mr. History is “who were the first X, Y, Z” in the history of the Raleigh Fire Department. Let’s dig into those old (and newer) milestones, and build a list accordingly. Here we go. Inputs welcome, notably data correction.

First Female Lieutenants

04/04/84 – Lynn, B. A.
04/04/84 – Styons, T. A.
09/21/88 – Rubens, C. R.
02/04/87 – Jones, B. P.
01/18/89 – Lewis, L. S.
01/30/91 – Pickard, P. G.
01/16/99 – Britt, K. C.
01/14/12 – Whitaker, M. L.
12/01/12 – Peterson, M. A.
01/02/14 – Ali, D. M.
01/01/15 – Gutierrez, A. O.
01/01/16 – Johnson, E. D.
01/01/16 – Smith, M. R.
06/01/17 – Patterson, J. K.
etc.

First Female Captains

02/04/87 – Styons, T. A.
01/18/89 – Lynn, B. A.
01/30/91 – Jones, B. P.
01/30/91 – Pickard, P. G.
03/04/95 – Rubens, C. R.
12/20/97 – Lewis, L. S.
01/07/17 – Ali, D. M.
04/01/19 – Gutierrez, A. O.
etc.

First Female Battalion Chiefs

10/28/95 – Styons, T. A.
01/21/06 – Pickard, P. G.

First Female Division Chief

12/20/97 – Styons, T. A.

First Female Assistant Chief

07/01/06 – Styons, T. A.

First Black Lieutenants

05/21/70 – Davis , R.
07/01/71 – Peacock, N. M.
10/06/71 – Jones, W.
10/01/75 – Hinton, T.
??/??/?? – Green, J. (by 1978)
02/15/78 – Brooks, W. E.
10/11/78 – Breeden, J. L.
04/08/81 – Forte, L.
10/07/81 – Smith, R. L.
??/??/?? – Debnam, R. S (by 1981)
06/30/82 – Dunn, W. “Tramp”
10/03/82 – Young, M. L.
08/06/84 – Dunn Jr., W.
04/04/84 – Hunter, A. N.
04/04/84 – Stanford, L.
03/12/86 – Allen, J. H.
02/04/87 – Burton, W. L.
12/09/87 – Evans, P. V.
02/22/92 – Spence, R. W.
12/12/92 – Tisdale, W. A. 
02/05/94 – Strayhorn, D. C.
10/28/95 – Sampson, C. L. 
11/25/95 – Edmundson, T. 
01/06/96 – Buxton, G. C.
01/06/96 – Dunn, W. E.
01/06/96 – Usher, T.
04/13/96 – Moore, R. F.
etc. 

First Black Captains

01/09/74 – Davis, R.
11/14/74 – Peacock, N.
09/DD/78 – Greene J.
04/08/81 – Hinton, T.
10/07/81 – Brooks, W. E.
??/??/?? – Debnam, R. S. (by 1983)
07/13/87 – Stanford, L.
10/05/91 – Breeden, J. L.
03/07/92 – Allen, J. H.
03/05/94 – Burton, W. L.
07/08/96 – Dunn, W. “Tramp”
02/01/97 – Young, M. L.
etc.

First Black Battalion Chiefs

10/22/80 – Davis, R.
11/30/91 – Stanford, L.
06/01/13 – Coppage, K. L.

Note: Position was named District Chief before 2004.

First Black Division Chiefs

02/13/91 – Davis, R.
01/20/96 – Stanford, L.
01/01/17 – Coppage, K. L.

Note: Position was named Battalion Chief before 2004.

First Black Assistant Chief

10/02/99 – Stanford, L.

First Black Chief of Department

09/08/20 – Griffin, H. 

First Black Female Lieutenant

04/01/19 – Webb, K. O.

First Latino Lieutenants

06/01/13 – Arevelo, P. F.
01/01/15 – Gutierrez, A. O.
01/01/15 – Leiva-Penate, J. F.
03/01/20 – Lee, M. L.  

First Latino Captains

04/01/19 – Gutierrez, A. O.
01/01/20 – Arevelo, P. F.
03/01/21 – Leiva-Penate, J. F.

First Latino Female Lieutenants

01/01/15 – Gutierrez, A. O.
03/01/20 – Lee, M. L.  

First Latino Female Captain

04/01/19 – Gutierrez, A. O. 

Also

What about the categories of (a.) American Indian or Alaska Native, (b.) Asian, and (c.) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander? Believe just one person in those groups so far, in ranks of Lieutenant or higher, Captain Chris Holcomb, of Pacific Islander heritage, and who you may remember from this May 2021 city news story about AAPI Heritage Month.

Notes

These lists exclude the ranks of First Class Firefighter and Senior Firefighter, which reside between FF and Lt. 

Sources

Legeros records

Raleigh Fire Museum Centennial Roster
raleighfiremuseum.org/docs/roll-call.pdf

Raleigh Fire Department newsletter, promotional news.
www.raleighfirenews.org

Raleigh Fire Museum FB postings, promotional notes
www.facebook.com/raleighfiremuseum

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