Have you had that conversation with your son or daughter?

Have you had that conversation with your son or daughter?

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

If you haven’t, let me assure you it’s not that difficult. Iwould suggest that you call a family meeting with your boys and girls as soonas possible. I think this is true for all families, but especially AfricanAmerican parents. I will show the statistics. There’s no need to stress out orfind the right words. If you must, just blurt it out, “Have you thought aboutbeing a fire fighter?” In the 131 year history of the City of Abilene, there havebeen a total of 5 African American firemen. There was Edward Jones, J.L.Daughtrey, Edward James, David Magnum and Fred Bradford. There are no AfricanAmericans currently in the department and only 1 female. {{more}} As I thought about those 5 men and the age ofour city I realized that many people were born, retired and died in our citywithout ever seeing a black fireman. Iheard that Chief Dozier was interested in his department more closely reflectingthe demographics of the community so I set an appointment to visit with him. A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk with Chief KenDozier and Division Chief Weldon Wilkerson. The first questions I asked themwas, what are some of the benefits of being a fireman? ” Almost in unison, theysaid the following: You build strong relationships, camaraderie , brotherhood,support for each other, job security, consistent income, great benefits andwhen people need you “they love to see you coming” Chief Dozier said that there are minimum requirements thatneed to be met before you submit an application. 1: Texas Commission on FireProtection Basic Firefighter Certificate and/or verification of the completionof a structural firefighter training course approved by the Texas Commission onFire Protections. 2: Verification of Weldon Wilkerson, Division Chief for the Abilene Fire Department. Photo by Floyd MillerEMD Certification Level through theNational Registry of Emergency Medical Technician and the TexasDepartment of State Health Services . For a minimum certification levelof Emergency Medicine Technician Basic go to www.abilenefiredepartment.orgfor more details. Chief Dozier said that they have established a partnershipwith AISD. They will be talking with every 8th grade class in thedistrict about a career in fire fighting. They will be discussing some benefitsof a career and also some things that could hinder you. Appearance is huge sobe very careful where you place those tattoos. Moving violations coulddisqualify you. There are other things that you need to be aware of; however,those are just 2 things that you may have not considered. Wilkerson said that it is important to visitwith students in junior high about being firemen. If they understand thequalifications and the rewards they can start planning early for a greatcareer. To learn more about the Abilene Fire Departmentgo to www.abilenetx.com/