Wealthiest black county in the U.S. gets first black female fire chief
London, August 2, 2019 (AltAfrica)- Prince George’s County, the wealthiest Black majority county in the United States, has appointed the first African-American woman to lead its fire department.
Chief Deputy Tiffany Green has lived in PG County Maryland for the majority of her life and spent over 20 years volunteering with the fire department.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Green’s position at a press conference saying, “What I am most excited about is Chief Deputy Green is here this morning not because she is a female and not because she is a Prince Georgian but because she is qualified.”
Green is serving as interim replacement for Chief Benjamin Barksdale who, after 35 years in the fire service and leading the county as chief for almost 3 years, is finally retiring.
Retiring Barksdale spent 24 years working for the Arlington County Fire Department in Virginia, serving as a battalion chief before coming to the PG County Fire Department nine years ago, where he was a mainstay in the community from the very start.
Barksdale said it’s time for him to slow down, “this is a relay [and] I’m handing off the baton to Chief Deputy Green.” Once confirmed by the PG County Council, Green will become the department’s 13th fire chief. The PG County Fire Department is one of the busiest in the nation, boasting almost 900 career firefighters and 1,000 volunteers.
Green began her career in the department in 1999, starting off as a volunteer at the Oxon Hill fire department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public safety and biology, and a master’s in emergency and disaster management.
Prior her new appointment, Green’s record is extensive, serving in a number of capacities including firefighter, paramedic, station commander, deputy fire chief, manager of the high school cadet program and overseer of the training and leadership academy.
She hopes to use her 20+ years of experience to continue to push the department forward. Green said that “One of the benefits is that I’ve come up through this department,” I’ve come up through the ranks [and] my experience [and] integrity speaks for itself. I believe I can lead this department.”