Alabama city appoints first black fire chief

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama city has appointed its first black fire chief. reports 48-year-old Randall McFarland was named Bessemer fire chief on Monday.

Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley announced McFarland is the first black fire chief in the city’s 130-year history. He replaces former Chief Paul Syx, who retired in May.

McFarland is a Birmingham native who served with the fire department for 22 years. He was named a battalion chief in 2016.

McFarland also taught emergency medical technician classes at Lawson State Community College for 13 years, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1988 through 1994.

McFarland says his goals for the fire department are to be progressive, and train and assimilate a new generation of firefighters to serve the public in Bessemer and beyond with distinction.

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