Celebrating Black History
Mr Jesse Carter, Youngstown Fire Department’s first African American firefighter, first AA lieutenant, and the first African American to be named the Chief’s Administrative Aide. He served our community for 33 years, 1960-1993; and, to this day he continues to advise, inspire and advocate.
“Jimmy” Copeland joined the Youngstown Fire Department in 1964 and in 1982 became YFD’s first African American Captain. He retired in 1991 following 27 years of service.
Captain James Stewart Copeland departed this life in 2001 at the age of 66.
Terry Jordon became a YFD firefighter in 1982 when he was 18 years of age. He successfully climbed the ranks and in 1994 was promoted to Battalion Chief; the first African American on the Youngstown Fire Department to achieve that position. Chief Jordon was Director of Training for many years and was the first president of Youngstown’s Black Professional Firefighter’s Association. BC Terrance Jordon retired in 2015 having served our community for 33 years.
Sharyl E. Frazier-Everett began her career with the Youngstown Fire Department on November 23, 1981…
Youngstown’s FIRST FEMALE FIREFIGHTER! She was promoted to Lt/Inspector (another female first) in 1991 and held that position until her retirement in 2009. Inspector Frazier-Everett was instrumental in obtaining the Neeley Fire Safety Trailer and starting YFD’s Juvenile Firesetters Program. She was a charter member of the Mahoning Valley Safe Kids Coalition and Youngstown’s Black Professional Firefighter’s Association. Inspector Frazier-Everett received countless commendations and awards, and selflessly served the Youngstown community for 28 years. She died on the day of her birth at the age of 53;
Sharyl Elaine Frazier-Everett, 2/10/58-2/10/11.
Ted Everett became a Youngstown firefighter in May 1982 and was promoted to Captain in 1996. He was considered a mentor and took great pride in the successes of crew members and others he assisted. In 1986 Ted joined the Mahoning County Haz-Mat team, and in 1992 he became the first African American to be named Chief of the Mahoning County Hazardous Materials Response Team; a position he held until his death marking 30 years in service to the County. Captain Everett was the founder of the Youngstown Black Professional Firefighter’s Association and held the office of president for ten years. He retired from YFD in August of 2008 having served for 26 years, and his time on earth ended in January 2017. He was 63.
Hubert D. Clardy, Jr. was employed by the Youngstown Fire Department in October 1986. He became the first African American to head the Bureau of Fire Prevention & Code Enforcement in January 1996, and retired in January of 2009 with 24 years of service. Chief Inspector Clardy died on September 27, 2017 at the age of 57.
Alvin Ware became a Youngstown firefighter in 1986. In 1991 he joined the arson division, and in 2001 he became the first African American bureau chief. Throughout his highly successful tenure, Chief Investigator Ware was named Investigator of the Year and sat on the board of the International Association of Arson Investigators. He was a member of the Metro Arson Strike Force and YFD Honor Guard, director of YFD’s Juvenile Firesetters Program, and a charter member of the Youngstown Black Professional Firefighters Association. Chief Ware retired in the fall of 2015 having given nearly 30 years of service to the Youngstown Fire Department and our community.
Marcia Harris began employment with the City of Youngstown Fire Department in 1989 in a clerical position, then in 2009 she became the first female division head and highest ranking female in YFD history. In addition to heading the Division of Fire Prevention & Code Enforcement, Marcia was YFD’s first female fire service instructor, and was the training academy’s lead instructor for 20 years; she was known for her efficiency and effectiveness. Chief Harris was president of the Youngstown Association of Black Professional Firefighters (Trailblazers) for 8 years. She retired in 2016 following 27 years of public service, but continues to pursue her passion for recruiting, retaining and promoting minorities in the fire service across the US.
Barry Finley joined the Youngstown Fire Department in March 1993. He worked his way through the ranks and as Captain was commander of both the technical rescue team and the honor guard. Additionally, he was president of the Youngstown Association of Black Professional Firefighters for 4 years. As a highly motivated leader he holds numerous certifications, degrees and commendations.
In 2018 Barry Finley became Youngstown’s first African American Fire Chief.
Content courtesy of Marcia Scott-Harris.