L.A.F.D swears-in first African American Fire Chief

Today at 10 A.M. Daryl Osby will be sworn-in, and become the first African American fire chief in the history of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

“It hasn’t fully set in yet. It’s an awesome responsibility, and I compliment the Board in having trust to select me as the fire chief,” said Osby.

Osby led numerous emergency responses in his 27 year career, including a catastrophic train derailment in Commerce in 2003.

Such events, he said, prepared him to now command 4,300 firefighters and support staff.

“I always thought I would. In a sense that, my dad is in the fire service, and he’s recently retired about five years ago. He pretty much set the mark for my family,” said Daryl Osby.

The incoming fire chief points with pride to African American pioneers in the fire service. There is a museum dedicated to their struggle on Central Avenue in Los Angeles.

At The African American Firefighter Museum there are countless mementos of local fire fighting before integration.

Colleagues there are proud to put Osby’s promotion in perspective.

“Through all the hard fought sweat and tears and battles that have gone on since the civil right struggle, this is a testament to that achievements. With our president. With now our fire chief of the L.A. County Fire Department, and two African American fire chiefs in L.A. City Fire Department so those are great examples. So, now there’s no excuse,” according to Captain Brent Burton, of the African American Firefighter Museum.

Becoming fire chief during Black History Month is just a coincidence, Osby said, but he hopes his story will inspire everybody.

“Be strategic, and just be a good person and good things will come,” states Daryl Osby, Incoming Chief, Los Angeles County Fire

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