Box 1, Folder 14, Document 22

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oe Bae Atlanta, Georgia
a Se fe


August 15, 1909

Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.
Mayor, City of Atlanta
City Hall

Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Dear Mayor Allen:

We have been dealing with Community Relations and have accepted sone of their
suggestions relative to eliminating some problems. Various policies and facts
pertaining to this department are attaciied.

Tt is interesting to note the following excerpt from the Report of the United
States Commission on Civil Rigiits 1969, entitled For All the People...By All
the People which has just reached tnis office:

"Despite tne belated adaission of firemen into the Atlanta departinent
and the elaborate procedures which surrounded their introduction, the
Atlanta Fire Department had a larger proportion of Negroes in uniform
than any other central city in the survey and a higher degree of
integration than many."

We are in the process of re-writing the Rules and Regulations of the Atlanta Fire
Department to eliminate any inequities in tne old book, to eliminate any
possibility of discrimination or tae possivility of any officer over-reacting
with authority. As soon as this has been completed, it will be presented to tiie
Board of Fire Masters for their approval and adoption.

We would like to stress taat any fireman who has grievances, has three methods by
which to air them in tiis office: by completing a Form 52 (Special Request),

go through the Company Officers and Battalion Chief, or by use of a Suggestion
Form available in all stations. Any justifiable grievances will be straigntened

Yours very truly,

. O. WILLIAMS, Chief
Atlanta Fire Departnent

POW: 11a

ce: Mr. W. T. Knight, Chairman Board of Fire Masters

The Atlanta Fire Department's only interest is in the protection of lives and
property from fire. The citizens of Atlanta should have and deserve tne best
fire protection available. In order to accomplisn this, we must have tae best
trained, qualified, and exnerienced personnel in responsible positions
regardless of race, creed, or color.

Fire Department officership must have leadership. One cannot gain leadership
if standards have to be lowered so one can qualify. Subordinates will not look
upon such an officer as a leader. Life and property is at stake. Decisions
and actions of a fire officer are based on knowledge and experience of the job.
Therefore, standards and qualifications must be kept high. Rather than lower
the standards, they should be raised.


Promotions in the Fire Denartinent are made according to merit and fitness.

The promotional system of the Atlanta Fire Denartment is set by law.
Anyone meeting tne qualifving standards as set forth by the
Promotional Board will be promoted regardless of race, creed, or
color. We will not and co not discriminate for or against anyone
meeting the qualifying standards of this system.

Promotional examinations for Fire Lieutenants are he very tye
years. To qualify, a man must have had five years service in the
Fire Department. After the examination, the applicants are listed
according to their scores from a combination of the written test,
training scnool average, and seniority points. This list is
divided into aroups of 20. The first 20 men are rated at oral
interviews, and this score is added to their grades from the above
three items. Promotions from this list are made in order of tie
applicant's final score.



So far, the first 7 men have been promoted from the Lieutenant's
examination held in March of 1969. Tie first black firemen started to
work in April 1953, so that this is the first year (1969) any of them
have been eligible to apply for promotion to Lieutenant. There were 153
applicants, of whom 6 were black. The first black applicant is in the
6th group of 20 or approximately position 102 on the list.

Promotions to Fire Apparatus Operator are made by appointment. The
Captain at each station makes tnese selections subject to the
approval of the Battalion Chief. The men must nave nad at least two
years service with the Fire Department and have passed the reauired
driving tests at the Training School. There are nine black firemen
in these positions.


Eligible lists for Firemen are established every week after the weekly
interviews. (During March, April, and July of this year, interviews
were held every two weeks.) As vacancies occur, the Fire Department
calls the men on a list in tne order of their scores. Eacn person on
the list of a certain date is contacted and offered employment oefore
moving to the next chronological list. Once a man is on the eligible
list, he is not by-passed unless tne Fire Department is unable to
contact him by telephone or letter.

Through July 25, of this year, 60 white men were put on the eligible
list and 57 black men. Of these, 45 white men have been employed and
41 black men.

Of the 867 men in the extinguishing division, over 19% or 165 are black.
Nine of these are Fire Apparatus Overators and 25 are on Military

Leave. Firemen that leave tne department for military service are
reinstated wien they return (this is a Federal Law) and are usually
returned to the same station from which they left.


In January of 1959, a group of firemen leased a 5.7 acre tract of
Tand at Lake Allatoona from tne government and organized a ciuo

which was called Atlanta Firenmen's Recreation Clud. However, the

Fire Department nor the City of Atlanta nas any jurisdiction over the
activities of tnis clud. It is a private organization controlled by

a Board of Trustees composed of eleven men, wao adhere to tne wishes

of the majority of the members, and is supported entirely by dues paid
by the members and maintained througin volunteer services of tiie members.

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