Box 1, Folder 14, Document 51

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Box 1, Folder 14, Document 51

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46 COU RTLAN D S T,, ~ - E .
A tl a n ta , G e o rg ia
Augu s t 15, 1969
Ho~orab l e Ivan All e~, Jr.
Mayor , City of At l :111 t a
· City. Ha ll
At lant a, Ge orgi a 30 303
De a r ~iayor A1fon :
~le have been d~ali ng v,i it h Co1.1munity Rel ations and ha ve accepted so1·,1e of t heir ·
su ggesti ons r e l at i ve to e l i mi na t i ng some probl e~s. Var i ous polic i es and f act s
pe r t ai ni ng to th i s de partme nt a r e att ached .
It is i nterest i n~ to nnt P t h~ f oll owi ng excer pt frc m t he Repor t of the Un i ted
States Crn;i111i ss -ion on Civil Ri gi1 t s 196 9, 2n titlcd Fer /\11 th e Pe op l e . .. By A"ll
t h2 Peop 1e v1hi ell has just n ~a che d t i1i s off"i ce :
11 D
esp i t e t he ~e la t ed ad·ni ss i on of f i r eme n i nt o t he At l ant a de;; ar t men t
an d t he e l ab orat e procedu res which sur r ound ed t he i r i ntrod uct i on~ t he
At l anta Fi r e Dep artmen t had a r propo rt i on of ;·1egroes i n unifo rm
th an any ot h•:! r cen tra l city i n t he s ur vey and a lii gher de gre e of
i nte grat i on t han many. 11
~Je are in the process of r e-v1rit i ng th e Ru l es and Reg ul at ions of the At l an ta Fi r e
Depa rtme nt to e l i mi nat e any i neq ui t i es i n t he ol d 0 0 0k, to e l i ~in ate any
possi bility of disc r i mi nat i on or t ~e possi bil ity of any office r ove r-reactin g
1-J it h aut hority . As soon as th i s has been comp l et ed, it ·,'l il l be presente d t o t :1e
Boar d of Fi re Masters f or t he i r approval and adopt i on .
He t'l oul d li ke t o s t r ess t i1at any fireman wh o has gri evan ces ; has t hree met hods by
wh ic h to ai r t he1:1 i n t rii s office : by comp l et i ng a For:n 52 (S pe ci al Reques t) ,
go t hrough t he Company Office rs and Bat ta lion Chi ef, or by use of a Suggest ion ·
Fonn availab l e in all s t at ion s. Any j us t i f i ab l e gr i e van ces ~v ill oe stra i ghtened
You r s very truly,
a tLld2£t.,,<",<.4~
Atlanta Fi r e De~a rtr.1ent
POW: ll a
cc: Mr. W. T. Kn i gJ.'l t , Chairman Board of Fire f·la:;ters
�The Atlanta ~ire Department's only interest is in the protection of lives and
property from fire. The ~itizens of Atlanta should hav,2 and deserve tile best
fire protection av_ail ab l e. In order to accomr, lisi1 t11is, we r:1ust have the best
trained, qualified, and experien ced pe rsonne l in responsi ble positions
regardl ess of race, creectj or color.
Fire Depart11ent officers hi p mus t have le2de rship. One cannot gain leadership
if standards have to be lm--:ered so one can qualify. Subordinates will not look
upon such an officer as a l eader. Life and property is at stake . Decisions
and actions of a fire officer are based on knov1l ed:;ie and experience of t he job.
Therefore, standards and qu alifications must be kept high. Rather than lower
the standards, they should be rais ed.
Promotions in t he Fire Depart:11ent are made according to merit and fitness.
The promotional system of the ,ll.t l anta Fire Deriartment is set by lavJ.
Anyone meetin~ the qualifying s tandards as set f orth by tile
Promotional Board will be promoted regar dl es s of race, creed , or
color. We will not and do not discrimin at e for or agains t anyone
meeting the qualifying standards of th is system.
Promotion ai exai11i r,a Liuns ro r Fire Li 2utcnc.nts :::.r2 h21d 2vcr~! t\-:o
years. To qualify, a man must have had five years service in the
Fire Depa rtm2 nt. After t he examin ation , t he app lican ts are li st ed
accordino to their scores from a combin ation of th2 \ffitten t es t ,
training sch ool average, and seniority points. This list is
divided into gr.ou ps of 20 . The first 20 men ure rated at oral
intervi ews , and t his score is added to their gr ades from the above
three items. Promotions from t his list are made in order of t he
applicant's fina l score .
So far , the firs t 7 men have been promoted from the Li eutenant 's
examinati on he ld i n March of 1969 . The first black fire~en started to
work in April 1% 3, so t hat this is t he f irst year (1 969 ) any of them
have been eli gibl e to apply f or promotion to Li euten ant. There were 153
a.pp licants of v1hom 6 v1ere bl ack. The firs t bl ar plicant is i n the
6th gro up of 20 or approxi mately position 102 on t he list.
.· Promoti ans to Fi re Apparatus Ope r ator are made by appoin t ment . The
Captain at each station makes t hese sel ections subj ect to the
app roval of t he Battali on Ch i ef. The me n must r,ave iiad at l east two
year5 service with the Fire Department and have passed tne required
driving t ests at the Training School. There are nine black firemen
in these positions.
Eligible lists for Fitemen are established every week after the weekly
i ntervi ev,s. (During ~-larc h, Apri 1, and July of t his year, i ntervi e~vs
were he 1d every t vJo ~,,eeks.) As vacancies occur, the Fi re Department
calls the men on a list in the order of th eir scores . Each pe rson on
the ,·ist of a certain date is contacted and offered '2!:tp loyment before
movin g to the next chro nological list. On ce a man is on the eligible
list, he is not by-passed unl ess t he Fire Depa rtment is unable to
contact him by tele ph one or letter.
Through July 25, of this year, 60 wh ite men were put on the eliJi ble
list and 57 black men. Of these, 45 white men have been employe d and
41 blac k men. ·
Of the 86 7 men in the extinguishin g division , over 19% or 165 are black.
rli ne of these are Fi re Apparatus Ope rators and 25 are on r,·ii 1i tary
Leave. Fireme n that l ea ve th e department for military service are
reinstated whe n they return (this is a Fede r al Law) and are usually
returned to t he same station fr om 1vhi ch t hey left.
In Janu ary of 1959, a ~roup of firemen le ased a 5. 7 acre tract of
land at Lake All atoona fro m t .1e government and orga niz ed a clu o
wh ic h ~as call ed At l anta Firenen's Re creat i on Clu b. However , the .
Fire Depa rtme nt nor t he City of Atl anta has any juris diction over t he
activiti es of tilis club. It is a priv ate organization cont roll ed by
a Boa rd of Tru st ees composed of e leven men, wh o adh ere to the wis he s
of t he maj ority of t he members) and is supported entirely by du es pai d
by the members and ma intained t hrou gh volunteer services of the membe rs.

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