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In The News!

First Black SFFD Fire Boat Engineer Claims He Was Denied Work Due to Race

A civil lawsuit filed Monday alleges a “whites only” color barrier at one of San Francisco Fire Department’s most coveted assignments – staffing the city’s fleet of fireboats.

Lawrence Thomas has worked as a maritime engineer in the Bay Area for two decades, but it took him four years to get hired as a part-time reserve engineer in charge of maintaining the department’s fleet of specialized firefighting boats.

“Working for the San Francisco Fire Department is a career long dream,” he said, stressing he was anxious to get to work when he was hired back in 2018 as the city’s first Black fireboat engineer.

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