International Association of Black Professional Firefighters swears in its 1st female president

Flint Deputy Fire Chief Carrie Edwards-Clemons has served with the department for 21 years and is also Flint's first female deputy chief


Roberto Acosta
MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

FLINT, Mich. — The Flint deputy fire chief has made some new history.

Carrie Edwards-Clemons was recently named the first female president of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, or IABPFF.

Flint Deputy Fire Chief Carrie Edwards-Clemons has been named the first female president of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters.
Flint Deputy Fire Chief Carrie Edwards-Clemons has been named the first female president of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters. (Photo/Jake May, MLive.com)

“I am humbled that you would place your faith and your trust in me as president,” said Edwards-Clemons during an Aug. 14 virtual swearing-in ceremony. “I do not take this responsibility lightly.”

Edwards-Clemons has been with the Flint Fire department since 1999 and has served as a firefighter and paramedic, sergeant, fire inspector, firefighter instructor, and hazardous material technician along with helping to secure grant funding.

She was named the first female deputy chief for the department in November 2018.

Edwards-Clemons has served in multiple capacities with the IABPFF -- executive vice president, recording secretary, North Central Region director -- since joining the association in 2000, as well as vice president, recording secretary, and trustee of the local chapter, Society of Minority Firefighters.

The goal of the IABPFF is to close the gap between the Black community and the fire services that, in turn, would help bring about economic development and employment opportunities for minorities.

The IABPFF works to improve the economic development and employment opportunities for minorities. It works to make fire services more relevant to the needs and aspirations of minority citizens and communities across the world.

She has also served as first vice president, second vice president, and trustee of International Association of Fire Firefighters Local 352.

Edwards-Cleomons also led the push for a first-ever Camp Fire Summer Youth Camp in 2019 in Flint.

The idea for the camp originally revolved around drawing girls to the fire service.

“I didn’t see any of that in my neighborhood,” said Edwards-Clemons of women on the department. “I didn’t see women on the fire service, and I didn’t know that was an option for me.”

The program also taught children how to work and communicate with others, as well as taking ownership of leadership roles.

“A great leader understands what their guys are going through and they are able to lead by example,” Edwards-Clemons said. “They’re able to provide that support and encouragement that’s needed…They understand because they’ve been there.”

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©2020 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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