TFD Remembers City’s First African American Firefighters – – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sport…

TULSA, Oklahoma -

In honor of Black History Month, the Tulsa Fire Department is taking time to recognize six men who became pioneers for change.

The Tulsa Fire Department hired Cletus Q. Stephens in 1956, alongside Henry Collier, Milton Goodwin, Clifford Horn, Robert Shanks and Merle Stripling. They were the city’s first African American firefighters.

“My dad was a firm, fair, hard-working man,” Stephens’s son, Don Stephens said. “As a kid, me and my brother would go visit him at the station. We just thought it was so cool – the trucks and firemen. But really, it wasn’t until I came on the job in ‘77 how they really opened the doors.”

The six men started at Station 19 at Mohawk and Peoria.

“They picked the right six guys,” Stephens said. “At the time, the climate to do what…

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