FYI, Reginald D. Freeman, NFNA “Reggie-D”, is not the City of Oakland’s first black fire chief; Oakland has had, now, five. Samuel Golden Sam was hired as Oakland’s first black fire chief in 1981, and by City Manager Henry Gardner, Oakland’s first black city administrator. Also, P. Lamont Ewell was hired as Oakland’s fire chief in 1991, and just 13 days before the Oakland Hills Fire. Godwin Taylor, Teresa Deloach-Reed, and Deputy Chief Melinda Drayton in an interim role, round out the list of black fire chiefs in Oakland, now joined by Reginald D. Freeman.
Oakland, CA – City Administrator Ed Reiskin today announced the selection of Reginald D. Freeman to serve as the next Fire Chief for the City of Oakland, effective May 17.
Mr. Freeman most recently has served as the Fire Chief for the City of Hartford, Connecticut since 2016. He will take over for Deputy Chief Melinda Drayton who has held the position in an interim role since April 2020.
“Mayor Schaaf and I are excited that Chief Freeman has accepted our offer to become the next Fire Chief for the Oakland Fire Department at a very dynamic time for both the fire service and the city of Oakland,” said City Administrator Ed Reiskin. “Recognizing the importance of this position, we undertook an exhaustive recruitment process and we’re extremely confident that Mr. Freeman is the right choice for this moment. He brings a tremendous level of professional experience leading fire departments and emergency management functions, has demonstrated a strong commitment to professional development, and built a successful track record of achieving strategic goals and objectives at every step of his career.”
Prior to the City of Hartford, Chief Freeman served as the Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin and served as a civilian Fire Chief in Iraq for the U.S. Department of Defense from 2004-2008. He has worked in several fire service capacities in his career including Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Fire Captain, Fire Service Instructor, Assistant Fire Chief, and Fire Chief.
“I am sincerely humbled and honored to have the confidence of Mayor Schaaf and Mr. Reiskin to serve the great City of Oakland and the men and women of the Oakland Fire Department as fire chief,” Chief Freeman said. “OFD is a proud organization comprised of consummate professionals.”
Mr. Freeman has a Bachelor’s in Leadership, a Master’s in Executive Fire Service Leadership, and is a Harvard Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers USA Branch and a Chief Fire Officer Designee and serve on the Board of Directors for National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He is married to his wife of 17 years and is a proud father to two daughters.
Post based on press release to Zennie62Media from The City of Oakland.
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