NY FD promotes first female Black lieutenant

Syracuse Fire Department Lt. Tamica Barnett, 36, said she looks forward to setting an example for others

Marnie Eisenstadt

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Tamica Barnett, 36, was promoted to lieutenant in the Syracuse fire department this week, making her the first Black woman to ever hold that post.

“I think with being the first anything ... I know there’s a responsibility that comes with it,” Barnett said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.

She has been with the department for 10 years. Barnett grew up on the city’s East Side. She graduated from Henninger High School and St. Bonaventure University.

Barnett is the mother of an eighth grader and a member of the city school district’s board of education. She owns her own barbecue catering business: Who Want Smoke BBQ &Catering.

“I’m really looking forward to being an example,” Barnett said.

The city fire department has been working to improve diversity among its ranks. Barnett is one of only five Black women to ever serve in the department. There are 13 female firefighters currently. The highest ranked is District Chief Sara Errington.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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