Thomas Gerald Taylor Credit: Photo courtesy of City of Jersey City

Dwayne Taylor, a third-generation Jersey City Fire Department firefighter, was one of several people promoted to battalion chief. Taylor is the grandson of Thomas Gerald Taylor, who became the JCFD’s first African American firefighter in 1950 and went on to be a co-founding member of the Vulcan Pioneers of New Jersey.

A ceremony was held last week where Dwayne and seven other firefighters were promoted to captain or battalion chief. The group was noted for its diversity, which consists of four Latinos and two Blacks.

“Today is of special significance as one of our promoted Battalion Chiefs is the grandson of Jersey City’s first African American firefighter, Thomas Gerald Taylor,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “This speaks volumes about the progress we’ve made, especially since we prioritized diversity recruitment over the past eight years. I think it’s safe to say Firefighter Taylor would be very proud to see how far his grandson and Jersey City as a whole have come.”

Taylor said getting the promotion was a proud moment for his family and his community.

“It started with my grandfather breaking through boundaries as the first Black firefighter in one of New Jersey’s largest cities, and it continues today with me being promoted to Battalion Chief. It’s something my grandfather likely never imagined would happen 60 years later,” said Taylor. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to carry on my grandfather’s and father’s legacies by serving this great community.”

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