FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The first Black firefighter hired in Fort Wayne passed away Saturday, according to a spokesperson with the City of Fort Wayne.
Richard Ridley Jr. served the Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) from 1961 to 1985. Ridley had a son and nephew who also served with the FWFD. Two additional nephews continue to serve with the FWFD.
The City of Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Fire Department released a statement Sunday:
The City of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Fire Department today are mourning the passing of the first Black firefighter hired in Fort Wayne…Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ridley family and our FWFD family.John Perlich – City of Fort Wayne