Los Angeles County Fire swears in 1st African-American chief

(Southern California Public Radio) The Los Angeles County Fire Department has a new chief. County officials welcomed 27-year veteran Darryl Osby to the job Thursday in a ceremony at L.A. County’s Hall of Administration.

Firefighters from all over Southern California filled the hall dressed in their black civilian uniforms. After taking the oath of office, 49-year-old Daryl Osby confessed – while a lot of boys in his generation dreamed of growing up to be firemen, he wasn’t one of them

“I had a family friend that talked me into taking the test and indicated ‘Daryl, if you don’t like it, you can quit,’” Osby remembered. “And that was over 27 years ago.”

Osby spent those 27 years climbing the ranks of the L.A. County Fire Department into management. Firefighting and management are in his blood.

His father, Robert Osby, put in nearly 50 years and served as fire chief in the cities of Inglewood and San Diego. He watched proudly as his son became L.A. County’s first African-American fire chief.

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