Five Children Died in a Greensboro Apartment Fire
This week, five children died in a Greensboro fire apartment. They were refugee children from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The family lived in a condominium complex called Somerset Village. At least two dozen people have been displaced by the fire.
Greensboro was founded as a small town of familiar faces. Houses of wood and white with long porches or verandahs lined dusty streets.
But by the turn of the century, spirited voices and rumbling manufacturing plants sent it toward a new era. The city was named after Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene, but it also honors the emerald foliage of the area where it is located.
The Greensboro Fire Department’s history has a rich and colorful backdrop of service, sacrifice, and vigor. One of the most interesting aspects of its early history is the involvement of firefighters in the Civil Rights Movement.
During this time, firefighters were among the first African-Americans in North Carolina to organize into local unions. They were instrumental in promoting the 72-hour work week, a move that greatly boosted morale.
Today, a group of retired and active-duty firefighters is preserving the stories of their fellow department members by writing a fire department history book. The project is led by former Battalion Chief Larry Cockman and Vicky Martin, a fire investigator.
The city’s rich architectural heritage reflects the growth and development of Greensboro from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. A strong preservation ethic has helped many buildings in the city survive.
Among them are several notable buildings that are part of Greensboro’s downtown historic district. These include the Methodist Protestant Publishing House, the Greensboro Loan & Trust Building, and the Carolina Theatre.
A thriving arts community also includes the Elsewhere Collaborative, a living museum set inside an old thrift store in downtown Greensboro. It features exhibits and programs that engage the public in a collaborative, creative process around social issues.
In the mid-1960s, as local Black students participated in non-violent protests against segregation, they often organized marches and rallies through Greensboro’s downtown business district. Their efforts, along with those of other student activists, led to numerous arrests. The study area was an important link in this movement’s progression. The full inventory of buildings and occupants will undoubtedly uncover significant connections to the city’s Civil Rights history.
The city government of Greensboro Fire is a unique blend of three different types of governing systems. It has a ward-aldermanic system, a three-member commissioner system, and the council-manager system.
Under the ward-aldermanic system, each ward elected a specific city officer to represent it, such as a mayor and city manager. This system lasted for only nine years before Greensboro shifted to the council-manager system.
In the council-manager system, the governing body (a city council) is responsible for all legislative functions of the city. The manager performs administrative and operational functions for the governing body.
In a recent work session, Greensboro City Council members approved increasing starting pay for police officers and firefighters to prevent employee compression in the department. The increase will be 7.4 percent for police officers and 9 percent for firefighters.
The Greensboro fire department has a long tradition of putting out fires in the community. On Thursday, the department held a memorial at Green Hill Cemetery to honor the firefighters who have died since 1969.
The fire department takes applicants on a year-round basis via iApplyGreensboro. Candidates are required to pass a written test, a suitability test, and a background investigation.
After passing the tests, firefighters will be sent for an oral interview with the city’s human resources representative. Those who are selected will receive a job offer.
The fire department has a unique religion – it is part of the community. It believes that all people are created equal, and should be treated with dignity. This is why the department strives to hire only those who are truly compatible with the position and mission. In addition, the department strives to protect its employees and their families from retaliation. They believe that working in the fire service is one of the most honorable professions available.