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Norwich Fire Department welcomes first black female firefighter

Norwich — Local resident and former Norwich Free Academy and University of Connecticut track athlete Kafi Davis was sworn in Tuesday as the city’s first African-American female paid firefighter.

Davis graduated last week from the 62nd Connecticut Fire Academy Recruit Class, having logged more than 640 hours of instruction and received multiple certifications, acting Fire Chief Scott Merchant said.

“Congratulations, but it’s only a start,” Merchant said during Tuesday’s ceremony.

Davis, who left her first career at the Department of Children and Families to train to become a firefighter, will go to EMT school next. She was hired by former Norwich Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato, who retired last summer, and officially started Monday with Platoon 2 in the Norwich Fire Department.

“The Norwich Fire Department depends on our firefighters to be clutch every time we roll out the door,” Merchant said in his speech Tuesday. “Firefighter Davis, it is critical that you learn your job well and perform it well, because your fellow citizens and firefighters depend on it."

"Remember you are a Norwich firefighter both on duty and off duty. Your actions are to be the standards of excellence that defines the public’s opinion of the Norwich Fire Department," he said. "The public imparts their trust into us and it’s our responsibility to preserve it.”


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