Jersey City Swears in Its First Black Woman Firefighter

New Jersey native Tara Walker is a high school basketball legend and one of the 26 new firefighters sworn into Jersey City Fire Department.

Posted: 07/28/2014 02:48 PM EDT
Jersey City Swears in First Ever Black Woman Firefighter

New Jersey resident Tara Walker recently made local history by becoming the first Black woman firefighter in the Jersey City Fire Department’s 143-year history. She is now one of six women in the department.

"I knew there were a few women; they were teasing me, and things like that,” the 31-year-old told WABC. 

Over the past three years, Walker successfully passed a series of written, physical and physiological exams, as well as eight weeks of training this past May. She even cut off her waist-long dreadlocks because "they were getting in the way." 

At the graduation ceremony at City Hall, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop celebrated the diversity of the new class, which reportedly includes two Black men, four Latino men and an Asian man.

"Now today is really a great day because if you look at the 26 men and women sitting to my right, to your left, it really represents everything that is great about Jersey City," Mayor Fulop said. "It is a diverse class, it is a young class, it is a motivated class, it is a class of people that have dedicated and lived their lives here in Jersey City.”

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(Photo: WABC-TV/ ABC Local News NY)

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