West Memphis’ first African American female firefighter promoted to inspector

First African American firefighter in West Memphis promoted to inspector

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - The first African American female to ever join the West Memphis Fire Department continues to make history.

Patricia Roberts’ most current accomplishment being promoted to Deputy Inspector.

Roberts started with the West Memphis Fire Department in 1993.

She applied for a firefighter job but with no openings, she took a job as a dispatcher.

Over the years, she worked her way up. Becoming a driver, then lieutenant and now, deputy inspector. She was the first in each of those roles.

Thursday, Roberts shared her message to any woman wanting to get into this profession or any woman already in the profession.

“It's not easy, it’s a tough profession but it can be done. I just want to try to encourage them that this is really something that you can make a career out of,” said Roberts.

Her new title as deputy inspector will include opening new businesses and inspecting fire codes, as well as conducting arson investigations.

Roberts thanks her family, co-workers and the city of West Memphis for giving her the opportunity to serve.

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