Mike Burke

He was the County’s First Black Firefighter

The first black firefighter at a Florida department is retiring after 30 years of service.

Reginald Perkins, 60, started at the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Department in February 1989 after his first interview right out of the South Tech Fire Academy, . During his time with the department, he worked as an emergency medical technician, a CERT team member, chaplain, fire inspector and paramedic.

“It’s fulfilling for me, cause we can go home and you could see that you helped someone,” said Pickens, who retired last week. He still works as a college teacher and a paramedic at a local hospital, according to WPBF.