Black History Month: Making History

Curtis Garr, Fire Chief Share

Feb 15, 2024  |  Web Administrator

Fire Chief Cur­tis Garr is mak­ing his­to­ry in Mar­i­on, Indi­ana as the City’s first Black fire chief as of Jan­u­ary 1st, 2024. Garr has served on the Mar­i­on Fire Depart­ment since Feb­ru­ary 1st, 1999. He served 16 years as Cap­tain with MFD which he explained helped him grow as a leader and allowed him to fine-tune his lead­er­ship style.

Chief Garr shared his dri­ve and inspi­ra­tion lead­ing to the suc­cess in his career. I could­n’t have the suc­cess I’ve got­ten with­out God. I’ve received many bless­ings over the years, and I try to live a Chris­t­ian life. My moth­er, Mam­mie Team­er, gave me a strong work eth­ic. She enforced the impor­tance of look­ing pre­sentable, and taught me how to respect peo­ple. My grand­moth­er, Inez Garr, co-signed teach­ing me to respect peo­ple. She was an exam­ple of kind­ness and being some­one peo­ple can come to. My wife, Melis­sa, has encour­aged me to believe in myself and has loved me through my faults. She’s my rock!”

Chief Garr has an old­er broth­er, Clin­ton Garr IV, who also has a promi­nent lead­er­ship role, serv­ing as the Direc­tor of Sur­veil­lance at a casi­no in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Garr explained what it means to him to be mak­ing his­to­ry as a Black leader in the Mar­i­on com­mu­ni­ty. Serv­ing as Mar­i­on’s fire chief is very hum­bling. I under­stand that it is a huge respon­si­bil­i­ty, and I’m not tak­ing it light­ly. I’m excit­ed for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to serve in this new capac­i­ty. I want to help keep the cit­i­zens of Mar­i­on safe and the fire­fight­ers well equipped.” He added, My hope is that both the cit­i­zens of Mar­i­on and the Mar­i­on Fire­fight­ers are hap­py with my performance.”

Note: Rou­tine pro­fes­sion­al com­pos­ite pho­tos with updat­ed uni­forms are underway.

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