SPOTLIGHT: Louisiana Black History Makers
First African American Fire Chief of the
Baton Rouge Fire Department
Thomas Woods was a true trailblazer and an inspiration to many. He was the first African American Fire Chief of the Baton Rouge Fire Department and made history with his 36-year tenure in the firefighting service.
Woods started his career as a firefighter at the Scotlandville Fire Department, and when the community was annexed into Baton Rouge, he was incorporated into the Baton Rouge Fire Department. He held several key positions throughout his time there, including Training Officer and Chief Training Officer, always striving to improve the department and better serve the community.
As Fire Chief, Woods was incredibly proud of securing a new fire engine for the Rosenwald Station.
He attended numerous training workshops and Fire College to further his knowledge and skills. After retiring from the Baton Rouge Fire Department, Woods continued to serve the community by representing District 2 on the Metropolitan Council. He held several key positions and spearheaded important initiatives, including lighting improvements and drainage projects.
Woods concluded his public service career as the Fire Chief for the City of Baker and left a lasting impact on the communities he served. Fire Station, 14 in Baton Rouge, was even named in his honor, The Chief Thomas Woods Memorial Station, as a testament to his legacy and contributions to the firefighting profession.
In short, Thomas Woods was a visionary and dedicated public servant who will always be remembered for his commitment to serving others and positively impacting his community.