NLR Fire Promotes First Black Battalion Chief

The North Little Rock Fire Department held a Retirement, Promotion and Swearing-in ceremony this afternoon at the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center. Retiring firefighters:  Battalion Chief Al Cerrato (43 years), Captain Perry Tackett (36 years) and Lieutenant Mark Mahan (20 years). The ceremony included the swearing-in of three new firefighters: Richard Herring, Ashley Meyer and Michael Marra. Six North Little Rock firefighters were promoted. Matthew Hunt, Tanner Ramsey and Matt Matchett were promoted to Lieutenant. David Kirkendoll and Steve Lankford were promoted to Captain. Captain Ricky Cranford was promoted to Battalion Chief. Chief Ricky Cranford is the first black firefighter promoted to Battalion Chief in the North Little Rock Fire Department.

About Chief Ricky Cranford (pictured below):

Chief Cranford joined the North Little Rock Fire Department in 1996. During his time as a firefighter, Cranford attended school to become certified as an EMT and also a Haz-mat Technician. Cranford was motivated to move up through the ranks and spent time preparing himself for promotional exams. In 2005, Cranford was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to serve Rose City where he was first exposed to the Haz-Mat team. In 2015, Cranford was promoted to Captain and selected to serve as the North Little Rock Fire Department Administrative Staff Captain. Then North Little Rock Fire Chief Jim Murphy recognized the untapped potential in Cranford and began to expand his duties. Cranford was assigned first as the Haz-Mat team coordinator and later was placed over Recruiting for the department. Cranford has been a beacon for minorities considering a career in public service. He also had the challenging task of being the fire department coordinator for IT and liaison with communications. Ricky aspired to enter the chief officer ranks and throughout his career has felt the desire to be in a leadership role. This desire was encouraged by many people along the way who recognized his potential but Cranford ultimately credits Chief Jim Murphy for mentoring him and really putting him on the path to pursue the rank of Battalion Chief. Chief Cranford hopes to continue to move even higher in rank in the North Little Rock Fire Department.




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