Savannah Fire Department Hires First Ever Black Woman Chief Fire Marshall

Whitney Williams-Smith, Savannah's first Black woman Chief Fire Marshall

In 2020, the Savannah Fire Department in Savannah, Georgia welcomed Whitney Williams-Smith as it's newest Chief Fire Marshal. She became the first African American and the first woman to hold the position. As a certified firefighter, she began her career with the Albany Fire Department in 2004.
Her role as the Chief Fire Marshal consists of overseeing all issues pertaining to building occupancy, permitting, fire inspections, fire codes, fire ordinances, fire investigations and fire zones in the city of Savannah.

In 2005, Williams-Smith took a position with East Point Fire. She worked as a firefighter, EMT and fire prevention officer under Rosemary R. Cloud, the first Black woman fire chief in the nation, and Deputy Fire Chief Toni Barnes Washington, a native Savannahian who went on to become City of Decatur Fire Chief.

She holds the following certifications: NFPA Certified Plan Review Examiner, Fire and Life Safety Plan Review, Fire Inspector I, Fire and Life Safety Educator with Daycare Provider, Asbestos Abatement Supervisor, Hazardous Materials Technician, Firefighter II and EMT-Intermediate.

Her husband, Ronald Smith, Jr., is a firefighter and assistant Fire Marshal in the city of Roswell, Georgia.