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Shively's first Black fire chief hopes to start tradition of diversity, inspire others to become firefighters

Charles Mucker also spent seven years with Jefferson County Public Schools, working as both a teacher and coach.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After serving the community for more than 80 years, the Shively Fire Department welcomed its first Black chief in fall 2020.

Charles Mucker started his firefighting career with the Louisville Fire Department in 1992. During that time he served worked his way from sergeant to colonel.

"I didn't know I wanted to be a firefighter," Mucker said. "I tried out for the fire department and was blessed enough to be hired. To be honest with you it was the best thing that ever happened to me from an employment perspective.”

He retired in July 2012 as 'Car 2,' the deputy chief of Louisville Fire.

Mucker also spent seven years with Jefferson County Public Schools, working as both a teacher and coach.

He said he believes his life has been broken into seasons, embracing each as they come. Mucker said he loved the opportunity to work with youth and the title it gave him.

"Coach was the most enduring name," Mucker said.

While Mucker's swear-in ceremony was done with COVID-19 restrictions, family and friends near and dear to him were present — including two people who had supported him throughout his life: his mom and dad.

"To have my mom and dad there to me was priceless," Mucker said.

Mucker talked about the blessing and responsibility he now carries as the first Black chief, as well as the impact he wants to leave on the community.

"Many people in general don't get the opportunity to be called chief and many people that look like me don't get the opportunity to be called chief," Mucker said. "I want to be someone who supports what is right. Willing to stand up and make a difference regardless of the situation he was in or what title that he carried."

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