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Onakpoma Erhiga Godwin
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Onakpoma Erhiga
Sapele Power P.L.C Delta State Nigeria
Individual (Delta State, Nigeria)
22 Oct 21
I am Onakpoma Erhiga Godwin from Delta State Nigeria.A graduate of Mechanical Engineering and presently working as a fire professional with Sapele power p.l.c Delta State Nigeria.I have had series of professional training and certifications ranging from basic and advance fire fighting,General health safety and environment competency training by the Nigeria institute of safety professionals presently known as institute of safety professionals of Nigeria(ISPON),..Principles of steam turbine operations.e.t.c.I am also a member of the international association of engineers(IAEng).I choose a career in fire and safety because of my passion to ensure safety of lives and a healthy environment for human existence and this i have extended into charities as well.Presently i am a member of the board of trustees for the rural environmental development poverty alleviation and child education foundation(REDPACE) whose mission is to ensure kindness to humanity and to see to the needs of the vulnerable and less privilege people in the society.Being a member of the IABPFF is a dream come through for me to fulfill my life long dreams career goals and aspirations.I look forward to greater challenges and opportunities both locally and internationally and always ready to serve.

Comments (25)

So sorry to hear of the passing of Brother Outerbridge. I can remember him being argumentative on the convention floor back in the 70s. I see he continued to voice his strong opinions well after retirement in some of the things he wrote. Thank you for your committment and contributions to the IABPFF. Rest in Peace

Biography, RIP Brother

Fireman Leslie Outerbridge risked his life to save others and risked his job for racial justice. Born December 29, 1936 in Chicago, Outerbridge grew up in the Cabrini Green projects. His father, a former cricket champion from Bermuda, taught him about fair play. Outerbridge was a good student at Jenner School and entered Wells High School early at age twelve. Dropping out at age fifteen, he joined the Air Force in 1953. There, he played on the installations’ basketball, football and baseball teams. After his discharge, Outerbridge drove a taxi, until his father’s friend, Robert Thompson, a black firefighter, “sponsored” him for the Chicago Fire Department (CFD). Outerbridge passed the written exam, but “failed” his first physical. Later, Outerbridge found that his father’s donation of $300 ensured that he “passed” the second time around in 1961. Outerbridge later returned to school, earning a B.S. from Chicago State University in 1981.

In 1968, Outerbridge, along with Jim Winbush and Wesley Thompson and backed by the NAACP, Operation PUSH, and the Chicago Urban League, with inspiration from Father George Clements, Anderson Thompson, and legal assistance from Attorney Kermit Coleman, formed the Afro American Firefighters League (AAFL). The AAFL completed a study in 1973 that detailed the Chicago Fire Department’s record of racial discrimination in hiring and promotional practices. The United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago that same year. Mayor Daley signed the court ordered “consent decree” in 1977, which resulted in increasing the number of black firefighters from 125 to 400 by 1979. Now, the number is over 1,000. Forced to fight a relentless paper war with unhappy CFD brass, Outerbridge discovered that paperwork was their weakness. For thirty-seven years he performed his duties and retired in 1995. Outerbridge was also a founder of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters in 1969.

A talented photographer and part time model, Outerbridge has researched the history of African Americans, the CFD and the great Chicago fires – a history that goes back to 1873 when Willie Watkins was the first black firefighter. Outerbridge lives in Chicago’s West Chesterfield neighborhood with his wife, Annie.

It has come to my attention that Brother Les Outerbridge of Chicago passed to reward yesterday. Brother Outerbridge was a warrior in the war of racism and discrimination on the Chicago Fire Department and he left his legacy, his book called SMOKE. My Brother will be missed by all that knew him. Rest in Peace Warrior.

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