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New Haven CT


All That I Am I Owe, I Live Eternally in the RED

Gary Tinney was born and raised in the City of New Haven in a family where public

service and social justice were core family values. He began his career in the New Haven Fire Department in 1995 serving for over 27 years and committing his life to community service. Tinney has received several citations from the New Haven Fire Department for his acts of bravery and commitment to the community he loves and serves. He has also received several awards from organizations throughout the country. He has committed countless hours serving the elderly and youth agencies throughout the Greater New Haven community. Mr. Tinney has served as President of the New Haven Firebird Society, a chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF); an organization that is active in the civic life of the city and engages in activities and projects that benefit New Haven children and families and community at large.

Captain Tinney retired from the New Haven Fire Department in 2018. He is currently serving as the Director of the Northeast Region of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters and Affirmative Action Chair for the IABPFF. His district for the Director’s position ranges from Maine to Delaware. Additionally, he has served on several boards, including the Red Cross, Immanuel Baptist Homeless Shelter. Pop Smith Little League, Sickle Cell Foundation-NAACP,NHSF- Dwight Neighborhood Corporation and Higher Heights. He is a proud member of the Prince Hall Masons, Elks Lodge, and Prince Hall Scottish Rites, 32nd Degree. Gary was very instrumental in establishing the Law/Health and Public Safety Academy located at Hillhouse High School. The program introduces career paths to public safety careers. Some students obtain college credits and certifications in Fire Science-Criminal Justice and Health career paths. Over 200 students have benefited from the Academy. Several of these proud graduates have entered the New Haven Fire Department in recent recruitment classes.

Mr. Tinney is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and graduate of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is a proud father of Miss Taylor Tinney. She recently graduated from Central Connecticut State University, majoring in Criminal Justice. Mr. Tinney's priorities are simple, love God, Family and Community. He is married to Ms. Karen Bellamy Tinney and has three Sisters and one Beloved Brother Clarence Tinney. Mr. Tinney is very proud to be the son of Beloved Clarence and Martha Tinney. His Family and God are the cornerstones of his strength. His passion for Civil Rights and Keeping the Fire Burning for Justice continues.

Gary Tinney - IABPFF Path

Served as New Haven Firebird Society President

Served as Northeast Region Recording Secretary

Served as Northeast Region 2nd Assistant Director

Currently serving as the Director of the Northeast Region 4th Term Currently serving as the IABPFF Affirmative Action Chair.

Awards Received

East Rock Lodge Unsung Hero Award

IABPFF Presidents Award

NAACP, National Stop the violence Peace Medal Award, New Haven Public Safety Academy, Peoples World Award International Association of Professional Black Firefighters, West Haven Black Coalition

City of New Haven, NABLEO Empowerment Award, Sickle Cell Foundation of Southern Ct

Citizen of the Year Award / Omega Psi Phi, NANBPWC Man of the Year Award

Comments (26)

To all our IABPFF, EDI and Chicago Fire Department family, I regret to bring sad news and condolences on the passing of former Deputy Fire Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department, Nicholas Russell.
This news is sudden and I ask all to give the family and Department time and space to grieve and then notify us of arrangements. Please the family in your prayers.

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.

IABPFF Member Action Item Matrix

-Make sure you are financial and on your submitted chapter list or the individual member list
-Verify login capability Establish a IABPFF website profile, with bio. Copy old bio info from Drum if applicable. Add city skyline Wallpaper, chapter Logo(Chapter Logo archive is available), and Headshot
-When entering your chapter name also put the acronym in parentheses so that your members will come up in a search if they put in either one
-Verify info, add website etc
-If a board member, add position and link to area of responsibility
-Add facebook/LinkedIn page link, and original membership date
-Become familiar with the IABPFF website
-Save the link to pages of importance, and share with others like the Employment, Executive Board, and Membership pages
-Subscribe to the Announcements page
-Make sure your region and chapter is represented on the site
-Go and add an announcement in your regions area about any of your members that have retired, passed away, or got promoted. Each region has its own area for promotions, retirements or funerals.
-Know who your Regional Director is
-Make note of your areas of interest, the committee associated with them, it’s Chair, and their page
-Consider a committee to head up or work with on the national level
-Those in key positions at the local level should make note of and connect with their regional and national counterparts
-Directors, make sure all committees have a regional Representative

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