Chief Engineer Patrick H. Raymond of Cambridge, MA

The history of the fire department in Cambridge The Paragon Society has been in the making for quite some

The Cambridge Fire Department has a history that as is rich in its designations and accreditations as it is with its diversity.  The fire African American Fire Chief was in the Cambridge Fire Department, Chief Patrick Raymond of Pleasant Street.  He and his brother hailed from Pennsylvania, but ended up in Boston after their careers in the Navy ended.  Patrick Raymond became a firefighter and eventually worked his way up to fire Chief when he fought for Firefighters to paid as career firefighters rather than just volunteers. 

In the late 1990’s members of the Cambridge Fire Department sought to create a local chapter of the IABPFF, at time called the Phoenix Society.  The group was created to support diversity and equity, however over time, it slowly disbanded. 

In 2020 there was talk of re-invigorating the Phoenix Society.  After researching, connecting, and learning from the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF), a small group decided to form a new local chapter called the Paragon Society.  The collective voice of this group is to ensure equity and actively recruit from the community in which we work, ensure that all who seek this job know the process, how to navigate Civil Service, and what is needed for exams and tests.  Taking the foundational blocks from the Phoenix Society and infusing the commitment to high quality, inclusivity for all, and we believe that by ensuring our unity, we are ensuring our longevity in the greatest profession in the world. 

To join the Paragon Society, please visit the Member tab and submit an application. 

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