William Swann has been selected to serve as Director Chief of the Nashville Fire Department, making him the first African American to serve in the role.
Swann was previously the first African American Deputy Director in Nashville history, as well. He was named interim chief following the retirement of Ricky White in November 2017.
"I have had an opportunity to work closely with Chief Swann over the last six months and he has proven he’s the right person for the job. I am grateful for his work as interim and for his 22 years of service. I know he will be a strong leader for Metro Nashville Fire Department, and I congratulate him on this appointment,” said Mayor Briley.
Swann began his career as a firefighter and moved through the ranks of the department to Training Academy instructor, director of the Office of Emergency Management and Deputy Fire Director.
“My goal is to continue to make sure the personnel of the NFD are a group of well-trained, progressive and respected first responders,” Swann said. “We are committed to promoting inclusion, equality and respect, while creating safer communities through prevention, preparedness and effective emergency response.”
Swann also served in the U.S. Army for five years and is a Gulf War veteran.