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A Conversation With Joel Baker, Austin's First African-American Fire Chief

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Joel Baker, who became Austin's first African-American fire department chief after serving more than 30 years with the fire department in Atlanta. 

Baker talks about becoming a firefighter, the shoulders of African-American firefighters he stands on, why his appointment is significant, what he wants to accomplish as fire chief, and how fighting fires has changed.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT at 10 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays — and weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast Black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.