Name: Kevin McCoy
On Feb. 10, Kevin McCoy was one of three African American men to become a Pittsburgh firefighter. Class 126, which consists of 31 men, took their oath and received their badge in front of families, friends, and leaders of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.
After 33 weeks of intense training, McCoy is ready to begin his career amongst an “elite group” of skilled firefighters. “We can all say we worked jobs where it was just a paycheck; a 9-5. But, with becoming a public servant, it’s more than that,” said McCoy. “For every call we respond to, it could potentially be that person’s worst day of their lives. They are depending on us as firefighters to be there and to help get them through that rough time.”
The Garfield native holds a bachelor’s degree of science in Business Administration and Management from Slippery Rock University. He also graduated from Point Park University in 2011 with a M.B.A in Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management.
McCoy is a proud 2003 graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools. The school district has a new career and technical education program that prepares students to become emergency responders. The Emergency Response Technology (ERT) program at Pittsburgh Westinghouse teaches students the technical knowledge and skills required to perform entry level duties in fire fighting, emergency medical services, and law enforcement. Upon completion, the program offers three certifications: Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Technician, First Responder and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
McCoy has advice for those young Black people looking to become a first responder. “Approach everything in life with an open mind, take the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone, and continuously set goals for yourself,” said McCoy. “Always remember that others are watching so take pride in yourself, in your work and don’t just lead by the example, become the example.
McCoy is currently stationed at Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Number 19- Swisshelm Park.