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Henderson honors one of the valley's first Black firefighters

Posted at 6:36 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 21:47:00-05

HENDERSON, Nev. (KTNV) — One of the Las Vegas valley's first Black firefighters was honored by the City of Henderson on Monday.

Joe Smith Jr. served for 17 years as a Basic Magnesium Industrial firefighter and went on to become a fire captain at the Nevada Test Site.

"This is great," Smith Jr. said of the ceremony in his honor. "I didn't expect anything like this at all. It's overwhelming."

During his firefighting career, Smith Jr. also helped save lives during the tragic fire at the MGM Grand in 1980, Henderson officials say. Most recently, at the request of Congressman Steven Horsford, the American flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20 in honor of Smith's service.