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."
Today, Henderson Fire Department presented Joe Smith Jr. with a ceremonial firefighter helmet to thank him for his service as one of the city's first African American firefighters.
Thank you Joe for your historic service in our community! pic.twitter.com/smYnOaKiE5
— Henderson Fire (@HendFireDept) November 16, 2021
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.