In the News

Mayor Sarno, Fire Commissioner Calvi and State Representative Williams Honor Springfield's First African-American Firefighter with a Ceremonial Bell Tolling and Wreath Placing Ceremony

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi, State Representative Bud Williams, and members from the Springfield Fire Department and the Corbin family attended a ceremonial bell tolling and wreath-placing ceremony at the Leonard A. Corbin Memorial dedicated to Springfield’s first African-American Firefighter.

Mayor Sarno states, “I am proud to join with Commissioner Calvi on his initiative to honor ‘Lenny’ with the ceremonial bell tolling and wreath-placing ceremony. I knew Lenny well. He was a great and humble gentleman and firefighter. He was a trailblazer – the Jackie Robinson of our SFD. May God rest his soul and may his brave legacy of professionalism live on forever.”

“Lenny Corbin was a true professional and exemplary firefighter.  I thought it was important to honor Lenny Corbin, who was the city’s first African-American firefighter, and opened the door for so many others to follow after him,” said Commissioner Calvi.  “The traditional Springfield Fire Department alarm code for an engine company returning home to the station was 4 bells followed by the number of the engine company returning to quarters.  At the ceremony we will sound the code 4-8 for engine company number 8 from the Mason Square Fire Station, Leonard’s first station assignment to call home.”

In October of 2009, the city unveiled a monument in the front of the Mason Square Fire Station that honors Corbin.  It is engraved with Corbin’s own quote, “I just wanted to be the best firefighter I could be.” Corbin grew up wanting to become a firefighter and accomplished his goal, serving the residents of the city for 32 years at the Mason Square, East Springfield, Oakland Street, Sixteen Acres and Forest Park fire stations.

The City of Springfield Fire Department usually holds this remembrance ceremony during the month of February as part of the City's celebration of Black History Month.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic the ceremony was postponed.   


Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm