Fighting More than Fires is a true story about the life of Miami Dade’s first African American Fire Chief, Charles Phillips. It is his autobiography, detailing his rise through the ranks of Miami–Dade Fire Department to achieve the highest honor of becoming Chief, only to be accused of the unthinkable.
“My story lays bare the details of my experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Phillips says, “Writing this book was a 10 year gut-wrenching, soul-searching project and it was very difficult to re-live some of the unpleasant experiences I had encountered. Can you imagine working your was up the ranks from firefighter to Chief, in a major city in America, only to be publicly humiliated and forced out of office on false allegations by someone you trusted as a confidant”?
Fighting More than Fires is a compelling account of Chief Phillips’ fight to make it to the top and then having it all taken away two years after being sworn in. It is his story of betrayal, deception and perseverance.
About the Author
Growing up as a child, Charles Phillips had a fascination for fire trucks and the sirens that blared as they sped down the streets of his neighborhood. It was then that he knew he would one day ride on the back of a fire engine. In 1974, that dream became a reality; he joined the mostly segregated Metropolitan Dade County Fire Department as one of 48 members of the first predominantly African- American Fire Recruit Training Class.
“Growing up as a young Black boy in Miami’s Liberty City, I knew I wanted to make a difference in my community, and I feel that I have. I truly enjoyed working in public service, and in my opinion, being a firefighter is the best job in the world and the most rewarding career that I could ever imagine. “Phillips says, “I have written this book to tell my story about a child that came from humble beginnings, raised in the inner city and worked hard through the ranks to become the Chief”. “But the dream was short-lived.
“I am a better man today because of the injustices I have experienced, and it took me more than two years to recover emotionally from the assault and attacks that I suffered from Miami-Dade County and the media. I am most proud of the fact that I made a positive difference in my community and the Miami–Dade Fire Rescue Department. I did it with dignity and pride without sacrificing my ethics and moral beliefs. I was forced out amidst ‘false allegations’, but I left with my head up.”