MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — For the first time, the City of Mobile has a Black fire chief.

The Mobile City Council appointed Johnny Morris Jr. to become the new chief of the Mobile Fire and Rescue Department. The historic milestone marks him as the first Black MFRD chief of staff.

Morris, who has worked with MFRD for the past 32 years, is a native of Mobile. He attended John L. LeFlore High School.

He was also deployed in the Persian Gulf War and served as a marine. He had been the assistant fire chief since August 2020 until Jeremy Lami announced his retirement as fire chief on Oct. 18, and Morris was appointed to the interim role.

Morris’ first day as fire chief is Saturday, Nov. 4.

“I want us to be a presence not only on emergency situations but also non-emergencies,” Morris said. “We want to partner with our community to make them better and us better, and if we do that, the city’s gonna be much safer, much better.”

The Mobile City Council on Tuesday also appointed Robert Lasky as Executive Director of Public Safety.

Lasky has served in the role for the past two weeks as an interim. He retired from the FBI in 2018 after serving for 20 years.