Triumph is the story of my journey through the fire service and has been a dream of mine since I was promoted to the rank of fire lieutenant in 1974. Writing this story and reliving many events was painful, such as the blatant racism and disrespect experienced on duty the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee; and when the firefighters union expelled all the black firefighters from membership when they refused to disband their association as members of the Black Firefighters Association; and "Scrotum on the head", the worst scandal in the Miami Fire Department's history, are a few of the most important stories revealed in my book. But this story is not just about pain, it is also about the joy of triumphing over the "Jim Crow" obstacles and barriers that were endemic for trailblazing black firefighters from the mid 1960's and beyond.
Floyd Jordan, born in Georgia on May 16, 1943, was raised in Miami-Dade County, Florida; A Viet-Nam veteran; and a fire service employee that served in four different fire departments for more than 43 years. He joined the City of Miami Fire Department in 1967 as the second black firefighter. He was a black trailblazer in the South Florida fire service that rose through the ranks by competitive examination becoming the first black firefighter to be promoted to every supervisory rank in the fire department, including the first black Fire Chief/Director of a Miami-Dade City or County fire agency when he was appointed the Fire Chief of the City of Miami Beach on June 1, 1999.