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Fire Department

Posted on: February 17, 2021

8th Annual Fire and Police Departments’ Black History Month Celebration

Captain, Sammie L. Bivins, Jr

The Winston-Salem Fire Department honors retired Captain, Sammie L. Bivins, Jr. for Black History Month. Capt. Bivins is a lifelong resident of the city. He graduated from Parkland High School in 1973, and later received degrees from Forsyth Technical Community College and Winston-Salem State University.

After high school Bivins joined the U.S. Army during the final years of the Vietnam War. Although never serving in combat, Bivins says this is where he learned the true meaning of “dedication of duty,” solidarity and friendship—traits that made him the man he is today.

After his enlistment Bivins returned to Winston-Salem and joined the US Army Reserves. He enrolled in Forsyth Technical Institute (now FTCC), and began working at Gravely Industry. After six years there he then worked for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the fire and security department. After a company downsizing, Bivins applied for a firefighter position with the Winston-Salem Fire Department. He was not hired then, and took a job at Circuit City. But he relied on the motto, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” He reapplied and was hired in July, 1991.

Bivins worked his way up the ranks, eventually to the position of captain. He says he has many fond memories of the department, but mostly cherishes the fact that he was able to serve and protect his community in a rewarding and fulfilling career. He says, “I met so many special people and experienced unusual and unique situations. I occasionally think of the many calls and occurrences that I responded to; the many people I helped, and the ones not so fortunate. I constantly pray for the men and women of the Winston-Salem Fire Department and all first responders, especially during this pandemic.” Bivins retired in November, 2016 after 25 years of service.

Bivins is married to Vivian Williams Bivins, and they have two daughters—Samantha and Senora. Bivins says he and his wife are enjoying retirement. They recently purchased an RV, and have been traveling across the country. One of his favorite sayings is, “God is good, life is good, and the roads are ready!”

Catch the the full presentation February 21, 2021, 6 p.m. on TV-13

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