Video shared to the city’s Facebook page shows the two embracing after a brief conversation in which Cowan tells Hall how excited he was to see her on TV.
While reading the city’s proclamation, Mayor Bill Edwards said he received calls from friends across the U.S. last month as Hall performed at Biden’s inauguration. “People called me from my hometown and all over the country and said, ‘South Fulton?’” Edwards said. “I said, ‘Yes, South Fulton.’”
Hall, who serves as president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 3920, represented the city well, Edwards told her.
She began her career in 1993 and was the first woman in the history of Albany’s fire department to successfully make it through the recruitment process, Hall recently told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. At the time, the department was full of white men who looked nothing like her.
She joined the Fulton County Fire Department in 1999, becoming a captain five years later. She stayed on in February 2018 when the county’s department became the South Fulton Fire Department as a result of municipalities forming their own forces, and currently runs the operations divisions.
She was initially invited to the inauguration to represent the country’s municipal firefighters, but said she had no idea performing the pledge in sign language would be so well-received.
“I certainly had not anticipated that it was going to have that sort of impact, but what it really reminded me of is how important it is for us to be thoughtful of others,” Hall said. “I did it as an act of love for my father and for my family members. However, the impact has had far-reaching implications that I’m very thankful for.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of us having some conversations around how we can be more thoughtful of people who are not necessarily like us.”