Richmond Deputy Fire Chief Poindexter Has a Career of Achieving Firsts


As an early graduate of Central High Robin (Reed) Poindexter has overcome many obstacles in her life to become successful as deputy fire marshal in Richmond.


She left the comforts of her home after surviving an abusive marriage and never looked back nor considered returning to her former life. Instead, she relocated to Richmond, California.


Deputy Fire Marshal Poindexter recalls telling her grandmother Mama Sadie that she didn’t want to be the first in anything. Her words unknowingly changed her history.


She is now an Omaha-reared, early graduate of Central High who has the distinction of “making oh my God-invoking career-related history!” She was first in many non-traditionally-held female jobs—all in the aftermath of overcoming numerous difficulties that occurred earlier during her early life in Omaha.


During her approximate 29-year career with the City of Richmond, she has exceeded the ordinary: winning the distinction of being the city’s first Black female firefighter; first female fire inspector; first to have in her name a Richmond Youth Academy Scholarship; first female chief officer; and today serves as the first female deputy fire marshal.


In her position, she recruits youth and young adults to pursue careers in the fire service. She has instructed CPR classes and taught college preparation courses, and provides individual tutoring.


Poindexter is the mother of three adult children who have begun successful careers. Her daughter Shanta Smith-Roberts is a medical professional and owns a healthcare consulting business.


The second-born daughter, Sheree Smith-West, teaches, creates and develops programs as the director of an after-school program. Her son Alan Poindexter is pursuing an acting career and has auditioned and performed in several short films.


Poindexter first gives God glory for her accomplishments, followed by her loving and persevering parents, Edward and Shirley Reed, who instilled within her the values of honesty, hard work, integrity, morals and respect. They also cautioned her to remain humble while exhibiting adequate strength.


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