March 2, 1945 – Feb. 16, 2013

Emmett Vinson, a retired Buffalo firefighter and a founder of the Mocha Society of Black Firefighters, died Saturday at his home in Buffalo. He was 67.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Emerson High School, where he played basketball and participated in track and field events. He also attended Alfred State University before he was drafted into the Army in 1966.

Mr. Vinson began his career in the Buffalo Fire Department in 1977. In August 1991, he assisted in the resuscitation of a newborn child who had just been delivered in an Adams Street house on the city’s East Side. Firefighters used a firefighter’s air mask on the infant until the baby boy took his first gasp of breath. Far from finding the experience routine, Mr. Vinson shortly afterwards told The Buffalo News that it was scary.

In addition to being one of the founders of the Mocha Society of Black Firefighters, he served stints as the group’s treasurer, financial secretary, affirmative action officer, first vice president, second vice president and third vice president. He was a trainer for fire safety, a board member for the Fire Survival Center and an instructor for the Buffalo Fire Department’s entrance exam. He also worked part time as a substitute teacher in the Buffalo public schools and as a housing specialist for the city. He retired from the city fire department in 2002, after serving as drug coordinator for the department.

Mr. Vinson was a member of Calvary Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, the former Deana Savage; two sons, Emmett A. and Daniel; two daughters, Deidra Mcilwain and Dawn; two brothers, Charles and Monroe; and four sisters, Willie Anne Huff, Fannie Herritage, Doris Hunt and Beatrice Foster.

Services will be held at noon Friday in Calvary Baptist Church, 1184 Genesee St.