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    Thumbs up Equal Opportunity Employment...

    Just want to hear some experiences and opinions from others regarding employment opprtunities in the fire service. Recently two Firefighters won a case for reverse discrimination. I feel it is sad that the hiring processes of departments in my area prevent the most experienced candidate from getting the job. Who cares if you are black, white, purple, male, female, or he/she. If they can do the job, give them the opportunity. The two white male firefighters won a case saying that because of a fire department policy two black males received positions and had less experience and education than the white firefighters. I am all for Firefighter related testing. If you apply to be a doctor you have to have the education and experience right? You wouldn't want Betty Crocker the doctor operating on you. Do you want an inexperienced person trying to put out your house fire or rescue your family? I have been a volunteer for 8 years and am now a Captain for a paid department. I still volunteer, which I know some have an issue with. My opinion is it is my perogative to serve my community how I want. That said back to my original topic. My paid department hired based on education and experience and because of that we have a kick *** team with tons of experience. When we show up everyone on scene has the experience to run the scene, but more importantly the experience to help make quick and safe rescues and quick knock-downs. So that said, why not hire the best candidate? Who cares about race or sex? I don't!

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    Question

    Well of course this is a very controversial topic, that always sounds easier to answer than it really is. It would be easy to just say "Right On Brother", and justify the ideal of survival of the fittest, even if the model of the "fittest" is always the best educated white guys the country has to offer. It would also be easy to say that 200 years of slavery and oppression of black people must be compensated with affirmative action programs that give minorities a chance to compete. I think we are all smart enough now to know that neither answer is the solution.

    Either way, this could be interesting until the WT closes it, so here goes.

    You said:

    Quote Originally Posted by OLINENGINE1
    ...why not hire the best candidate?
    My first question for the sake of discussion is this. What determines the "best" candidate?

    Education?

    Experience?

    Test Scores?

    Motivation?

    Personality?

    Other?

    How about some other skills and Traits?

    The corporate world has long known that training and education are only a small portion of the total package. The best salesmen are often the ones who have the personality and drive, not the education. The best leaders have intangible qualities that cannot always be identified in a standard job interview.

    If the corporate world knows that a Japanese salesman sells better in the Overseas Japanese market, does that make it discrimination?


    You said:

    If you apply to be a doctor you have to have the education and experience right?
    Sounds good. But what if you are an English speaking and educated doctor, who happened to find yourself living and working in France, and you find yourself up against a French doctor with slightly lesser skills. Your language barrier will render you less effective, but you are better trained and educated.

    Who gets the jobs then? And Why?


    You said:

    If they can do the job, give them the opportunity.
    The difference between the top Olympic Downhill Racer and the number 15 racer is usually less than 1 second, but no more than 0.001% of the population is even capable of performing anywhere near that level.

    I suggest that in today's fire service, the top individual who gets interviewed is generally no more than a fraction better than #15 or even #50, and the entire top 50 are probably leaps and bounds ahead of the vast majority of applicants. I could argue that Firefighting is really just a job requiring moderate intelligence, above average drive, and an excellent team dynamic.

    If this is accepted to be true, is it really that detrimental to the service to hire the person who came in less than one second behind, if it will help ensure a fair representation of the populous?


    You said:

    My paid department hired based on education and experience and because of that we have a kick *** team with tons of experience.
    Did you do the hiring? Was that the only qualification for those individuals? Were there any candidates who had excellent education and experience, but did not have a personality or skill set that fit the department's team dynamic?

    If so, is that not a form of discrimination too?



    I am not trying to defend the practises you mentioned, or blindly justify any govt programs that I no little about. I do think however, that we often look at this issue the wrong way and think that it is about equality. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is about representation and opportunity.

    Rural communities want an equal say in Government as urban, but they don't have the numbers. The environmental lobby wants an equal place at the policy table as big-business, but they don't have the influence. The small-town politician wants an equal shot at the federal political stage, but they don't have the money.

    There are programs to equalize the opportunity and representation of these "minority" groups. Why should there not be help for other true minority groups that clearly do have socio-economic barriers to their success?


    I'll check in tomorrow night to see if this is still open.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    I suggest that in today's fire service, the top individual who gets interviewed is generally no more than a fraction better than #15 or even #50, and the entire top 50 are probably leaps and bounds ahead of the vast majority of applicants. I could argue that Firefighting is really just a job requiring moderate intelligence, above average drive, and an excellent team dynamic.

    I used to work with a guy that was always saying the job really wasn't that hard, he said most of us could be replaced with trained monkeys.


    EEO and AA are not the same, EEO is supposed to prevent discrimination, AA is legalized discrimination intended to increase the numbers of specific populations.

    For the rest of it I do what I can but its politics, there is only so much I can do. Yes it drives me crazy that many HR types count how many white males we have but don't care at all if we have entire crews made up of the same non-white male group. Despite what HR spews out most of the minorities I work with dislike special treatment for any group, and find the idea they need extra help insulting. They want the best to be hired, their life may depend on who gets hired just like the white guys.

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    Smile Thanks Mcaldwell

    Your input was very interesting. All the members of my department do have differences, but that's what makes the world go round. We have also had the ability to overcome any differences to become the team we are. All the qualities you added including personality etc. should be looked into during the interview. I agree with those aspects being equally important. Thanks for your post it will add to the discussion. By the way. Why do you think the thread will be closed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLINENGINE1
    Who cares if you are black, white, purple, male, female, or he/she. If they can do the job, give them the opportunity.

    I agree 100%

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    AMEN brother!!!!!! Its the same way here. You have to be the RIGHT color to get hired. About every other year they hire black and female. i have no problem what so ever with black FF or female but the best person should get the job
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyRescue205
    AMEN brother!!!!!! Its the same way here. You have to be the RIGHT color to get hired. About every other year they hire black and female. i have no problem what so ever with black FF or female but the best person should get the job
    Easier said than done.... The "PC" crowd doesnt buy it..Wonderful

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyRescue205
    AMEN brother!!!!!! Its the same way here. You have to be the RIGHT color to get hired. About every other year they hire black and female. i have no problem what so ever with black FF or female but the best person should get the job

    What makes you thing that the black or female that was hired wasn't the best?

    Why must all groups be defined by the white male standard?

    Go back and read Mcaldwell's post. Many excellent statements are made there.

    "Best" is a term hard to define.

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    We have hired the best, according to the test that was given and a lot of them are useless whereas the ones who scored in the middle of the pack turn out to be the "best" or at least better than the number one or two or three guys on the list.

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    Default You know where the exits are located.....

    Quote Originally Posted by OLINENGINE1
    Just want to hear some experiences and opinions from others regarding employment opprtunities in the fire service. Recently two Firefighters won a case for reverse discrimination. I feel it is sad that the hiring processes of departments in my area prevent the most experienced candidate from getting the job. Who cares if you are black, white, purple, male, female, or he/she. If they can do the job, give them the opportunity. The two white male firefighters won a case saying that because of a fire department policy two black males received positions and had less experience and education than the white firefighters. I am all for Firefighter related testing. If you apply to be a doctor you have to have the education and experience right? You wouldn't want Betty Crocker the doctor operating on you. Do you want an inexperienced person trying to put out your house fire or rescue your family? I have been a volunteer for 8 years and am now a Captain for a paid department. I still volunteer, which I know some have an issue with. My opinion is it is my perogative to serve my community how I want. That said back to my original topic. My paid department hired based on education and experience and because of that we have a kick *** team with tons of experience. When we show up everyone on scene has the experience to run the scene, but more importantly the experience to help make quick and safe rescues and quick knock-downs. So that said, why not hire the best candidate? Who cares about race or sex? I don't!


    but do you have an F-ing clue about Human Resources? If not, you get acquainted very soon.

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    One of my favorite firehouse topics, as long as the EEO people aren't around to listen in.
    Consider this scenario:
    300 candidates take a written and scored physical test for FF.
    Top 150 scores are placed in order on a list.
    The department is going to hire 10.
    They hire #1 thru 5.
    But then, they decide that they don't have enough Catholic ff's.
    They skip over #'s 11-98, and hire #142 from the list because he is Catholic.
    They also hire #148, same reason.
    Is this a fair practice?
    Most people would say absolutely not.
    So why is it different when it's done for a female, or a minority?

    Any hiring policy or procedure that gives an unfair advantage to ANY segment of the population is discriminatory.


    How is the fact that there was slavery 200 years ago possibly relevant to today's hiring policies for a Fire Department.

    In the late 1990's Washington State Voters passed a law banning Afirmative Actions in hiring public service postions.
    The Seattle Fire Department prior to then used a scored written, and a scored physical.
    Guess what? The next year, they went to the CPAT, which is a pass/fail physical. They changed the order of the testing process, putting the Oral Board right after the written, before the physical. This allowed the Board to bring "underepresented groups" farther along in the process than they would previously been able to.
    Example?
    -A female candidate takes the written, scores a wopping 78%.
    In the older system, she would have qaulified to go to the physical (barely), which was scored.
    She scores a poor time in the physical; this score, with her poor written, would put her in the bottom 1/3 of the list, so she wouldn't go on to the Oral Board.
    Now, when she gets a 78%, she automatically goes to the Oral, where her gender is somehow noticed, and moves on to the Physical. Many candidates that did well on the Oral Board mysteriously received lower scores.
    Too bad, it's a subjetive test, there is no way to prove who did "better" or "worse". It's all up to the Oral Board. Wanna guess what the gender/race of the Oral Board was?
    Surprise!!! She squeaks by the physical with a pass, and is now able to be hired. Yaaaayyy!

    How did this move possibly achieve the goal of hiring the smartest, strongest candidates available?
    The public gets a candidate that could barely pass one of the easiest tests out there (CPAT).
    The public gets a candidate that barely passed the written.
    But at least they got an under-represented segment.
    This is progress?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell

    My first question for the sake of discussion is this. What determines the "best" candidate?

    Education?

    Experience?

    Test Scores?

    Motivation?

    Personality?

    Other?

    How about some other skills and Traits?

    The corporate world has long known that training and education are only a small portion of the total package. The best salesmen are often the ones who have the personality and drive, not the education. The best leaders have intangible qualities that cannot always be identified in a standard job interview.

    If the corporate world knows that a Japanese salesman sells better in the Overseas Japanese market, does that make it discrimination?
    Look, if you want to sell cars, then sell cars. Human nature dictates that perceived comfort levels when dealing with something or someone that is familiar will make human interaction easier. This is why sales positions tend to be geared toward the likes and dislikes of the target audience/customer. This is why the gorgeous blondes are used in beer commercials rather than the 300lb., moon-barking, skank.
    A fire doesn't give a fuzzy rat's ***** what color or gender you are. The firefighter MUST be the one most capable of knocking the $h@t out of it and taking his team home safe after a call. This isn't a sales call.....it's our lives on the line.


    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell

    Sounds good. But what if you are an English speaking and educated doctor, who happened to find yourself living and working in France, and you find yourself up against a French doctor with slightly lesser skills. Your language barrier will render you less effective, but you are better trained and educated.

    Who gets the jobs then? And Why?
    If you move to France then you should take in as a personal responsibility to LEARN French to be able to compete as a doctor. Again, doctors deal with the "touchy, feely" side of the human psyche.

    As a firefighter, this also holds true, but more against your argument than for it. As a firefighter it is my responsibility to LEARN about the job of being a firefighter. That means that I CAN score higher on the FF exams. That means that the personal initiative to better myself and to do better on the test will give me a better chance of making the cut.


    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    The difference between the top Olympic Downhill Racer and the number 15 racer is usually less than 1 second, but no more than 0.001% of the population is even capable of performing anywhere near that level.

    I suggest that in today's fire service, the top individual who gets interviewed is generally no more than a fraction better than #15 or even #50, and the entire top 50 are probably leaps and bounds ahead of the vast majority of applicants. I could argue that Firefighting is really just a job requiring moderate intelligence, above average drive, and an excellent team dynamic.

    If this is accepted to be true, is it really that detrimental to the service to hire the person who came in less than one second behind, if it will help ensure a fair representation of the populous?
    So you say that we as firefighters shouldn't want the best? We should just settle for whatever we can scrape up?


    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    Did you do the hiring? Was that the only qualification for those individuals? Were there any candidates who had excellent education and experience, but did not have a personality or skill set that fit the department's team dynamic?

    If so, is that not a form of discrimination too?
    In this discussion, NO, it is not. We are discussing hiring preference based on age, race, gender, personal lifestyle. These are issues that are guaranteed by the constitution(s) (Federal and state).


    .
    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    There are programs to equalize the opportunity and representation of these "minority" groups. Why should there not be help for other true minority groups that clearly do have socio-economic barriers to their success?
    So, who determines what socio-economic barriers have been a hinderance? I for one, grew up in an area that had a number of black, hispanic, middle-eastern families that were much better off than I was growing up. Under your description, they would be due some kind of special consideration due to their skin color. I have overcome far more obstacles than they have to achieve what I have. Where are my "special considerations"?
    Stupid People.......Providing Job Security to Public Safety Professionals for ........forever

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamuelFire
    What makes you thing that the black or female that was hired wasn't the best?
    .
    When it comes to promotions you know it because the scores are posted and you can watch as people jump over 100 people who scored better only because they are female, hispanic or black. I can read and thats all it takes to know it happens. Get real, happens all the time.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    It would also be easy to say that 200 years of slavery and oppression of black people must be compensated with affirmative action programs that give minorities a chance to compete.
    And what about all the blacks that came to this country after slavery of their own free will? Tell me what I owe the guy who came here from Uganda in 1996 and is getting preferrential treatment? Or the recent new citizen from Mexico? All decisions that are based primarily on race are racist! Color blind society my ***!
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    Well of course this is a very controversial topic, that always sounds easier to answer than it really is. It would be easy to just say "Right On Brother", and justify the ideal of survival of the fittest, even if the model of the "fittest" is always the best educated white guys the country has to offer. It would also be easy to say that 200 years of slavery and oppression of black people must be compensated with affirmative action programs that give minorities a chance to compete. I think we are all smart enough now to know that neither answer is the solution.

    Either way, this could be interesting until the WT closes it, so here goes.

    You said:



    My first question for the sake of discussion is this. What determines the "best" candidate?

    Education?

    Experience?

    Test Scores?

    Motivation?

    Personality?

    Other?

    How about some other skills and Traits?

    The corporate world has long known that training and education are only a small portion of the total package. The best salesmen are often the ones who have the personality and drive, not the education. The best leaders have intangible qualities that cannot always be identified in a standard job interview.

    If the corporate world knows that a Japanese salesman sells better in the Overseas Japanese market, does that make it discrimination?


    You said:



    Sounds good. But what if you are an English speaking and educated doctor, who happened to find yourself living and working in France, and you find yourself up against a French doctor with slightly lesser skills. Your language barrier will render you less effective, but you are better trained and educated.

    Who gets the jobs then? And Why?


    You said:



    The difference between the top Olympic Downhill Racer and the number 15 racer is usually less than 1 second, but no more than 0.001% of the population is even capable of performing anywhere near that level.

    I suggest that in today's fire service, the top individual who gets interviewed is generally no more than a fraction better than #15 or even #50, and the entire top 50 are probably leaps and bounds ahead of the vast majority of applicants. I could argue that Firefighting is really just a job requiring moderate intelligence, above average drive, and an excellent team dynamic.

    If this is accepted to be true, is it really that detrimental to the service to hire the person who came in less than one second behind, if it will help ensure a fair representation of the populous?


    You said:



    Did you do the hiring? Was that the only qualification for those individuals? Were there any candidates who had excellent education and experience, but did not have a personality or skill set that fit the department's team dynamic?

    If so, is that not a form of discrimination too?



    I am not trying to defend the practises you mentioned, or blindly justify any govt programs that I no little about. I do think however, that we often look at this issue the wrong way and think that it is about equality. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is about representation and opportunity.

    Rural communities want an equal say in Government as urban, but they don't have the numbers. The environmental lobby wants an equal place at the policy table as big-business, but they don't have the influence. The small-town politician wants an equal shot at the federal political stage, but they don't have the money.

    There are programs to equalize the opportunity and representation of these "minority" groups. Why should there not be help for other true minority groups that clearly do have socio-economic barriers to their success?


    I'll check in tomorrow night to see if this is still open.
    I am not going to comment on this topic, but very well said Mcaldwell. you put alot og thought into the topic and I applaud your post.
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    What makes you thing that the black or female that was hired wasn't the best?

    It happens here in my city/department. My recruit class had females, as well as minorities who scored 500-600 spots behind all of the white, "majority people"; some were even farther down the list than that. They were moved from their spot on the list and given a job before hundreds of other candidates, simply because they are a woman, or they are black.
    There is no justification for this, and absolutely no defending it.
    As far as the test is concerned, there is nothing on it that a basic high school education will not prepare you for. There is nothing tricky about it, or on it.
    Last edited by jasper45; 04-04-2006 at 06:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamuelFire
    Why must all groups be defined by the white male standard?
    What are "white male standards? Basic reading comprehension? Basic, low level math? Watching a video and being able to answer simple questions about the information in it? Are these "white male standards"? This is what the last CFD entrance exam in 1995 consisted of. So only "white males" can be expected to understand 6th grade reading? or math? Wow, talk about not giving anyone credit! I work with minorities everyday and they can all read and do simple math - I guess they are the exceptions in your mind since they passed the very difficult CFD test. And even such a moronic test as this was judged to "racially biased" and "unfair" by those that didn't pass. They even filed and won a lawsuit to try and get on the job they couldn't pass the test for. I guess you are right - the '95 entrance exam was set up for people to meet the "white male" standard and was completely unfair. Oh, btw, the test was written by a minority company and designed to remove any possibility of any sort of bias.


    "Best" is a term hard to define.
    Not that hard - pass the test, get the job!
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    I am a black male and I think affirmative action is pointless. It just makes everyone uptight in my opinion. I have turned down jobs because I thought the employer was trying to fill a quota. The reason I got into the fire service is because its a great and honorable job. If I ever found out that I was hired because of affirmative action I would quit on the spot. Period.
    Respect.

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    did a google search for CWH Selection Solutions or just CWH


    http://www.ipmaac.org/conf05/klus.pdf

    they make a lot of the tests used today, intersting what I found...

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    Read this...and try your luck at 5 of the racist math questions!

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...583#post667583

    FM-PTB

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    Those questions are an embarrasment. I want to meet the guy that complained that they were too hard and racially biased. A four year old could answer those and any adult who can't should be under court order to go back to 3rd grade!
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    They shouldn't hire anyone to fill any racial voids or whatever you want to call it.

    Hiring should be done based on good old fashion OTSS!
    FTM - PTB

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    I know it is easy to look at affirmative action as the enemy. I disagree with affirmative action, although for different reasons than what has been posted here. I know no one here would argue that minority candidates need to be boosted through the rankings because they are in some ways inferior. They need to be boosted because, for whatever reason, many jobs, such as public service positions, do not bring in the same proportion of qualified minority candidates as they do qualified white male candidates. These questions are not racist, nor are they challenging, but many recruiters have difficulty in bringing in the high numbers of minority candidates. This leads to either white males being hired in disproportionate numbers, or as many complain of, the most qualified candidates being passed over.

    Let's face it- how many of us got into this profession because our father, or grandfather, or uncle, or whomever exposed us to it at a young age? Perhaps more women would apply if they saw more women capable and contributing to this work? Same for minorities. I do believe that the best candidate ought to be hired, but some emphasis ought to be placed on bringing some diversity to the fire service. This does not mean I think that the felony dq should be selectively eliminated, as we have seen in some places, nor do I think it means that a city FD needs to reflect the makeup of a city- i.e. 55% female, 18% black, 21% latino, etc. But there has to be some way to recruit better so that, in the big picture, the COMPETITVE candidates reflect, on average, a snapshot of the city. Then, you can hire the best individual for the job.
    Last edited by orangehopeful; 04-09-2006 at 06:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangehopeful
    They need to be boosted because, for whatever reason, many jobs, such as public service positions, do not bring in the same proportion of qualified minority candidates as they do qualified white male candidates.
    Neither does ski racing. Whats your point? If someone doesn't want to apply, then I am not going to beg them to.
    I do believe that the best candidate ought to be hired, but some emphasis ought to be placed on bringing some diversity to the fire service.
    First off, why? Secondly, which is more important - some fantasy land ideal of "diversity" or hiring the best?
    nor do I think it means that a city FD needs to reflect the makeup of a city- i.e. 55% female, 18% black, 21% latino, etc.
    So we need to be diverse, but not real diverse, huh? So if the numbers are not going to reflect the community, where are you going to set the numbers? If you are just looking for some representation - well, we already have it. Are only blacks allowed to serve in the black community? Or whites in the white community? Boy this is sounding more racist all the time! We let guys go where they want based solely on senority. It's the only fair way.
    But there has to be some way to recruit better so that, in the big picture, the COMPETITVE candidates reflect, on average, a snapshot of the city. Then, you can hire the best individual for the job.
    So, do you want the top scorers regardless of race (in other words not judged on the color of their skin - colorblind)? It sounds like your racial utopia is more important than the job. What a shame.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Working in a department that has a court ordered african-american quota for every class hired I will say this:

    There is a test to be hired for a reason. When 10s of thousands apply for a job that only hires a few hundred, you need to rank people somehow. I think they should be hired straight from the list. Otherwise, whats the point of the list. But, I can tell you from first hand knowledge. I have worked with people that got hired "on their own merit" and people that got hired "due to a hand out". Day one of fire school really proves whos who. I know plenty of "hand out hires" that I would rather work with and who know the job much better than some of those that got hired "on their own merit". I know plenty of "on their own merit" hires that have NO merit what so ever. If you dont like the way the department hires, you need to fight to change it. Once someone is hired, its up to them to set the course for their career and up to you to watch their backs. Day 1 in fire school everybody is equal and they are all your BROTHERS!!!
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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