FDNY Improves Minority Recruiting

After an intensive, $2.4 million recruitment campaign, city officials have received more than 22,000 applications to take the firefighter examination, and 7,850 are minority applicants.

"Never, ever have we had 35.5 percent plus minorities applying for Fire Department and that was the focus of this campaign," FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said yesterday.

Bowing to pressure from the City Council, officials extended the deadline from Oct. 13 until today.

Of the 22,462 who indicated their race on the forms, 3,424, or 15.5 percent, are black; 3,908, or 17.7 percent, are Hispanic; 476, or 2.2 percent, are Asian; 43 or 0.2 percent, are Native American; and 14,246 are white.

Female applicants make up 3.8 percent, or 857, and 365 applicants didn't indicate their ethnicity.

"We always had a huge number of [whites] applying. Our goal here was to make the applicant pool much more diverse, and I think we have succeeded," Scoppetta testified to the City Council yesterday.

He added that $1.4 million would be permanently set aside for recruitment efforts annually.

"We might get another thousand or two" applications that are postmarked today, said Martha Hirst, commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

The written exam will take place in January and a physical exam will be administered months later.

Republished with permission of The New York Post.