Minority Recruitment: Identifying Ways to Enhance Diversity in the Delray Beach Fire-Rescue Department [open pdf - 611KB]
"In the twenty-first century fire service, therein rests an early twentieth century problem. Despite the efforts to change the appearance of the modern fire service to reflect the demographical landscape of communities served, a homogeneous countenance remains. Such is the predicament of the Delray Beach Fire-Rescue Department. The problem is the DBFR [Delray Beach Fire-Rescue Department] has not been successful in recruiting minority candidates to meet departmental goals. The purpose of this applied research project is to identify methods to successfully recruit minority candidates to meet departmental goals. In order to achieve the stated goal of this research project, the descriptive research method was utilized. The research questions utilized were: a) What programs have private sector organizations developed to recruit minorities? b) Identify minority recruit initiatives employed by the fire service; c) Identify minority recruitment methods utilized by other public safety agencies; d) How has the armed forces diversified through recruitment measures? and e) Identify obstacles preventing the successful recruitment of minority candidates. The procedure included a literature review, personal communications, a 13 question survey, and answering five associated research questions. Results of the applied research project identified some commonalities in conventional minority recruitment initiatives deemed successful and others that were out of the box type initiatives. There were nine recommendations stemming from the study. Recommendations included formation of a diverse recruitment team, the development and implementation of a strategic recruitment plan, a measure to provide a mini CPAT [Candidate Physical Abilities Test] training session, establish recruiting trips, expand outreach to local schools and construct and nurture relationships, to name a few. If the DBFR Department follows the recommendations delineated in this applied research project, the department will enhance its diversity through greater minority representation. In doing so, DBFR can develop a model recruitment plan for other agencies to adopt."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/