Case for Affirming Diversity: Reflective Recruitment That Represents the Community Served [open pdf - 8MB]
From the thesis Abstract: "Fitchburg Fire Department's (FFD) membership today is not diverse, primarily because the department has experienced limited success in recruiting motivated, diverse firefighter candidates. This thesis poses the following research questions: What can be done to identify current barriers that discourage or hamper reflective recruitment in FFD? And what can be done to overcome recruitment obstacles? The research relied on a focus group composed of Fitchburg-area civic leaders who could share a historical perspective, discuss operational and systematic bias, and consider solutions through reflective recruitment and targeted community outreach. The group's recommendations were incorporated into a plan that involved short-, medium-, and long-term recruitment outreach and recruitment goals over a two-year timeline. The group identified potential school programs, racially centric groups, and current FFD membership that can positively influence prospective firefighter candidates. Recognizing that professional standards need not be compromised in the pursuit of a more representative workforce, the focus group recommended intentional acts of inclusion to stimulate occupational and organizational interest. This thesis finds that if FFD aims to recruit a workforce that resembles the community served, inclusivity will depend largely on targeted neighborhood outreach, a form of affirmative action."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/