FDNY launches new recruitment campaign to increase diversity

"All Heroes Welcome" is the FDNY's new recruitment campaign aimed to increase diversity within the department.

The last class to graduate from the fire academy in March saw over half of its number made up of minorities.

Firefighters Shanah LaRoche and Ashley LaRoche, who are sisters, explained why diversity matters.

"I'd never seen someone that looks like me in the fire department. So, the first time I did see one, I said OK this is something I can do," Shanah LaRoche said.

"As soon as I hop off the rig and people see me, grown people, children, they're yelling 'I see you girl!'" Ashley LaRoche said.

The FDNY says it wants the department to reflect the city it serves.

The last open enrollment recruitment campaign was in 2017, and it is normally held every four years. However, the department did not have one in 2020 because of the pandemic. 

The department will be advertising for applicants on the transit system, social media, online, career fairs, colleges, and churches. 

The FDNY says it is looking for people who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

"Who are looking to do something special with their lives. Looking for a job that is more than a job, a career that's more than a career. It's really a commitment to a life of service," FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said. 

Currently, the FDNY says 28% of firefighters are minorities.

  • 16.5%: Hispanic
  • 10%: Black
  • 2.5%: Asian
  • 1.6%: Women

Anyone interested in applying to be a New York City firefighter must be between the ages of 17 and a half and 29 years old, and you can apply starting June 24 until Aug. 9.