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A Fire Service for All

Are you interested in joining the DEI Committee?

Two hundred years of tradition unimpeded by progress” – a favorite phrase of many fire service members. Change can be difficult and uncomfortable, but necessary if we are going to make a difference in our communities. I raise this as a conversation starter on diversity and inclusion in the fire service.

 


The Fire Service lacks diversity. Career firefighters in the United States are 96% male, and 82% are white. Even the military (85% male, 60% white) and law enforcement (88% male, 73% white) are more inclusive. These statistics point to the need to diversify our workforce and create a more inclusive fire service culture.

The Washington Fire Chiefs Board of Directors recently took two actions to begin tackling this topic. First, they published a statement on racism. This statement announced the Association's commitment to positive change. The Board also approved the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. This Committee will have the responsibility of assisting the Association and the fire service in beginning the conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion. 

 

Although this committee will be empowered to set the best course, we envision them recommending education and training, best practices, and other tools to help local agencies tackle these issues. We also envision this committee partnering with other WA Fire Service Associations to lead crucial conversations and implement thoughtful action to create a fire service for all. 

 

We need your help. If you are passionate about this topic and want to see positive change, we invite you to join this committee. If you or your staff are interested in joining this team of progressive fire service leaders, please contact the WA Fire Chiefs Office.

 

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Contributors

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