The FDNY reports that their current demographics are:
- RACE: 91% White, 5% Hispanics, 3% Blacks, .6% Asians
- GENDER: 99.7% Men, .3% Women
The department also plans to embark on a broad, multilingual publicity campaign to get the word out, and increase training for probationary firefighters.
Capt. Paul Washington, president of a group of black firefighters, expressed concern that these steps, while welcome, might not be sufficient. "Those that take the test tend to get on the list in equal numbers, but the problem is that blacks tend to be at the bottom of the list and don't get reached as well as their white counterparts," he said. The Department of Justice has an ongoing investigation into possible hiring discrimination in the FDNY.
The next FDNY test in January 2007 will guide hiring for the next four years.
More: Newsday, New York Daily News article and editorial, Staten Island Advance.