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Recruitment of women, minorities lags in Warren



Published: Fri, June 7, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

Aside from one black police officer hired in 2012, neither the Warren police nor fire department has hired a female or minority member since 1992, a report released Wednesday says.

With retirement a possibility within a few years for all four female police officers, seven black officers and all eight minority firefighters, the potential exists that both departments might have no minorities or women within four years, the report adds.

The Warren Fire Department, which has about 70 employees, has never employed a female fire-fighter.

In an attempt to restart the flow of women and minorities into these jobs, the city formed the Minority Recruitment Committee late last year.

After five meetings, the committee has submitted a report to the Warren Civil Service Commission outlining its recommendations.

These include membership in the National Firefighter Diversity Recruitment Council, greater use of television and social-media networks to notify potential candidates of job openings and having existing firefighters and police officers visit the schools.

The report also was notable for the recommendations it didn’t make — for example, in the area of physical-agility testing required of firefighter candidates.

The Rev. Frank Hearns, one of the three members of the civil-service commission, in November said something should be done to make it easier for a woman to pass the physical agility test, because no woman has ever passed it.

The committee’s report said it had made the hiring of a female firefighter its “primary concern” and discussed the physical-agility test, saying one of the city’s efforts was to employ Cuyahoga Community College in recent years to administer the test instead of the Warren Fire Department.

That was done to alleviate concerns that current male firefighters might try to sabotage a woman’s chances of passing the test, officials have said.

But the report says it has no suggestions to offer for how to help women pass the physical-agility test in the future.

At Wednesday’s meeting, The Rev. Mr. Hearns said he will want to talk about certain issues that were not addressed in the report. That discussion will take place at the next civil- service meeting at 8 a.m. July 3.

Mr. Hearns said after the meeting he thinks the fire department needs to consider ways to employ women without requiring them to compete at the same level as their young, male counterparts.

“There might be positions that could be developed for the department that wouldn’t entail all of the physical requirements,” he said.

Orneil Heller, assistant fire chief, said the committee feels membership in the National Firefighter Diversity Recruitment Council and continuing to use Cuyahoga Community College for physical agility testing are the biggest steps the city can take to increase the chances of having women join.

Atty. James Fredericka, another civil-service member, said he believes one of the report’s recommendations should be adopted immediately — discontinuing the requirement that new firefighters possess paramedic certification.

That requirement was added in hopes that the fire department might restore an ambulance service two years ago when it received a federal staffing grant. But the paramedic certification has limited the pool of applicants, which has limited the pool of minorities that can be hired, the report says.

In addition to Heller, members of the committee were firefighter Joe Deubel, Capt. Janice Gilmore and Lt. Jeff Cole of the Warren Police Department, Dave Daugherty of the city’s Human Resources office, civil-service member John DiCenso, Councilwoman Helen Rucker, Kisha Jackson of the mayor’s office, and Joan Sullivan of Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.


Comments

1Knightcap(695 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I would prefer to have my tax dollars go to the best physically fit and smartest candidates for police and fireman jobs. Also no criminal record and have to pass a drug test. In other-words, hire the best qualified for these positions.

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2123goz(559 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

...and the sign said "white guy from the 'burbs need not apply"?

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3steelwagon(284 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah right because God knows afirmative action has never benifitted a miniorty over a "white guy from the burbs

There's a reason the physical agility test is so hard .
The danger of fighting a fire and having to rescue anyone trapped in a burning building is the great equalizer here.

Physical strength is the issue and men by their physical make up are by nature stronger than women.
And that's not designed by "white guys from the burbs"
If you take issue with that you'll have to take it up with your maker.

And I do not favor creating a bogus posistion in the fire dept.just to create an unnecessary job for the purpose of hireing anybody regardless of sex or race.

Should a posistion where superior mental strength is necessary and a female out preforms her male counter parts then by all means give her the job!!
She deserves it and has proven herself more capable over the competition.

The issue here is about who is best qualified for the job period!

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4fd6636(255 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

There is no such thing as an " easier" fire for females, or for anyone else for that matter. The fire ground is a hard, dangerous place, and not a place for the weaker, less qualified individuals, regardless of sex, race, color, or creed. If a female, or anyone else for that matter wants to pass a physical to obtain one of these jobs, the answer is simple: TRAIN FOR IT!!! Weights, cardio, cross fit......... no excuses. You want it bad enough? where there is a will, their is a way. You got an excuse, you shouldn't be there. period. I know a particular female in Youngstown fire dept. who can "hang" with her male co workers all day long. How?
. She trains physically for the job. No excuses!

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5fd6636(255 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

As I wrote the last post, I came to the conclusion that I know of more than one female in their dept. who can do the job! again, TRAIN FOR IT!! Put the work in and rewards will follow!!!Do not expect anyone to hand you anything!!!

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6Knightcap(695 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Exactly fd6636. If someone steals a purse you want a Usain Bolt ripping a$$ after that thug. Not a 4'10"275lber. Maybe on a downhill run they might have chance. Turn into a human bowling ball and knock him down. Other than that I can't see that 4 footer hurdling a fence, scaling a wall or running a short sprint. And for firemen, you don't want a Wilson grad showing up at your house to inspect a possible gas leak with a lit cigarette in their mouth. The fit and the brightest only, please.

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7fd6636(255 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

As for the Wilson comment, I know some Wilson Grads who are Police and Fireman and their great!! But, I get where you're coming from!!!

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