NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the FDNY under attack for not having enough minorities in the department, fire commissioner Sal Cassano took his campaign to 125th Street in Manhattan two days ahead of the recruitment deadline.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond In Harlem

He says 48 percent of the applicants are minorities.

“The numbers are good, but we want to make them better and that’s why we’re here because we’re trying to get as many people in these last couple of days to get out there [and] sign up. It’s the greatest job in the world,” said Cassano.

The deadline to apply for the January exam is Thursday at midnight.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: FDNY Looks To Attract Minorities

The department is under fire for its recruiting practices and racism complaints.

A lawsuit was even filed by the Vulcan Society.

“You’re always going to find that, no matter if you’re in corporate job or here, within the fire department. There’s always going to be that,” Recruiter Khalid Bailer, who has been a firefighter for eight year, told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond.

Though the department is 91 percent white, Bailer says the FDNY is committed to diversification.

The FDNY holds a minority recruitment drive in Harlem - New York, NY - Sep 13, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

The FDNY holds a minority recruitment drive in Harlem - New York, NY - Sep 13, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Firefighter Regina Wilson was also on hand to try to get some women to sign up.

“I’ll stand right next to other guys and they still won’t believe that I do the job, but I’m hoping that this recruitment drive will help to change the dynamics,” she said.

A soldier with the United States Army stopped by the recruitment table and said he would “use the fire department as an elevation to see what I can provide.”

Another potential recruit, 19-year-old Eric Jameson, said,”I like helping people and it would give me a chance to do something I didn’t, it’s a challenge for me.”

Do you think there needs to be more diversity in the FDNY? Sound off below!

Comments (5)
  1. ckells8 says:

    My son applied for this test, he is a white male. this whole minority thing is very frustrating!!! Its a test, take it do well and get hired. Why does this always happen? So if my son is a white male and gets a 100 on the test does this mean that a minority who takes the test and gets a 100 also gets hired first? what about the physical part of the test? my son 100, minority 100. who gets hired first? This is what bothers me. nothing to do with racism, but it just seems like being white these days is a disadvantage.

  2. John says:


  3. The Facts says:

    If the test is fair and job related, all candidates should be rated using the same standards. This is the American way. No special advantage should be given to anyone. Everone should be bound by the results without political or other interferance.

  4. JOHN says:


  5. JR says:

    Attract them??? Yeah, make sure those you “attract” ae smart enought and capable enough to do the job without being graded differently then white people! I still to this day can not understand why a question about identifying a hammer is counted for whites but not minorities because too many minorities got the question wrong. WHat does identifying a claw hammer have to do with being a monority or white?????

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