NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Activists and lawmakers on Wednesday called for the FDNY to step up its hiring of female firefighters.

At a rally on the steps of City Hall just before a New York City Council hearing on the issue, Elizabeth Holtzman, a former congresswoman and Brooklyn district attorney, blasted the department for its lack of progress over the past few decades, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

Holtzman said that in 1982, there were 41 women in the Fire Department. In 2014, there are 44.

“That’s the best that New York City can do?” she said. “I don’t think so.”

At the council hearing, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro promised to fix things by accelerating recruitment of women and by changing firefighters’ training.

“We need to ensure we are using all the resources at our disposal to help women navigate through the hiring and academy process successfully,” Nigro told lawmakers.

He said the FDNY needs to do a better job at recruiting female firefighters.

“So far, we have not done a good job in recruiting women who have the physical ability and the desire to be firefighters,” he said. “Certainly, there are thousands of woman capable of being firefighters in this city.”

He also said the department is going to great lengths to ensure that female firefighters have proper restroom facilities.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” posts_per_page=”4″]