City Launches Firefighter Recruitment Campaign Focused On Women

In recent years a dearth of female firefighters has been a major focus in the OIB comments section by retired firefighters Donald Day and Ron Mackey who’ve repeatedly pointed out the lack of diversity in the department.

The demands of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), for background see here, has been cited as an issue.

The city on Thursday kicked off a campaign for a new recruitment class with a heavy emphasis of attracting female candidates including a video, see above, of current female firefighters Sheila Vega, Necole Dundy-Pittman and Montique Moore speaking about the career benefits and breaking down gender barriers.

The CPAT registration has begun. It closes on March 9. Fire Department applications open April 22. CPAT application form here

This is also an election year for Mayor Joe Ganim who could face a challenge from State Senator Marilyn Moore who has leveraged her public platform about empowering females and minorities.

“Throughout the years the Bridgeport Fire Department has been a fundamental part of keeping Bridgeport safe,” said Ganim in a prepared statement. “Now they are looking for new public servants that will honor its legacy of keeping our residents safe. We are looking for a diverse group of brave men and women that will represent our city.”

Bridgeport Fire Chief Thode said, “We are looking to expand our fire department by hiring a new recruit class. Both men and women, who have integrity and passion, are welcome to apply. Our department needs individuals who are dedicated to the city of Bridgeport. If you are willing to train and work hard, then you have what it takes to become a Bridgeport Firefighter.”

The fire department receives over 20,000 calls a year, according to the chief. Most calls are for medical emergencies, disposing of hazardous waste, fire alarms and structural fires. Besides answering emergency calls firefighters also install smoke alarms for residents, teach fire education to the public, and partake in charity events.



  1. Ron & Don,

    Thank you for your agitation on this matter. See the squeaky wheel do eventually get some oil. I think this is wonderful! I am so proud that our city leaders are focusing on this issue. It is needed!

  2. The City of Bridgeport is knowingly discriminating against all women by using CPAT. The three Bridgeport females firefighters in this article did not have to take the CPAT exam and they are very good firefighters which makes the point that Donald Day and myself have been saying for years, why is CPAT still being used 11 years with no women being hired. What is the magic in CPAT, nothing, it saves the City money because the candidates have to pay for taking CPAT. Is there a problem with these three female firefighters in performing their duties? If there’s no problem then why the change? Bridgeport is deliberately discriminating against all female candidates and the only solution is for a federal lawsuit against Civil Service, David Dunn, the Bridgeport Fire Dept,the Bridgeport Fire Commission, the City of Bridgeport and Mayor Ganim.

  3. I find this recruitment drive to eviscerate the hiring of women like it has done for the last eleven years. I find it somewhat laughable when they make special attention to hiring women when we have called attention to this practice exclusion being used and how after thirty years of hiring women David Dunn felt the need to change what worked to diversity the BFD.

    What I find equally reprehensible is that the Firebird Society which I am a founding member would lower its self to be part of a hiring drive that they know discriminates against women. At what point does my organization say we are not part of this discriminatory practice of hiring while just a scant 40 years ago Black’s were the object of hiring discrimination instead of women.

    This isn’t the organization that we built to fight discrimination in the Fire Service . This isn’t the organization that we built just to go along to get along. This isn’t the organization that we built to stand on the side of righteousness because we knew that discrimination against one is discrimination against all of us.

    Current female firefighters Sheila Vega, Lt. Necole Dundy-Pittman and Lt. Montique Moore can look themselves in the mirror and see the last female firefighters of the BFD and should ask themselves, Why didn’t I do anything to help other young girls to become firefighter’s like us when we knew that the new hiring process was discriminatory to women. Ladies, if not you than who and if not now then when, because you know personally that CPAT has nothing to do with being a good firefighter. There’s a lot of SHAME to go around, Mayor Ganim, David Dunn, the Firebird Society and current female firefighters Sheila Vega, Necole Dundy-Pittman and Montique Moore. Brother Mackey and I couldn’t be the only ones that care if women are hired as firefighters in the BFD. Can we?

  4. Don, we have been retired for over 17 years so what the hell does it matter to us if women are not being hired to be firefighters, there’s nothing on it for us. We do it out of love and the fact that there were people who fought to get us hired and some of these people we will never know but we are thankful and we owe and our way of paying back is to help others the way we were given help. I find it sad that no elected female has spoken out.

  5. Ron & Don,
    I commend the both of you. You work truly tirelessly on behalf on minorities and females.
    Don’t give up.
    And don’t take Frank’s comment lightly. Just as you must work to get women on the Fire Department the same holds true for the mayor’s office. You don’t need to pass a CPAT to prove you can do the job you just have to prove to the voters you can.

  6. If the desired result is more female firefighters, just make every fifth new hire a female regardless of test score, CPAT results, pregnancy, criminal record, etc.

    The city council can vote on a resolution.

    How difficult was that?

    I could not resist.

    Now Frick and Frack will comment.

  7. Tom White being white again, Tom as you know that was the American way and that’s what President 45 means with make America great again, those were the good old days you remember blacks need not apply.

  8. CPAT or Candidate Physical Agility Testing was originally from the International Association of Fire Chiefs as a means to test the quality of health for current firefighters. Unions across America said you’re not going to test our firefighters because it is an unrealistic standard and it could result in mass failures. Some genius decided to use this test for fire entry level exams even though they knew it would eliminate women because the test focused on upper body strength.

    Of the six largest cities in Connecticut, Stamford, Norwalk and Waterbury have been using CPAT for two decades and you can count the women on all of their departments combined, on four fingers. New Haven has never used this unrealistic standard, Hartford used it at one time but quit because it eliminated women which they knew added a valuable asset to their department, Women. Bridgeport started using this unrealistic standard under the leadership of David Dunn and we haven’t hired a woman in eleven years.

    As a Captain of the second largest company in the city I had the pleasure of commanding and working with numerous women firefighters and without exception they were great firefighters and not one had taken or passed CPAT. Bridgeport, we don’t need CPAT as much as we need women representation in the fire service. CPAT is wrong, immoral and unjust and was initiated by David Dunn to remove women as Bridgeport firefighters.

  9. Ron, did you know that black men and all women are a protected classes?

    The only group of Americans that are not ‘protected’ are white males. I suppose that means that being a white male, I cannot make excuses and I have fewer protections of my legal rights as an American. I have experienced this.

    Yes, I would like to see America great again, where we are judged by the content of our heart and not the color of our skin. Another way to say it would to be judged by our ability and actions and not a phony effort to promote ‘protected classes’ ahead of white males.

    It is likely that this focus on hiring females is just another Ganim campaign component.

    Does it mean that white males need not apply? Of course not. Let’s hope that woman apply and are competitive on a level playing field.

  10. Tom (being) White you have what is called, White-Oppression Complex. One of the most noticeable symptoms of WOC is the belief that people of color, women, feminists, gay and transgender folks all came together to concoct a nefarious plan to persecute the straight, white male and eventually eliminate him from American society.

    It begins with Caucasianosis crysalott—commonly known as “white tears.” If left untreated, it can grow into the full-blown belief in “white genocide”—the idea that there is a deliberate effort to outbreed and destroy the great white race. Don’t worry Tom (being) White there is a cure for this affliction.

  11. I had to go to ‘The Root’ (‘blackness in your inbox daily’) to find the silly, concocted expressions that Day uses.

    He lives in his world of afrocentricity and tries to pass himself off as learned.

    Sadly, the nonsense that Day preaches may be rubbing off on young black people and contributing to their isolation from mainstream American society. I wonder if Day has a term for that. He will need to consult
    ‘The Root – blackness in your inbox daily’.

  12. Lennie, you stated, “This is also an election year for Mayor Joe Ganim who could face a challenge from State Senator Marilyn Moore who has leveraged her public platform about empowering females and minorities.” Lennie, this video was made with dual purpose, first the video showcase a diverse group of firefighters and highlighting two black females and one Hispanic female and Mayor Ganim has two possible strong candidates for mayor, State Senator Marilyn Moore and retired Judge, Carmen Lopez. First, let me address black women, black women are the most loyal voter in the Democratic Party, and remember it was Joe Ganim who used the IMA the group of black ministers at their annual Emancipation Day celebration on Jan. 1, 2015 at Rev. Stallworth’s church with his come to Jesus moment of his so call apologize for the crimes he committed without saying what he did. Well, here we are 4 years later and Joe Ganim again is using black females as props in this video.

    What are we missing here, for 11 years no women have been hired to become a firefighter, 11 years and what does Mayor Ganim gives us, nothing, the city is still giving the same agility test, CPAT, that has kept white women, Hispanic women, black women, all women know matter who. Mayor Ganim is spraying perfume on pig by still wanting women to take the same exam that has not hired any women for over 11 years but this time he’s putting perfume on pig and saying things have changed. Women, don’t fall for this crap, there are women out there that you know who would love to have a career where they can take care of their self and their family but Mayor Ganim won’t make the change to help our sisters to become firefights but Joe Ganim will pop up in your church asking you to vote for him. Mayor Ganim knows that State Senator Marilyn Moore and retired Judge, Carmen Lopez will be a strong challenge to be the next mayor. Let me ask the question to Mayor Joe Ganim, why should candidates for the fire department have to pay $175 to take the CPAT exam and they have to drive to Windsor Lock to Bradley Airport to take the CPAT exam? Mayor Ganim, how much longer will Bridgeport not hire women to be firefighters? Joe Ganim has put it right in our face, he has no intention of getting rid of CPAT and we need to put it in his face that we will not vote for you. Mayor Ganim is spraying perfume on pig and he wants you to like it.


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