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.