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Press Releases / 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: november 30, 2006


Record-high numbers of minorities apply to become members of New York’s Bravest

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Martha K. Hirst announced today that nearly 30,000 candidates have filed applications to take the upcoming firefighter exam, and more than 40 percent of those applicants are minorities. The results come after the Fire Department launched an unprecedented and innovative 10-month recruitment campaign this year to attract a diverse group of qualified applicants.

A total of 29,638 candidates filed their applications by the November 3 deadline, and 11,918 of those are minorities, according to DCAS. The number of minorities who applied is more than double the total for the 2002 firefighter exam (5,569). More than 1,400 women have filed applications this year, a 60 percent increase from the number of women (878) who applied in 2002.

“Becoming a New York City firefighter is a wonderful career opportunity that is open to everyone who wants it, and these extraordinary results prove that,” Commissioner Scoppetta said. “Our recruiting efforts successfully attracted a diverse group of applicants who recognize that firefighters have the greatest job in the world. Now, these candidates must remain dedicated and work hard to get a chance to join New York’s Bravest.”

“These results show people of all backgrounds are extremely interested in applying for the firefighter exam,” Commissioner Hirst said. “Candidates must remember that this exam is highly competitive so they need to prepare for the next step in the hiring process – the written test being offered on January 20, 2007.”

Starting this week, the free, seven-week FDNY Tutorial Program is being offered at multiple locations throughout the five boroughs to help candidates prepare for the written test. All of the instruction times and locations can be found at Free training for the physical test will be provided in the near future at the FDNY Training Academy on Randall’s Island and New York Sports Club facilities.

The filing period for the firefighter exam lasted from August 7 to October 13. As in past years, the deadline was extended three weeks to November 3, and nearly 18,000 applications were received during that period.

Commissioner Scoppetta said the tremendous response from applicants is due to the expansion and efforts of the Fire Department’s Recruitment and Diversity Unit, which received $3.2 million in annual funding from the City and the FDNY last year. Backed by a cutting-edge advertising campaign from the Arnell Group, recruiters attended more than 2,600 community-based events this year and employed 350 firefighters and EMS members of diverse backgrounds to recruit candidates across the city. Recruiters also set up a phone bank in Queens to call thousands of potential applicants each day and offer guidance and support.

The total number of applications received this year has surpassed the totals for each of the previous firefighter exams in 2002 (23,976) and 1999 (23,167).

“Our recruiters focused on the lesser-known benefits of becoming a firefighter – flexible work schedules, generous health benefits and a lifelong pension after 20 years -- and New Yorkers of all backgrounds heard the message loud and clear,” Commissioner Scoppetta said. “But this process is not over. Applicants who desire a career in the FDNY need to study long hours, take advantage of our free tutorial sessions and prepare for the written test next month. Only the most dedicated and determined will be selected.”

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon (FDNY) (718) 999-2056 / Mark Daly (DCAS) (212) 669-7140

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