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Press Releases / 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 8, 2012



Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano and Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Edna Wells Handy announced today that 42,161 people took the recent firefighter exam - including a record-breaking 19,260 minorities, a 130 percent increase over the previous exam administered in 2007. In addition, more women took this year’s test, 1,952, than the total combined number of women (1,788) who took the three previous firefighter tests (1999, 2002 and 2007).

"The extraordinary effort we made to reach people of color and women and interest them in the firefighter exam has been an unprecedented success," said Fire Commissioner Cassano. "We've used every tool at our disposal - from recruitment events and tutorial sessions to phone banks and social media - to communicate to people from all backgrounds about the great benefits and invaluable rewards this job offers."

"DCAS is proud to have assisted the FDNY’s efforts to make this test available to an historic number of candidates," said Commissioner Handy. "I would like to thank our fabulous Human Capital and Information Technology teams at DCAS for their hard work enhancing the online exam application process - which enabled applicants to submit their applications directly in our Computerized Testing Centers and more easily at the FDNY recruitment sites."

Improving diversity in the FDNY - specifically in the firefighter ranks - has been a top priority for the last decade, and has been a key initiative in all four of the Department's Strategic Plans (2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011). The effort has led to the significant and unprecedented interest from women and people of color in the two recent exams.

Minorities comprised 46 percent of all test-takers on the computer-based exam, making it the FDNY's most successful recruitment campaign ever. The test, which was developed and administered by PSI, was provided every day from March 15 to April 20 at fifteen locations in the tri-state area. A make-up exam for those who missed their scheduled exam was administered on April 26.

The record-breaking 19,260 minorities who took the exam included:

  • 8,186 Blacks, including 843 women, compared to 3,855 in 2007.
  • 9,582 Hispanics, compared to 4,062 in 2007
  • 1,314 Asians, compared to 464 in 2007
  • 1,365 Women are people of color.

FDNY Recruitment Highlights:

  • $1 million spent on advertising in more than 60 community and ethnic newspapers, as well as radio ads on urban and Hispanic stations.
  • 6,000 recruitment events conducted by FDNY members
  • 384,000 email alerts sent
  • 146,000 phone calls to interested applicants
  • 8,600 applicants attended FDNY tutorial sessions
  • 20,000 views of the FDNY online tutorial session
  • 10,000 followers on social media
  • 14,000 applicant questions answered on social media
  • 50,000 views of FDNY Recruitment videos on Youtube

For more information on FDNY Recruitment efforts and job opportunities, visit:

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Frank Dwyer, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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