May 3, 2018
Thursday, May 3, FDNY celebrated Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month at FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn. The program was organized by the FDNY Phoenix Society and the Department’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
“From charitable work and fire safety outreach to Mandarin classes for our members, the Phoenix Society and our Asian and Pacific Islander members are making a strong Department even stronger,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “This is a growing group and they are making an important impact.”
The number of FDNY members who identify as Asian has increased in the last several years. On the most recent Firefighter open competitive exam, the Department saw a 55% increase in Asian applicants.
The event featured a musical performance and a traditional lion dance.
A Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Division Chief Sophia Kwok, a 34-year veteran of EMS; and the first female Asian-American Division Chief in FDNY history. A Dedication and Service award was presented to the FDNY Ceremonial Unit for their work at FDNY events and ceremonies.
“Our society believes it's important to share our culture with the Department and welcome the Asian community into the Department,” said Phoenix Society President, David Lin. “We’re involved in the Asian community in many ways including Fire Safety Education, Recruitment, FDNY Block Parties and other related events. Today's celebration is part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen the Department's cultural awareness and partnership with the Asian community.”