Purpose of the report 4
Literature Review 5
Research method 9
The fire service is mandated with ensuring that the city is livablethrough the services they provide that include prevention, educationand emergency response in their allocated cities. The fire serviceensures that public safety is provided in the stations they haveallocated. Public safety is based on the principles of prevention,preparedness, and response, and it is also each citizen’sresponsibility. The service that is provided by the fire service ispart of the public safety services. The fire service, rescue crews,police departments, and community bylaws are part of the providers ofpublic safety and have been recognized in the communities (Dawson,2015). The fire service responds to several calls in their localcommunities as well as in the areas they have partnerships with otherfire services.
The public safety branches provide a service to the community. Theyprovide prevention services which involve the fire serviceundertaking the initiative to go into the homes of the members of thecommunity and giving the people advice on fire safety while they fitthe smoke alarms in those homes or community businesses. Theprovision of the fire protection services is as important as theemergency firefighting they are mandated to undertake when they arecalled by the members of the public. They also offer inspectionservices which are coupled with public education. The emergencyresponse to the calls made by the members of the community does notonly involve fighting fires that have broken out in the buildings andother property, but they also attend to life safety services. Theyinclude technical rescue, emergency medical services, and containmentof hazardous materials (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2013).
The fire service is, therefore, one of the providers of publicsafety and ensures that life safety is livable and maintained at themost crucial times of crisis in the communities. It is also aprofession, and like any other profession, the fire service is facedwith challenges and opportunities, and in the recent years, theissues of diversity or the lack of it in the rescue crews and fireservice have sparked a division in opinions. The issue has been anemotional challenge with many people pushing for or biased againstthe diversity in the fire service and rescue crews. Diversity isdefined as the condition of being diverse, a variety and secondly asbeing a range of different things, which is synonymous with anassortment, or an array. The fire service is faced with the diversityissue due to the emerging community diversity which would theninfluence the employee diversity. The fire department has toadjust its organizational culture and manage the issue that isstemming from the diversity in the local geographical region underthe fire service.
Diversity is divided into different categories which will classifythe fire department profile. The cultural diversity encompassesnationality, religion, and language of the firefighters while thesub-cultural diversity entails the age, gender, and community of thefirefighter. The individual difference is also present which impliesthe differences in the personal traits or the learning or trainingstyles among the firefighters. The firefighters are also diverse inthe category they are in, which include being a volunteer, paidon–call or career firefighter. The term diversity thus carries alot of weight and a variety of means in the fire department. Theissue of a lack of diversity, however, affects the socio-culturalcategory. The problem of women numbers in the fire department hasbeen raised and has not yet seen a rise in the numbers, just like anyother profession that is male dominated (Carter, 2016). The number ofwomen firefighters has seen more attention over the period offeminism and can be coupled with the concerns over the lack ofdiversity in the fire departments. The issue is also linked to theUnited States Fire Administration whose goal is to improve theprofessional status of the fire and emergency services (Andrews,Ashworth, & Meier, 2014). The diverse workforce will bring a widearray of perspectives and solutions to the problem-solving table andfurther meet the varying needs of the members of the community.
The diversity provided through nationality, religion and language ofthe firefighter has been the primary concern or its lack of it in thefire department that is serving a jurisdiction. A jurisdictionencompasses the members of the community who are much more diverse.The statistics have shown that the Caucasians are in high numbers inthe fire service and rescue crews and this is a correctrepresentation of the states with many of them accommodating more ofthe white individuals in the community than any other cultural group(Jahnke et al., 2014). The minority ethnic groups include the AfricanAmerican, Hispanic, Indian, and Asian/Pacific. The numbers offirefighters from the minority ethnic group have been amisrepresentation of the community profile regarding the numbers ofthe minorities. Despite the lack of diversity in regards to theminorities numbers in the fire department, the firefighter workforceis still more than ninety percent male showing the few women thathave taken on the calling of the fire department.
Purposeof the report
The aim of the report is to analysis the reasons behind the lack ofdiversity in the white male dominated the profession. The career hasbeen dominated by one major ethnic group and efforts to diversify thefire department workforce with the women, and other minority ethnicgroups have been met with resistance. The fire service may have beenconsidered to be biased against the diversification of the workforcewith the increasing diversification of the jurisdiction the fireservice is located in. Reasons behind such views are studied in thereport to provide a sense of direction on how the issue can betackled by the Chiefs of the various fire brigades or fire service.There have been headlines in the news outlets that have indicated theexistence of fire service diversity conflicts, and it is a show ofthe seriousness of the issue in the fire service. The impact of thelack of diversity in the fire service will be examined too.
The project aims at disentangling the management nightmare regardingthe issue of diversity in the fire department and other rescue crewsfacing the same problem. The management of diversity in the workforcewill be for the fire department’s sake to bring long-term benefits.The management will ensure that activities such as employeegrievances and lawsuits that occur in connection with the lack ofdiversity issue will cease and the resources directed there can beredirected to providing excellence in their services.
The lack of a diverse workforce in the fire department can be due tothe issues in the recruitment and retention of the employees theyobtain. In every government public sector organization, it is theirgoal to recruit and maintain a diverse workforce that is arepresentation of the jurisdiction they serve (Daly, 2015). The firedepartment has to ensure that upon recruitment of a diverse laborforce, the revolving door phenomena does not occur and promoteretention of the firefighters who make up a diverse workforce. Thereare, however, factors that impede the recruitment and retention of adiverse workforce in the fire service in the American society asevidenced by the majority of the states. The American fire departmenthas been heavily dominated by the Caucasian males requiring therecruitment of females and other ethnic groups to make an inclusiveand diverse workforce.
The perception of the society is a contributing factor. Thefirefighter has been stereotyped among the members of the communityand has been given a description which has persisted over time. Thepublic image would be a six foot plus, military haircut, grim-faced,white man. Such an image that has continued over a century has thusinfluenced the recruitment and retention of woman and firefightersfrom the minority groups (Bernstein, 2013). The description does notcover all the members of the society that would be interested in theprofession or as volunteers in the fire department. Such a stereotypeis an indication of the lack of a diverse workforce in the fireservice that would interact with the community members. Thestereotype is also powered by the fact that there is a lack ofawareness among the public. During the growing up period of thegeneration heading into working jobs were raised by the heroism ofthe firefighters. A lack of minority groups in the fire service isdue to lack of role models within the neighborhoods. The issue hasbeen of concern with the increasingly more acts and laws being passedto ensure that women are provided the opportunities to enter intomale-dominated careers. The creation of awareness would ensure thatsuch stereotypes are broken and that women and minority candidatespursuing firefighting positions can have a chance like everyCaucasian male candidate.
The manner in which firefighter candidates are chosen for a positionhas an influence in attaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. Therubric on which candidates are selected by the interviewees shouldensure that all candidates are put on the same level platform withoutregards to their ethnic groups or gender. The article ‘Diversity:Most programs don’t work. Here’s what to do about it.’ byHarvard Business Review gave several ideas why the recruitment andretention of firefighters were proving difficult in obtaining adiverse workforce. The paper explicitly states that just as mostprofessions, the fire service has a bias towards diversity. Thechoice picked for the positions would have been based on a bias sinceone is likely to choose what appears to them.
The ‘traditional’ image has influenced not only the members ofthe community but also the white male firefighters who have beenrecruited into the fire service. The headlines of news outlet haveshown that there are diversity conflicts since the women or minorityethnic groups or the smaller groups of people are bullied by theother firefighters. Often those in leadership positions have beenfound complacent with the diversity conflicts occurring in their fireservice. The concerns of the fire department have been tackledthrough reforms that would promote an inclusive and diverseworkforce. However, the reforms have been seen by the majority of thefirefighters as necessary changes and they have been met with angerand resistance among the firefighters. The animosity that is beingexperienced by female and minority firefighters is due to thestereotypes that have lingered over the years in the fire service.The persistence of such acts has been a factor in the loss of membersof an inclusive and diverse workforce in the fire department. Thebullying of minority and female firefighters by other firefighterswould increasingly lead to workers turnover thus lowering thelikelihood of a diverse workforce in the fire service.
The fire service is part of the public sector and aims at being anorganization that serves the community but is also for the people. Itshould be an all-inclusive organization which would then be a magnetin recruiting the members of the community, either as volunteers oras career firefighters. The fire service is also a part of thesociety, and thus the traditional recruit pool is not the only sourceof firefighters with the increase in interest in female and minorityfirefighters. The increasingly diverse community in which the fireservice attends to provides more different firefighters who should berecruited to the fire service and rescue crews. The presentrepresentation of women and men from the minority groups andCaucasian women in the fire service workforce does not match up withthat in the population of the fire station jurisdiction (Ainsworth,Batty & Burchielli, 2014).
The U.S Fire Department Profile from National Fire ProtectionAssociation recorded in 2014 that the women firefighters make up 7 %of all firefighters (Haynes & Stein, 2016). The report alsoinvestigated the numbers of the career and volunteer firefighters inthe country. From that, the volunteer firefighters are more than thecareer firefighters. The numbers have been increasing over time.Giving the example of the city of Omaha which has about 641firefighters, only 74 of those are from the minority groups, and atotal of 32 firefighters are women. In the city, the African Americanpopulation makes up 13 percent of the total population. In theDaphne fire department, the Caucasian male makes up over 90 %. In2011, no female firefighters were in the Daphne fire department,showcasing the disparity of the numbers among the firefighters.
The fire department and all public safety organization are faced withthe lack of diverse among the workforce. The diversity of theworkforce is, however, expected to produce benefits for theorganization. Changes must be done by the institution and thecultural shift to increase diversity in the workforce is rooted instrong leadership (Jahnke, Haddock & Poston, 2014). Leadership ismost effective when the behavior of the leader is mirrored by thesubordinates, and it is what is desired from the file and rankingstation. The leader is crucial in the recruitment and retention of adiverse workforce. The mayor and chief of the fire department shouldensure that their attitude towards the minority and womenfirefighters is supportive of developing them together with theCaucasian firefighters in the same pace. The same pace would ensurethat all firefighters are prepared to have a proactive and educatedcharacter that is ideal for the public safety departments. TheCandidate Physical Ability Test is the commonly used test to gaugethe physical ability of a candidate. It should be utilized for bothmale and female firefighters to ensure that the female is alsophysically able to perform the responsibilities of a firefighter(Jahnke et al., 2015). Physical strength and the ability to carry outthe duties of a firefighter have been one of the factors that woulddeter a female candidate from pursuing the firefighting positions inthe fire service.
The fire department culture supports the emerging community andemployee diversity in their workforce.
The project investigation will be conducted using both quantitativeand qualitative methods. The descriptive research method was used inthe questionnaires issued to the firefighters in several fire servicestations in the city of California. The questions that will be askedinclude the following. Which recruiting methods have obtained thehighest numbers of employees in a diverse and inclusive workplace?What are the external factors that would impede the female andminority firefighting candidates from pursuing positions in theadministration of the fire department? What are the internal factorsthat would be contributing to the low diversity of the fire serviceemployment? What are the factors that would lead to increaseddiversity in the workforce? What are impacts that they expect withthe emerging diversity in the profession?
The questions asked are part of the survey that is done during thedata collection. Based on the model developed by Thomas on theorganizational culture, the root of the lack of diversity should beinvestigated. The question survey produced will aim at assessing thelevel of diversity in the workforce of the selected fire stations inthe state of California. The root causes of lack of diversity withinthe workforces the firefighters work in. The work will gatherstatistics on which of the recruiting methods employed has beenuseful in establishing the diversity in the workplace.
Through the questionnaire, the demographic of the selected fireservice station could be compiled. The figures will be converted topercentages among the participating fire departments. The levels ofrecruitment and retention of firefighters that make up an inclusiveand diverse workforce in a fire department will be calculated throughthe fire department human resource department in the city. Thestatistics will give the researcher an idea of how much turnoverlevels a fire service has. The figures will also argue for therecruiting methods that will effectively promote the development of adiverse workforce. The number of firefighters that have had jobturnovers will also be calculated. Should the reasons for suchturnover be related to the diversity issue, the number orfirefighters who have left their workplaces due to diversity-relatedconflicts will be compared to the overall turnover rates. It willgive an indication of the levels of diversity in the departments andthe levels of diversity-related incidents among the co-workers.
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