FDNY Commissioner Scoppetta Seeks Minority Recruits


IKIMULISA SOCKWELL-MASON
Courtesy New York Post


Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta made a recruiting call to a Brooklyn church yesterday to encourage minorities to join New York's Bravest.

Scoppetta told hundreds of parishioners at Concord Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant that, despite what they may have heard, the FDNY's doors are open to minority recruits and the pay isn't so bad.

Scoppetta said at least half the population of New York City are women and minorities, but 93 percent of the FDNY's ranks are white men.

"There's something severely wrong with this picture, and we have to change it," he said.

Despite the fact that the city delayed hiring 300 firefighters for budgetary reasons, Scoppetta still encouraged minorities to apply.

He said the base pay is $50,000 and, in a matter of a few years, a senior firefighter can earn $60,000.

"There is a perception that the Fire Department is not a welcoming place," he said. "I see some of you nodding your heads."

But he countered that "race and culture" take second place to the camaraderie and bonds firefighters build.

"Diversity within the department is respected," he said.

Interested recruits have until Oct. 31 to apply. The deadline was extended to allow more women and minorities to become part of the applicant pool. Applicants, who must be 17 to 29 years old, will be required to take a written civil-service test and a physical exam that follows.

http://www.firehouse.com/news/2002/10/28_Pfdny.html