The men and women who serve our communities deserve praise. Firefighting is not about the money as most firefighters don’t get paid much higher than minimum wage. But despite the lack of pay these brave people take it upon themselves to help others in their time of need, risking their own lives to do so. You’d think that these brave emergency responders would be beyond reproach. But a UCLA Professor is upset about the current state of our Fire Departments. She basically claims that firefighters are too white and male.
Corinne Bendersky, Professor of Management and Organizations at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, claims that Fire Departments should be more diverse and inclusive.
Bendersky interviewed and trained numerous Fire Departments in order to address the “problem” she found. In doing so she found some Fire Chiefs agreed that their departments could use the diversity.
“We have to diversify, because it actually improves our organization. It helps us address the needs of the public better,” says Derek Alkonis, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) assistant chief. Ralph Terrazas, chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD), agrees: “[We] will provide a higher level of service to the communities we serve when the people of that department respect the culture, language and beliefs of the people within that community.”
She also claimed that White people are not as jolly as black folk and therefore would be useful for moral.
“Joviality — defined as “markedly good humor” and one that helps process emotional trauma — is a positive trait associated with black Americans somewhat more than with white Americans, so explaining that a jovial culture can increase crew effectiveness may reduce some of the skepticism about and exclusion of black firefighters.”
That seems like a weird selling point.
A firefighter is not a position where forced diversity hiring should even be considered. People’s lives are at stake and only the best should be hired regardless of race or gender.