The Fort Worth Fire Department is looking to tackle a challenge facing fire departments across the country: a lack of women becoming firefighters.
According to documents submitted to the Fort Worth City Council, the current FWFD staffing numbers show 96.8% men and 3.2% women. Nationwide, women only make up 4% of career firefighters.
“Hiring qualified female candidates continues to be a national problem for the fire service and is one of our most complex human resource challenges,” documents stated.
In the 2020-2021 class, 124 women took the exam and 11 were hired. In the same class, documents show:
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- No Shows/Withdrawals: 20
- Did not pass interview: 7
- Eliminated during Backgrounds: 9
- Failed Aerobic Capacity Run: 28
- Resignations/Terminations while in Training: 3
- Fallout rate during hiring process: 84.81%
The department is making an effort to increase the number of women in the department including mentoring candidates before physical tests, having women in the department assist in all stages of hiring, modifying fire stations to meet the needs of women and a one-day camp for teenagers and young women between the ages of 14 and 19.