The department last week announced a 10-point plan that included using a wider range of recruitment methods and the establishment of a new workgroup and advisory committee.
"In the past, we relied on traditional recruitment methods, such as posting positions on the website and word of mouth,” said fire department chief Michael Cox in a press release. “Our recent classes suggest that we can’t expect recruits to come to us just because we post a job. We have to engage in active outreach in all communities and tell prospects why they should join the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.”
The Caucus of African American Leaders received a copy of the recruitment plan during its Oct. 15 meeting. Group representative Carl Snowden called it "a very good first step."
Fire officials said their goal is to have a fire department that is representative of the diversity of Anne Arundel County. About 17 percent of the county is African-American, but the department's latest recruitment class had just three minorities, officials said.
While the department did not offer specific numerical goals, it said the recruitment plans will seek to "ensure an all-encompassing diverse workforce that is representative of the multi-cultural communities we serve."
Key components of the plan include:
- Establishment of a Recruitment Workgroup that includes firefighters reflective of the community they serve.
- Expanding the venues where the department recruits, including diverse community groups, paid advertising on urban/minority radio and minority newspapers, and fire station open houses.
- Creation of a recruitment advisory committee, to include members of the black, Hispanic and Asian communities.