Kansas City fire departments on both sides of the state line say they aren’t having much success in their efforts to diversify their ranks.
The Kansas City Star reports the most recent graduation of new Kansas City, Kansas, firefighters had only one woman and no African-Americans in a class of 26. That bothered Mayor Mark Holland, who says he’s looking for better ways to recruit candidates who more closely reflect the community they will serve.
Across the river in Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department spokesman James Garrett says inner-city children have the impression that being a firefighter isn’t a viable option because of the lack of diversity they see at their neighborhood fire stations.
Holland says he doesn’t understand why kids aren’t clamoring for jobs with better-than-average pay.