Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

SFFD needs more LGBTs, firefighter says

The San Francisco Fire Department is distributing job applications for entry-level firefighter positions, and at least one gay firefighter is hoping LGBTs will apply.

At station number 6 in the Castro, Keith Baraka, 43, said, “I’m the lone gay person out of 27 people that work there on a regular basis.”

Baraka, who’s been with the department for more than 11 years, said being a firefighter in the city is “wonderful, probably the best job I’ve ever had,” but said when it comes to recruiting for more firefighters from the LGBT community, “I believe our department could be doing a lot more.”

Baraka said LGBTs don’t make up the same proportion of the department that they do of the city’s population, and he thinks Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White should encourage more recruitment from the community.

“When diversity is lacking then that group is not, to me, properly represented,” said Baraka. “They don’t have a voice.”

Lieutenant Mindy Talmadge, Hayes-White’s spokeswoman, said recruitment is up to the city’s department of human resources, and fire department employee groups.

“We have thousands and thousands and thousands of people fill out applications, so recruitment is not really an issue,” Talmadge said.

Applications are being distributed weekdays only at fire department headquarters, 698 Second Street (at Townsend), through Wednesday, December 10. Applications must be hand-delivered from Thursday, December 11 through Saturday, December 13. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Seth Hemmelgarn

— Cynthia Laird, December 4, 2008 @ 2:37 pm PST
Filed under: News

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