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African-Canadian Cadets Attend Fire Fighter's School

(Monday, February 16/2004) - African- Canadian history continues to evolve in HRM as 11 students begin training today at the Nova Scotia Fire Fighters School after completing a stringent recruitment process with the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Service.

Two other African-Canadian cadets will be attending the next class, beginning in August. The Fire Fighters School had reserved 10 seats for applicants under the HRM designated recruitment program, but 13 successfully completed all aspects of the recruitment process. An additional seat became available in the class for the current term, leaving two others to be accommodated in the next class.

The goal of the designated recruitment program is to attract more candidates from the African-Canadian communities in the region. The candidates were required to meet Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency's standard recruitment criteria which includes interviews, physical abilities, psychological and medical testing. Once the candidates successfully complete their training, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency guarantees to hire them as fire fighters.

Chief Michael Eddy said "We are pleased with the large number of high calibre candidates who applied under the program. The majority of the candidates have post-secondary education and were employed in other fields before enrolling in our program."

The Halifax regional Fire and Emergency Service established a partnership with members of the Black Community Workgroup of Halifax Co-operative Limited, Watershed Association Development Enterprises, the African Canadian Employment Clinic and the YMCA Enterprise Centres to develop and promote this initiative in conjunction with black firefighters now in service and other HRM representatives.

Since 1996, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency has made efforts to attract African-Canadians to train as fire fighters. Information sessions were held at the Black Cultural Centre, assistance/support was provided by the African Canadian Employment Clinic, and a list of black communities/contacts was developed and used to promote the career of firefighting. Also, a school work place program was implemented and an innovative hiring process was implemented in 1997. Despite these efforts, there are still only seven African-Canadian firefighters employed by Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency.

Chief Eddy said "The Fire and Emergency wants to comply with the true spirit of Halifax Regional Municipality's Employment Equity Policy, as well as create a workplace which is representative of the community we serve. Therefore, it is necessary to take special measures to address systemic attitudinal barriers and increase minority representation."


Chief Mike Eddy
Director, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Service
(902) 490-4238

Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.