Grant Program to Increase Diversity in Fire and EMS

Grant Program to Increase Diversity in Fire and EMS

Oshkosh Fire, Firefighter ABC's and FVTC partner on new program

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

The Oshkosh Fire Department, Firefighter ABC’s and Fox Valley Technical College are partnering together on a grant program that will help remove obstacles for underrepresented groups so they can pursue careers in firefighting and emergency medical services.

This collaboration was made possible by a generous donation from a private organization.  The partnership aims to help prepare qualified candidates to enter the field while increasing the diversity within the profession.

“Something that we are striving for is to have our department be reflective of our community members,” says Michael Stanley, fire chief of Oshkosh Fire Department. “By being able to help supplement funding for tuition to women and other typically underrepresented groups we hope to help remove a potential obstacle that may limit someone’s potential to pursue their dreams and goals of joining the fire department.”

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reported that in 2020 only 9% of firefighters in the United States were female.  Nationally, the most common ethnicity for firefighters is white, accounting for 76.8%.  Firefighter ABC’s has been an industry leader in creating a focused effort to improve representation for all social segments and formed the Firefighter Diversity Recruitment Council which the Oshkosh Fire Department is a member of. Those interested in applying for the grant should visit the Oshkosh Fire Department's website for details.

The announcement of the grant program was covered in local media. Learn more:
WBAY: Oshkosh Fire Dept. seeking to address diversity in the industry
WLUK: Oshkosh Fire Department aims to promote diversity by providing tuition assistance