EMS Diversity and inclusion


Family Guy
"Minority" outreach is wasted effort that can be done on outreach period.
So hiring diversity means lowering standards?
Funny, I interpreted this more along the lines of implicating our fields overall—generally—marginal recruitment strategies in regards to recruitment of, say, one specific applicant pool (i.e., young white males) making the OP’s thread topic sort of a moot point.

I don’t recall a whole lot of EMS fairs, or show and tells as a kid growing up. I never had the local ambulance companies in my area show up on career day at my high school.

I now live in a conservative part of California and know my company does, and has been doing, these sort of events for arguably decades regardless of the side of the city the schools are on or in.

Where I struggle with this thread topic is the “fairness” of something such as what the OP is suggesting. Meaning how fair, and to what extent is it fair to all parties involved?

My personal opinion regarding workplace discrimination is it can exist, sure. But I think a lot of, if any of it, can also be indirect or even subconsciously portrayed with little to no malice.

We have certainly become a hyper alert society with a lot of good coming in the ways of awareness. However, sometimes things are just human nature and meant as nothing more.

Going back to one of my earlier posts, and to drive this point home. I’d never had anyone tell me or make me feel as if I could not do something simply because of my skin color, or culture. If I had, I personally would want to have done it that much more.

Does every single minority possess such outlooks? Well no, but I would also argue that as a candidate for employment having beefed up your resume so much so that your potential future employer sitting across that room from you looking at your experience and credentials hardly has a leg to stand on—assuming you’re the absolute best fit, regardless of what you external advantages you may, or may not possess...in your own mind.

So as a “minority” in this field OP, would you rather it be handed to the paragraph above, or the person meeting the days quota?

I think I will continue to pursue the notion that the hard work and dedication that I have put forth over the years is all that my co-workers, peers, family, and superiors see. Good luck in your campaign and quests though.
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Californian, Lost in Texas
I reckon that certain cultures (looking hard at maladaptive whites-in-poverty and urban black culture) simply don't provide their adherents with fundamentals for success in healthcare or the 21st century. When education is maligned, when drugs and violence are glorified, and when theft is taught from early childhood, there's not as likely to be a successful leap into public safety or healthcare. And that's OK. That's the fault of the people who live in those cultures and make them what they are. Not ours.


Californian, Lost in Texas
Here's my big issue with "diversity initiatives".

How many are out there that don't result in degraded standards?

If someone, regardless of gender/ethnicity/culture/creed, is interested in public safety, they'll get in. Those that aren't, won't.

A lot of the people that some 'lament' not getting into public safety are people who are disinterested in it, likely would not be and will not become interested in it, and are not present in sufficient numbers to justify the cost of specialized recruiting efforts.

If I can spend $10k on recruitment and hiring and get 100 qualified, capable, white male applicants to work for my operation, or the same $10k and get 21 qualified applicants of a "diverse" background because I put up posters in Chinatown, the barrio and the 'hood, which is a better investment? And what is the quality of those applicants? Not saying that ethnicity or cultural background is a guarantee of anything (it certainly isn't), but an anecdotal poll of Houston's EMS services notes a lot of very good paramedics and EMTs on 911 services of all ethnicities and a common overarching para-military mentality (for the sake of accuracy, let's call it the American Alpha-male Mentality) and a lot of mediocre ones (mostly with transfer services) who generally aren't of that culture.


Forum Asst. Chief
While I agree with RocketMedic that "diversity initiatives" that just mean "straight white men need a higher score to get in" can be misguided and a pretty lazy way to deal with racial inequality or poverty, I think there is a problem with assuming that the only way to attract minorities to a career is to set up shop in "the hood" and set a lower testing standard for them, and that kind of thinking can lead to viewing of any minority candidate more critically when it comes to hiring.

In my area of the Northeast, a huge chunk of people got into EMS because they had friends and family who were in the business (EMS or fire, or volunteer whatever), or they went to college or tech class in high school and took an EMT course. Overwhelmingly, these people are white dudes, though now there are a decent amount of women, but it's kind of a self perpetuating cycle. There was very little (in the suburbs anyway) in the way of career fairs or community outreach to any groups of people, white, black, poor, rich, whatever. We just sort of took what the various volunteer departments and community colleges churned out, plus whoever was retiring from the city. I don't think it would have been too much of a hassle or expense for us to have a little bit of outreach the various areas we serviced to inform people of the career path to becoming an EMT or medic. If that message was better received by certain groups then we can worry about that later, but at least there would have been an effort made before giving up on the whole idea.

All of this is sort of secondary to the point that I've said before, which is that while there are unicorn EMS agencies with good pay and low turnover, most EMS organizations are not in a position to brag about their hiring standards and are constantly in need of bodies. And my final, only half joking, point is that if minorities are skipping over EMS to go into nursing, fire, police, or similar jobs, they're probably making a good financial decision and I'm not sure we should try to dissuade them.

As a semi related note, the only EMS (not fire) outreach I've ever seen in person is for FDNY EMS. Is anyone else actually doing community job fair type stuff?
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Forum Crew Member
A lot of EMS agencies where I am do community outreach but they are volunteer so they kind of have to, in order to keep recruitment up


Forum Deputy Chief
Trying to hire for 'Diversity' can backfire: My dad worked for the Post Office; in an area that was about 9% black and 7% Hispanic; but Federal Regs were put in that the Post Office had to hire 12% of each minority, and promote both equally into management jobs. How do you hire that big of a % when there is not a base of people in the area?
How do you promote that high of a % when there wasn't that high in the lower workers to begin with?

So the post office did it; they promoted people that had no idea what they were doing, that hadn't been in their jobs long enough to be promoted. Cost a lot of money in union grievances; and lawsuits. Broke Federal laws and regulations, to meet new regulations. Goofy.

terrible one

Always wandering
I’m still trying to get over the fact that there is such a position as “diversity officer” in the armed forces.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though.


Forum Deputy Chief
The OP is NOT an Officer in the US Coast Guard. She is a volunteer Auxiliary who has no authority over any CG personnel. It is an assignment position.


Forum Captain
So hiring diversity means lowering standards?
No, but in the past there have been instances giving "preference points" in hiring, school admissions, etc, to people just because they belong to a certain group or race. I am against all diversity programs, against Affirmative Action programs, and think all spots should go to the most qualified, no matter what race, creed, color, orientation, whatever.