The city's Fire Department is envisioning a staff of firefighters more reflective of the cultures and ethnicities found in the city.Isn't the primary need of a diverse community a fire department that knows how to put out fires? Does excluding qualified white male candidates because of their color and gender in favor of someone else who may or may not be equally qualified make the department better or just more colorful?
That means recruiting more women, Latinos, Asian Americans and Arab Americans, among others, to mirror Anaheim's changing demographics, fire Chief Randy Bruegman said.
Anaheim's fire force overall is 73 percent white, 18 percent Latino and 6 percent Asian, while the city's population is 52 percent Latino, 30 percent white and 14 percent Asian.
Among sworn firefighters, 75 percent are white, 17 percent are Latino and 6 percent are Asian. And while the Arab American community grows in the west part of town, the Fire Department doesn't mirror that.
Anaheim's department is one of six in California that participated this month in a workshop aimed at better meeting the needs of a diverse community.
I can understand training the force on cultural differences, but when the headline of the story says "Is Anaheim Fire Department Too White" the emphasis clearly isn't on culture as much as it is appearance.
When there's an emergency at my home, and it's happened a couple of times, I want the most qualified person for the job to show up on the big shiny red truck. I don't care what they look like, I just care if they know how to fight fires or perform paramedic duties.