Reflecting the Community: TFD Looks for Hispanic Recruits

Aug 15, 2013

Credit Tulsa Fire Department-Facebook.

The head of recruitment for the Tulsa Fire Department says he envisions a department that reflects Tulsa's diversity. Captain Jose Ariza says that is not the case right now.

He says the department is looking at programs to help Hispanics get the needed EMT certification.

JOSE ARIZA:  “EMT, being ‘Emergency Medical Technician.  Now, what we see in many of our minority communities is cost is an issue. So to tell an individual, ‘we need you to have your EMT; unfortunately it is going to cost you between $1,000 to $2,000 to achieve that.’ That is quite a milestone.”

Captain Ariza says language is another issue. The department does not have many Spanish speaking fire-fighters. That makes outreach into the Hispanic community difficult.

JOSE ARIZA: “To date, we truly do not have a work force that reflects our community.  But our effort is to reach out and to make partnerships so that so that we can make this job assessable to our Hispanic community.