By Bill Parry
The mayor received a warmer reception among the Bravest Monday afternoon following his icy encounter at the Police Academy graduation earlier in the day. He joined Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro on Randall’s Island where they swore in a new class of 320 probationary firefighters.
The new class is one of the most diverse in FDNY history, with 45 percent of the recruits identifying themselves as women and people of color. The ceremony took place at the FDNY Training Academy, where they congratulated the “Probies” who began their first day of training immediately, the beginning of an 18-week program.
“We honor and welcome 320 heroes with enormous talent, unrelenting work ethic and remarkable backgrounds into the FDNY family,” de Blasio said. “This year’s class reflects the rich racial and ethnic diversity of our great city, and I couldn’t be more proud. On behalf of 8.4 million New Yorkers, I want to thank each and every one of these heroes for their sacrifice and for their service.”
Among the entering class, 17 percent identify as black, 24 percent as Hispanic and 4 percent as Asian. The class includes three women, which in addition to the 44 female firefighters actively serving in the field, brings the total number of women firefighters to 47, the highest total in FDNY history.
“With each new class of probationary firefighters, the FDNY grows stronger and more representative of the communities it serves by adding more women and people of color to their ranks,” Nigro said. “Like every class that has come before them, these new Probies will undergo extensive training as they earn the right to call themselves New York City firefighters.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.