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SLC Fire pushes for more diverse hiring amid growing diversity in Utah

Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 19:49:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY —In an effort to expand diversity within their staff, Salt Lake City Fire Department is changing up hiring practices.

As Utah grows, so do our fire departments. But for Salt Lake City Fire Department (SLCFD), that growth doesn’t just mean staff, it means diversity.

“Obviously Salt Lake City is growing exponentially, it’s an incredibly diverse city and we want to make sure that our department reflects the citizens that we serve,” said Darby Egbert the recruitment and outreach coordinator for Salt Lake City Fire Department.

The department said they started putting more resources towards outreach and diverse hiring in 2016. Since, they have created their own ‘Community Outreach Division,’ in order to place a concerted effort on expanding hiring.

“We want to have more females, we want more ethnic minorities, we want people from out of state, we want people who speak multiple languages,” Egbert said.

In changing up hiring practices, they said the goal is to focus on inclusion and ultimately, connecting with the community they serve.

“A lot of the time we don’t realize how comfortable we are seeing somebody who looks like us,” Egbert said. “To have a firefighter that can relate to [an] individual and come at them from a very unique lense, again, is incredibly valuable for our department.”

Now, they are starting to see their work pay off. Egbert said the ‘Community Outreach Division’ has done just that, reach out to everyone in the community. Starting with social media and spreading to flyers, newsletters, community events and programs, they have been able to reach a more diverse crowd. They have also started speaking at local schools to let children of all backgrounds know they too, can be firefighters.

“We’re seeing change, we’re seeing very positive change and we’re really trying to make sure that we’re not only focused on diversity, but inclusion -- we want to make sure our crews are very involved in this as well,” said Egbert.

Now, with internal diversity on the rise, Egbert believes, “We’re heading in the right direction.”

SLCFD is looking to expand its staff. They will hold a hiring event in January 2020. You can learn more HERE.