Firefighting

DIVERSITY: AN APPLIED CASE ANALYSIS

Issue 3 and Volume 155.

BY BILL LOWE, EMT-P, Ph.D., AND BARRY BARNES, Ph.D. The fire service as a profession faces numer-ous opportunities and challenges for addressing the emerging and highly emotional issue of diversity. This mission-critical issue demands discussion, experimentation, tolerance, and consensus building by fire service leaders. This article summarizes an applied case analysis of a fire department’s organizational culture and strives to assess the department’s ability to manage its emerging community and employee diversity.1 This research project aims to assist senior chiefs to manage diversity for their departments’ long-term benefit. As a result, fewer resources will be expended for nonvalue-added activities such as lawsuits and employee grievances and more resources can be devoted to improving the quality and quantity of emergency services. The expectation is a candid review of this department’s culture that will identify supporting, hindering, and neutral elements that influence diversity management. RESEARCH JUSTIFICATIONA review of published newspaper headlines underscores…

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