Less Diversity Is Needed in the Fire Service

Issue 2 and Volume 163.

By Kelly B. Jernigan This commentary is in response to “A Matter of National Security” by Joseph B. Muhammad of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABFF) (Fire Commentary, September 2009). Wait, what? There is such a thing as the IABFF? Isn’t that what the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is for? The advancement of firefighters? Not black firefighters, not white firefighters, not female firefighters, not Hispanic firefighters, but FIREFIGHTERS? Aren’t we all one in this profession? After reading the article during lunch, I continued my daily duties at the firehouse, which included training. During training on a new piece of equipment, I ended up at the computer looking up technical specification questions that arose with our hands-on ventures. I did not find what I was looking for, but my search endeavors led me to the forums on the Fire Engineering Web site ( regarding discrimination in…

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