Four women were among the 286 graduates of the FDNY Fire Academy, boosting the number of female firefighters in the department to the highest level in 32 years, reports The New York Daily News.
The FDNY now boasts 41 women firefighters, matching what it had in 1982 when a court order required the nation’s largest fire department open its doors to women.
“It’s a big day for us,” said Sarinya Srisakul, president of the United Women Firefighters.
Officials said 45% of those who graduated at the Christian Culture Center in Brooklyn are minorities — including 48 African-Americans, 70 Hispanics and 10 Asians. Three of the women graduates are also minorities.
A hundred of the graduates were military veterans.
Graduate Antoinette Proctor, 33, of Brooklyn, a former Marine, said the keys to becoming a firefighter include guts and determination.
“The beginning, the middle and the end; the whole thing was hard,” Proctor said.
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