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Largest Minority Class Set to Join Ranks of RFD

Staff reports

Rochester Fire Department Chief Will Jackson is scheduled to administer the oath to 30 new firefighters on Sept. 2, 2020. File photo

The Rochester Fire Department is expecting to welcome the largest minority group of new firefighters to its ranks during a graduation at 10 a.m. ceremony Sept. 2.

Of the 30 recruits on schedule to graduate, 13 are Black, 9 are Latino and one is Asian. Two are female, including one Latina.

The minority candidates comprise about 80 percent of the class.

Should all recruits complete their training, their presence would bring minority service in RFD to nearly 30% of the total uniformed crew.

Currently, there are 18 uniformed females in RFD.

The recruit class started in January 2020. On-site training at the Monroe County Public Safety Training Facility was suspended in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recruits combined customized distance-learning and hands-on training at Genesee Valley Ice Rink. Wearing masks, physical distancing, hand-washing and continuous decontamination of equipment was a part of the daily training routine. Recruits returned to the training facility in mid-May.

Fire Chief Willie Jackson will administer the oath to the new firefighters during the virtual Zoom graduation ceremony.

The ceremony can be viewed at the city’s YouTube page,