Promising Practices for Increasing Diversity Among First Responders
First responder fields—including law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency management services (EMS)—serve a crucial role in the safety and well-being of communities around the country. The potential benefits of increasing diversity and moving toward greater representation could also provide more secure and rewarding employment opportunities to historically underrepresented populations, thus having implications for local economic and workforce development.
In partnership with Coffey Consulting, LLC, AIR looked to conduct an exploratory study to identify promising practices that first responder agencies and organizations can leverage to increase the diversity of their workforces. Specifically, five sites were selected based on both the extent to which their first responder workforce is representative of the local population, and their use of practices that align with the human resources literature as being effective for developing a diverse workforce.