The Office of Equal Opportunity is sponsoring a Diversity Spotlight series aimed at highlighting the work of our departments within the City as it relates to their diversity efforts. This month’s featured department is Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR).
GFR’s began its targeted Diversity Initiative in 2012 in response to a challenge to their commitment to diversity. They listened to their key stakeholders, internal and external, as to how to best communicate their commitment to diversity and to assist them in not resting on past success but prepare for the challenges, while maintaining and increasing diversity in the face of attrition and more competitive job markets. The focus areas of the plan are as follows:
RECRUITMENT: GFR demonstrates their commitment to excellence through our efforts to attract, hire, and retain the very best candidates as firefighters at all ranks.
SELECTION: GFR assures opportunities are open, fair, and competitive while providing exceptional diligence to attracting and developing a more inclusive and diverse department.
DEVELOPMENT: GFR values people as unique individuals, invest in them and support them to be successful as a team and at every level of professional development and promotion.
LEADERSHIP: GFR is committed to a better positioned, prepared, and diverse department with excellent leaders who are credentialed, educated, and judged second-to-none in leading this organization into the future.
GFR developed a Mentorship and Cadet program to groom and develop individuals for a career in firefighting which has grown tremendously over the past year.
They have rounded out the year with the Courageous Conversations Program which focused on creating a safe environment for open and honest communication about difficult and often controversial topics.
It is the goal of the Diversity Plan to create awareness of, and access to, the full spectrum of GFR opportunities: Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Inspections, Investigations, Public Education, Training, Technology, Administration and supervision. The challenges of the future will be met by a GFR that is comprised of men and women who better reflect the diversity of our community and whose contributions will continue the legacy of GFR.