VIDEO: Seated in rows and dressed identically in white shirts and black slacks, the 47 members of Toledo Fire & Rescue Fire Class 293 began their first day of six months of fire academy training.
The class is one of the most diverse the department has had since 1984, Fire Chief Brian Byrd said. Out of 47 recruits, 30 are white, 12 are black, four are Hispanic, and one is American Indian. Forty-one are men and six are women.
That and every other kind of diversity is important for the fire department and for the city of Toledo, the chief said, because it allows both to have a deeper connection with each other.
“A lot of what we do is about relationships,” Chief Byrd said. “You have to be able to relate to the people that you’re serving.”