The 91st class of 65 new Orange County Fire Rescue recruits marks the department’s most diverse class in history.
Department officials say more than half of the members in the group are Hispanic, Black or Asian. Recruit Paris Nunn, a graduate of the University of Central Florida, is one of 19 women in the class.
“I’ve done service my whole life. I was in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia then I got into the fitness industry, so merging the two of service and fitness and having purpose is why I became a recruit,” Nunn said. The National Fire Protection Association reports that women make up 4% of all firefighters. The new recruits put Orange County at 9%, more than double the national average. The female recruits in Orange County are doing the same rigorous training as the men, lifting 70 pounds with the hose and oxygen tank. That doesn’t include the additional 20 pounds of bunker gear they will be wearing on a call.