This year, the Austin Fire Department said it has gotten a 10% increase in interested African Americans compared to 2019.
Its largest demographic group is Hispanic candidates — a more than 21% increase.
Overall, nearly 75% of people who submitted a cadet interest card are diversity targets, which means they belong to a minority group.
That includes Black, Hispanic, Asian and female Austinites.
“We never had that number before,” said Austin Fire Chief Joel Baker. “I think the highest we have had in the history of Austin of minorities that have shown interest is 59-point-something.” He hopes diversity on the front end of hiring will also help down the line, so there are more of those people to promote to higher positions.
After expressing their interest through a cadet interest card, candidates then have to submit an application.