The newest Franklin firefighter is the second female firefighter in the city’s history, and the first in a while.
Diversity is a priority of the Franklin Fire Department, and one that is starting to come to fruition.
Casey Whitaker is not new to Franklin or public safety. She worked for Seals Ambulance Service since 2016, and was an EMT for nine years. In her new position, she takes a different ride and a different role at the same scenes she has responded to for years. The step toward diversity is part of a city-wide effort to make the Franklin Fire Department look more like the city’s general population, said Matt Culp, Franklin’s fire chief.
To accomplish that, 24 more women and a few racial minorities would need to be hired for the crew of 48 full-time firefighters to mirror the city, the population of which is made up of 51% women and 5% racial minorities, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
“We are trying to be as proactive as possible,” Culp said.