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L.A. Moving to Hire Firefighters Despite $270K Recruitment Report Not Complete

To boost the number of women and minorities in the LAFD's ranks, a lottery will be used to winnow the pool of candidates seeking slots in the academy classes.

Los Angeles Fire Department is now recruiting for its first academy class of the year. Patch file graphic.
Los Angeles Fire Department is now recruiting for its first academy class of the year. Patch file graphic.

Los Angeles is again moving to hire firefighters after the process was suspended earlier this year amid concerns about nepotism and mismanagement, it was reported today.

To boost the number of women and minorities in the LAFD's ranks, a lottery will be used to winnow the pool of candidates seeking slots in fire academy classes, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a draft of revised city rules.

When Mayor Eric Garcetti scrapped the last round of firefighter hiring in March,  he promised to follow the recommendations of Rand Corp. experts hired to review the recruitment process. But with the $270,000 report unfinished, the mayor is moving ahead with hiring so the city can rapidly fill three classes of recruits budgeted for this fiscal year, The Times reported.

The proposed reforms, scheduled for a final review by the city's civil service commission Thursday, revamp a hiring process that drew criticism after thousands of candidates for a new class hired earlier this year were excluded because some of their paperwork wasn't received in the first 60 seconds of a filing period, The Times reported.

Nearly 25 percent of the 70 recruits eventually hired were related to LAFD firefighters. Also, the group was overwhelmingly white and included only one woman.

Under the proposed rules, the city would accept firefighter applications online for several days beginning July 22. All the applicants would be entered in a lottery, with a limited number of winners selected to move on to a written exam, background check and interview, according to The Times.

The drawing would be weighted to ensure the share of women and minorities that advance closely matches the number that apply, Gloria Sosa, a city Personnel Department assistant general manager, told the newspaper.

--City News Service


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