International Association of Fire Fighters Human Relations Conference Presentation

January 20 – 21, 2016 | Lake Buena Vista, FL – For the past year, I have been working diligently on an in-depth, independently conducted case study regarding diversity inclusion/exclusion and recruitment/retention efforts among the fire services. In January, I will be giving two 4-hour presentations at the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Ernest A. “Buddy” Mass Human Relations Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

My presentation, entitled “Rising from the Embers of Discrimination:  Tangible Strategies and Best Practices toward Improving Diversity Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention in the Fire Services, Overcoming Implicit Biases, and Being Sensitive to the Changing Times“, will be available to all fire service, human relations, and key personnel in attendance.


Despite ongoing efforts among the Fire Services in the United States to address issues such as diversity recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations across race, ethnicity, gender, etc., reoccurring issues such as nepotism, stigmatization, harassment, racism, and other forms of bias and discrimination in hiring and promotion practices have continued to exist for decades, further dampening progress of the Fire Services as a unified whole.

The following presentation attempts to help alleviate these human relations issues moving forward and is based on the findings and analysis of an 8-month, in-depth, independently conducted case study of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). The assessment and recommendations presented involve significant themes that have emerged from the study, which involves intensive field and participant observations, interviews, archival research, Engine house site visits, ride-alongs, stakeholder meetings, charitable events, organizational and union gatherings, and other primary and secondary documents.

The presentation will consist of a combination of robust and entertaining lectures and discussions, interactive audience participation, and several theme-based hands-on exercises and workshops that highlight the key recommendations and best practices which stem from the case study analysis. By equipping members of the Fire Services to personally and professionally understand how and why to prioritize, assess, and eventually set realistic diversity recruitment and retention goals, participants will be better prepared to maintain a diverse workforce, to improve longstanding human relations and discrimination issues, and to serve their communities in a more practical, tangible, and holistic fashion.


For more information, please feel free to contact me with your request.


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