Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano welcomed a 318-person class of new FDNY recruits Monday morning.
These "probies," described by Bloomberg as "the most racially and ethnically diverse class ever," are sworn in just months after two FDNY members — including Cassano's son, an EMT — were caught tweeting racist and anti-Semitic slurs.
"This is, by any measure, an historic day for this department and for our entire city — and you are a true cross-section of New York," Bloomberg said.
Of the recruits, 66 percent are minorities, including 37 percent Hispanic and 27 percent African-American. Two percent are Asian.
This class also has the most women in a Probationary Fighter class since 1982: Eight women were sworn in.
The most diverse class prior to this one was in May 2013, and was the first class sworn in since 2008. Of those probationary officers, 42 percent were minorities.
The FDNY was unable to hire a new class between December 2008 and May 2013 because of court proceedings stemming from a lawsuit alleging that the entry exam put minority candidates at an unfair disadvantage. A ruling by federal judge Nicolas Garaufis instated an official hiring freeze in 2010 in a ruling that established an oversight committee to monitor FDNY hiring practices. A new test has since been formulated.
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