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Continued: St. Paul graduates first Hmong-American firefighter

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 4, 2014 - 7:20 AM

The St. Paul Fire Department has been working to diversify its ranks.

According to a July 2013 department diversity report, a little more than 2 percent of sworn, uniformed employees were Asian compared to 15 percent of St. Paul residents. For women, there is a larger discrepancy with 4.8 percent composing the total sworn employees, even though women make up more than 51 percent of the city of St. Paul.

The Fire Department has taken several steps to diversify its ranks including the EMS Academy, a program designed to recruit and train low-income young adults from diverse backgrounds, and a new diversity task force, which has been working on recommendations to improve the department’s searching, testing and hiring processes.

“We need to reflect the community that we serve,” said St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler.

 

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

 









 

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  • Tou Lo was congratulated by his superiors as he became the first Hmong firefighter at the St. Paul Fire Department's graduation ceremony at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, Friday, January 3, 2014 in St. Paul, MN. (ELIZABETH FLORES/STAR TRIBUNE) ELIZABETH FLORES • eflores@startribune.com

  • Badges were in place at the St. Paul Fire Department's graduation ceremony at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, Friday, January 3, 2014 in St. Paul, MN. The class included 13 graduates and Tou Lo, center, the first Hmong firefighter in St. Paul. ELIZABETH FLORES/STAR TRIBUNE) ELIZABETH FLORES • eflores@startribune.com

  • Pamela Lo pinned a firefighter’s badge on her son, Tou Lo, at the St. Paul Fire Department’s graduation ceremony at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center on Friday. Tou Lo’s father, David Lo, is at right. Tou Lo is the department’s first Hmong-American firefighter. Below: Graduates — the class included 13 – waited to be introduced. Each received the silver badge with the red center.

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