A Friday report has revealed that firefighters in the city of Seattle who seek promotion to the position of lieutenant must score high on an exam that covers medical procedures to building construction, and now Social Justice.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the test in Seattle, which includes written and oral components assigned by the Seattle Department of Human Resources, is now based upon a list of texts that includes, "How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and Both Sides of the Fire Lane: Memoirs of a Transgender Firefighter by Bobbie Scopa."
The exam's texts also include A Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias and Fighting Fire, an 800-page memoir by a female firefighter that examines race and gender.
Wayne Johnson, a retired Seattle firefighter who had previously helped to formulate the city's promotion tests, told the outlet, "This stuff has nothing to do with firefighting. It has everything to do with social engineering."
NEW: Seattle’s promotional exams for firefighters now test candidates on Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and “Memoirs of a Transgender Firefighter,” among other woke texts.— Aaron Sibarium (@aaronsibarium) May 25, 2023
The Lieutenant exam tests ~800 pages of material unrelated to firefighting tactics.🧵https://t.co/Ugp4gtZLR7
Ben Kew, writing for Red State, noted that in 2021 local Seattle officials ordered a study be completed into "Strategies For Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion In Fire and Emergency services," with the obtuse recommendation that promotional tests shouldn't "significantly rely on knowledge of firefighting."
"The leadership of our organization is overwhelmingly white. That's the fire service in general," Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins told King5 News. Assistant Chief at Kitsap Fire and Rescue Kara Putnam also lameted a lack of diversity in the department. "I'm the first female Chief Officer at my organization, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, as well as Kitsap County," she said.
"Departments can advance inclusion in the workplace by having a clear code of conduct and workplace norms that promote respect for all employees. Departments should ensure they are using inclusive language, have properly fitting equipment for all firefighters, and individual bathrooms and separate sleeping facilities in their stations. Affinity groups, which provide a space for employees with shared backgrounds to build relationships, can reduce feelings of isolation and employee engagement surveys can give employees a voice and help leadership understand and address issues within their workplace. Finally, an ongoing DEI training program and conflict resolution training can build the understanding and skills to strengthen employee relations."
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