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Kansas City's Fire Department Is Failing To Diversify Its Ranks

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Photograph looking down the side of a fire truck parked inside the firehouse.  The passenger side door displaying the letter K, C, F, D is open.
Sam Zeff
/
KCUR 89.3
A year-long investigation by The Kansas City Star found that there is a pattern of systemic racism and harassment in the Kansas City Fire Department that has been tolerated by the department for decades.

Even after being sued for discrimination, the Kansas City, Missouri, fire department's progress in recruiting firefighters of color has been slow.

According to the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, a failure to increase recruitment, advancement and retention of Black firefighters can be found in firehouses throughout the country.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.