Markham Fire and Emergency Services promoting diversity
Markham Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) and Humber College have entered a unique agreement aimed at enhancing inclusion while reducing participation barriers for Black, Indigenous, and racialized Markham students who wish to build a career in firefighting. This agreement creates a complete package of scholarships, equipment, supports for training and certification, summer job placements and mentorship to prime students for success
Humber will offer eight scholarships, two each for four school terms, for students to study for a two-year Fire Services diploma followed by a one-year Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program.
MFES will provide equipment, pay for students’ DZ vehicle license and Ontario Fire Administration Inc. (OFAI) certification. During the school term, each will be paired with a current MFES staff member who will provide mentorship and keep them connected to the fire service. Each student will also be offered summer employment in the administration office to learn other areas of the fire service and to build relationships.
Scholarship students who successfully complete their schooling and certification will be offered a job interview with MFES. Successful candidates will be offered employment as a Markham firefighter.
Scholarship applicants must live, work or attend school in Markham and identify as Black, Indigenous, or Racialized. In consultation with these identified communities via various community partners and groups, Markham Fire and Emergency Services have selected the first two scholarship recipients for the September 2021 intake. The next intake for the 2022 to 2023 school year will be made in February 2022, with more information to follow on the City’s website at markham.ca/fire.
To mark this occasion, MFES is donating a fire truck and equipment that is at the end of its life to Humber’s Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program.
“Markham Fire and Emergency Services is taking the next bold step to increase diversity in our ranks. This one-of-a-kind program seeks to provide access and opportunity to Black, Indigenous, and Racialized candidates and remove some of the barriers that have impeded progress in this area,” said MFES Fire Chief Adam Grant. “We are very proud to be working with Humber College and hope that this innovative and progressive program will motivate other businesses and organizations to take similar steps to increase representation in the workplace.”
“The initiative launched by MFES in collaboration with Humber College has the potential to be truly transformational for the community. This program is filled with several key elements that will enhance the process of forging meaningful relationships between the community, City of Markham and private institutions as they seek to address racial systemic issues,” said Lisa-Joy Facey, president, Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association (MACCA). “It is my hope that the recipients of this program will embrace this opportunity and in turn play an active role
in making sure their communities thrive.”