For decades, observant Jews have attempted to join the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD). Due to training and work scheduling, the BCFD policies prevented observant Jews from joining the department. That all changed with the election of Councilman Isaac Yitzy Schleifer. This past week, the BCFD graduated its first Orthodox member.
Councilman Schleifer was approached by a community member whose lifelong dream was to be able to help save lives and become a professional firefighter. Being presented with myriad bureaucratic hurdles, Councilman Schleifer committed himself to finding compromise and resolution. He spent hours reviewing the current policies and worked tirelessly with BCFD leadership to find ways to accommodate his constituent’s dream to serve the citizens of Baltimore City. His hard work came to fruition.
Reflecting upon the recent BCFD graduation, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles Ford stated, “The Baltimore City Fire Department prides itself on its diversity. Our most recent graduating class of cadets is illustrative of the makeup of our great city. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace has been proven in all industries as a best practice.”