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Glendale Prepares for First Women Firefighters : Employment: Testing was expanded to find more minorities and females.

November 09, 1989

The Glendale City Council on Tuesday approved spending $15,000 to remodel six of the city's fire stations to accommodate its first women firefighters.

The Fire Department will get its first two women firefighters early next year, part of a class now in training that includes the largest group of minorities ever to join the department.

Out of the 21 recruits, 13 are members of minority groups or women, Chief John M. Montenero said.

As part of its effort to hire more minorities, the department tested everyone who applied, instead of the first 300 as was done in the past. Chosen from among 2,500 people tested, the recruits include eight white men, one white woman, four black men, two Asian men, five Latino men and one Latino woman.

Previously, the department has consisted mostly of white males with some Latino males, said Sandra Houlemard, a personnel analyst, who was hired by Glendale in April to work on affirmative action.

The recruits started their training a week ago and will join Glendale's 163 firefighters on Feb. 15, 1990.

The money approved by the council will provide separate sleeping quarters and bathrooms for female firefighters at six stations, Montenero said. The department's other three stations already have separate facilities for women.

The 21 recruits had to pass written, oral and physical agility tests, as well as a physical examination and a check on their personal background, a spokesman from the department said.

The Fire Department's training center is located at the Chevy Chase Public Works Yard at 541 W. Chevy Chase.

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