STL Firefighters Institute For Racial Equality fight to close promotion disparities

F.I.R.E has been fighting discrimination over promotions in the St. Louis Fire Department for over 33 years. Here’s the latest update.


The St. Louis Black firefighter’s organization is known as the Firefighters Institute for Racial Equality (F.I.R.E).  Here are the FACTS as F.I.R.E have documented them:

  • In the last thirty-three (33) years, an active promotion list for the rank of Captain or Battalion Chief has NOT exceeded seven (7) years.

·         The Promotion List Year 2000-2002 promoted twenty-two (22) candidates…4 Black Captains, 18 Whites and (0) Black Battalion Chiefs, two (2) Whites.

·         In year 2004, F.I.R.E contested the Test Examination given for Captains and Chief Battalion Chiefs in the U. S. Court but did NOT receive a favorable decision after three (3) years of litigation.

·         Year 2007 Promotion List was developed from the 2004 challenged Test Examination promoting seventy-six (76) candidates…fourteen (14) Black Captains and forty-seven (47) Whites and three (3) Black Battalion Chiefs and eleven (11) Whites.    

·         The current Year 2013 Promotion List has promoted sixty-four (64) candidates…fifteen (15) Black Captains and forty-nine (49) Whites and three (3) Black Battalion Chiefs and eleven (11) Whites. 

Consequently, over the past twenty plus years, ONLY 33 Blacks have been promoted to the rank of Captain versus 114 Whites…ONLY 6 Blacks were promoted to the rank of Battalion Chiefs versus 25 Whites.

These disparities strongly suggest that the City of St. Louis’ Personnel Department has been irresponsible during business with racially discriminatory testing companies for firefighters. Because this racial irregularity serves the interest of hiring and promoting MORE Whites, Local 73, becomes the beneficiary of sustaining racial discriminatory practices at the expense of FAIR employment practices.

Now that the City of St. Louis has a NEW mayoral administration and a NEW Personal Department, F.I.R.E has a HIGH PROBABILITY that Local 73 will have to play by a set of FAIR TESTING and PROMOTION rules.


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