Since the beginning of Firefighters Incorporated for Racial Equality (F.I.R.E), education, community service, and equality have been the pillars of our organization. As early as 1972 Denver firefighters began the task of volunteering their time to tutor potential candidates, at the same time Assistant Chief Frank Quintana was participating as an instructor in a federally financed tutoring program for potential firefighters. He quickly became alarmed at the dismal passage rate of Hispanic and African-American applicants who took the exam. This prompted Chief Quintana to contact attorneys and began a very lengthy court battle. That “battle” set the groundwork for our organization and it’s commitment to education, community service and equality.
Today F.I.R.E still recognizes these three pillars, first by establishing an education director who oversees all tutoring, mentoring, testing and educational opportunities outside of the Denver Fire Department. The education director works with a yearly budget to provide testing materials, software, computer simulators, classes and experts in the fire service that assist F.I.R.E with all our education needs.
F.I.R.E has established a community service director that works with a yearly budget to identify community-based organizations that need volunteers. Our members are required to perform a minimum amount of volunteer hours in order to participate in promotional tutoring program and receive educational reimbursement through the Bob Maes fund. Over the years F.I.R.E members have volunteered 1000’s of hours to the organization within the Denver community and throughout the metro area.
F.I.R.E was established to ensure equal opportunity, we continue this today with an inclusive and diverse organization that provides education and community service to people from all backgrounds.