DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Fire Department is accepting applications for fire recruits with a distinct focus on attracting minority candidates.

Dayton Fire reported that 89% of the force is caucasian. They hope to significantly diversify the force in the coming years to resemble the racial and ethnic makeup of the City of Dayton.

According to Dayton Fire, they are taking many approaches to attract underrepresented people. Their approaches include establishing an Explorer program for youths ages 14 to 18, creating a partnership with Dayton Public Schools to establish a Fire/EMS Career and Technical Education program at the high school level, creating a “DFD Fire Camp for Women” to encourage women to pursue fire service careers, utilizing the city’s “Homegrown Heroes” educational program and ensuring Dayton Fire member attendance at dozens of events, job fairs and organizational gatherings.

According to Dayton Fire, the application period is open until Feb. 20. Interested applicants can apply at joindaytonfire.com.