US

At 150, FDNY is becoming more diverse, but court-ordered effort has faced pushback

  • In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, a firefighter with Fire Department of New York Engine 69/Ladder 28, the "Harlem Hilton", rushes to the firetruck after receiving a call during an FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation’s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male  department.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, a firefighter with Fire Department of New York Engine 69/Ladder 28, the "Harlem Hilton", rushes to the firetruck after receiving a call during an FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation’s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male department. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 26, 2015 file photos firefighters work at the scene of a collapsed building in the East Village neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation’s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male  department. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, File)

    FILE - In this March 26, 2015 file photos firefighters work at the scene of a collapsed building in the East Village neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation’s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male department. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, firefighter Khalid Baylor of Truck 14 grills hamburgers during a FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The block party honored the 150-year history of the nation’s largest fire department. Also, a recruitment table was there to help shape a changing future. Three years into a process that has changed recruitment, testing and hiring, the Fire Department of New York is making headway, statistics show.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, firefighter Khalid Baylor of Truck 14 grills hamburgers during a FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The block party honored the 150-year history of the nation’s largest fire department. Also, a recruitment table was there to help shape a changing future. Three years into a process that has changed recruitment, testing and hiring, the Fire Department of New York is making headway, statistics show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)  (The Associated Press)

The Fire Department of New York is making headway three years into a process that has changed recruitment and hiring.

Minorities now make up 17 percent of its uniformed ranks at the nation's largest fire department, compared to about 10 percent in 2012.

Still, it's far from representative of a city where over half of residents are members of minority groups. Minority firefighter leaders say the department needs to do more, and demographic shifts haven't always changed firehouse culture.

A current of antipathy spilled into the forefront recently, when a fire chief was docked 50 days' pay amid an investigation into leaks of damaging information about minority firefighters' performance.

But FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro (NIGH'-gro) says he is pushing for a more diverse department and won't tolerate anyone thwarting it.