FDNY to graduate 4 female firefighters

The number of women firefighters will climb to a total of 49 – a landmark high in the FDNY's 150-year history


NEW YORK — Four female firefighters will graduate from the FDNY Fire Academy Friday, bringing in a landmark number of women firefighters in its 150-year history.

NY Daily News reported that the FDNY will now have a total of 49 female firefighters. The same graduating class also contains 52 African American probationary firefighters, making it one of the most diverse classes in FDNY history.

Here's a look at the four graduating cadets. Lisa Cusimano, 21, is the sister of two firefighters already on the job. Sheliz Salcedo was an electrician before deciding to pursue a career in the FDNY. Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder, 39, a priority hire, got a second chance through a discrimination lawsuit. Former Marine Aleigha Powder said she used her military expertise to excel at the rigorous FDNY training academy.

"This is the first time we came into the academy with four women and we are leaving with four," Sarinya Srisakul, president of the United Women Firefighters, said. "This was the academy we always wanted to see, truly about training the candidates. I am so happy for them."

The FDNY has nearly doubled the number of African Americans on the job and Latinos have the largest gain of any minority group.

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