Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Elgin may revise its requirements for firefighters to attract a more diverse group of applicants. The city council unanimously moved forward on changing firefighter application requirements. The city requires 60 college credit hours as a prerequisite for hiring but that would become optional if the city follows through on its proposed changes. A final vote is scheduled for June 13. The testing fee will be reduced from $40 to $20 for the next applicantion sessions, and candidates can have the fee waived if they are in financial need.

The department tests for new members every two years and plans on doing so sometime in July. Elgin gives job candidates preference points for various certifications and military service. Candidates with 60 or more college credit hours will receive points as well.

In 2016, 203 people tested to become Elgin firefighters, with 170 of them identifying as white, 22 Hispanic, two black, and five Asian. Five of the 203 applicants were women.

The college credit requirement was cited by some in the community and the city’s diversity consultant, as a possible barrier to attracting a diverse group of applicants. Some people may have to go to work directly after high school, which would take them out of the talent pool.

The department has 133 members with 40 percent of firefighters eligible to retire if they so choose. The department is predominantly white and male. With recent retirements and a few firefighters out on permanent disability, the department has hired 12 new firefighters since January 2017. Those hired must complete an EMT basic class available at local community colleges within a year of being hired.

thanks Dan