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Marin County Fire Department and UC Berkeley promote diversity and new tech in firefighting

Members of the 2022 FIRE Foundry crew take a break from training at a recent Wildland Academy event. (Photo by Thomas Azwell/UC Berkeley Disaster Lab)

As another potentially devastating wildfire season begins, California is facing a shortage of wildland firefighters. To meet this challenge, the Marin County Fire Department and UC Berkeley have partnered to form FIRE Foundry (Fire, Innovation, Recruitment and Education), a program that recruits young adults from underrepresented communities for a career in fire service and trains them on cutting-edge firefighting technologies.

“FIRE Foundry is unique because it aims to remove both the barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from pursuing careers in fire service and the barriers that impede technology adoption in that field,” said Thomas Azwell, who leads Disaster Lab, UC Berkeley Engineering’s multi-faceted program that works to develop and deploy innovative engineering solutions for environmental challenges.

Read the full story from the UC Newsroom

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