St. Paul Fire Department welcomes historically diverse class of recruits

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The latest class of St. Paul firefighters is made up of a former Marine Scout Sniper, a college athlete, postal worker, dental assistant and basketball coach, just to name a few.

These are just several backgrounds from the latest batch of 23 recruits wrapping-up their grueling 14-week training program.

“It feels amazing, I’m proud of myself,” Cadet Mohamed Daoud said.

Daoud was a refugee just five years ago. He’s now less than a week away from becoming one of the first two Somali-American firefighters in Minnesota, and likely the country.

“The city of St. Paul has allowed a lot of opportunities for the Somali community,” Daoud said. “I feel like this is a time to give back.”

“It’s amazing, it’s what the world is now,” Cadet Jodie Carroll said. “I’m honored that our department can represent that.”

Carroll is a mom of three. She got her custom protective gear with her name on it Tuesday, along the rest of her class.

“It’s like, ok it’s real, I made the team,” Carroll said as she talked about her new equipment, “I got my jersey and it’s about time to hit the streets now.”

Carroll is one of seven women in her class- the most since 1992.

“I do believe it is the most diverse class we’ve ever had,” Captain Patricia Pierre said.

Pierre is one of the first women hired at the Saint Paul Fire Department as part of that class of ’92.

“It matters, it matters to have people that look what your community is made of,” Capt. Pierre said.

This class is set to graduate on Friday.