Brooke is the first FDNY hired employee, who is a transgender person. She herself is a third generation firefighter, starting with her grandfather and extending to her father, who is currently an active FDNY officer.
To many co-workers, it’s simply a time to support an fellow FDNY’s bravest.
“It’s a tremendously courageous decision. Hopefully everyone will be supportive,” as one fellow firefighter indicated.
However, total acceptance is slow to come by everyone, as some colleagues have continued to calling her “it,” as two department sources indicated.
But another veteran declared that there Brooke’s personal transformation won’t be fodder for such ignorant bigotry, especially “among those who know the [family], this won’t amount to a hill of beans to them”.
He added, “There’s a lot of respect for the family.”
DNAinfo.com reports that the FDNY has openly gay and lesbian firefighters, the department has been battling an “anti-LGBT” stigma for many years. In 2010, in response to the PR lashing, the FDNY put resources to an outreach program in the effort to recruit LGBT personnel.
“I am appreciative of the support that the FDNY has given me during this time in my life. However, it is my expressed wish that the details of my personal and professional life remain private,” Brooke indicated in a written statement, reported by The New York Post.
In Brooke’s current assignment, at one of FDNY’s MetroTech centers, there are a total of 100 male and 36 female staff.
The FDNY is the largest municipal fire department in the United States and is the second largest in the world, after the Tokyo Fire Department. It has approximately 11,100 officers and firefighters and over 3,300 uniformed EMT and paramedics.