BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- Over the course of the last four shifts, Bloomfield Firefighters have each taken part in a 90 minute interactive workshop on implicit bias. The goal of the workshop is to identify their role and responsibility in understanding, addressing and dismantling implicit bias. 

“It is imperative that all of our municipal employees that work with the public on a regular basis have the training necessary to do so,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “Implicit bias training will help to prevent possible negative interactions with residents regardless of the color of their skin. I am proud of the proactive steps that we have taken to ensure that all residents are treated fairly and equally including our community discussions on race.”

Diversity Consultant Dr. David Jones was the guest speaker and trainer for the workshop. The sessions focused on:

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  • Understanding implicit bias and how individuals may unconsciously reinforce bias

  • Taking part in individual and group exercises to develop bias awareness 

  • Learning about how implicit bias reinforces systemic racism and creates structural barriers

  • Identifying strategies for dismantling implicit bias in an organization

  • Formulating an action plan to engage in anti-bias practices including holding yourself and other individuals accountable

“As first responders, our Firefighters work with residents on a day to day basis. It is crucial that we recognize the unconscious potential for biased behavior in the community as well as in our own workplace,” said Fire Chief Louis Venezia. “This workshop further demonstrates our commitment to constantly evolving in order to best serve the residents of Bloomfield.”