- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A new class of probationary firefighters are on their way to joining the ranks of the New York Fire Department.

Commissioner Salvatore Cassano swore the class in on Monday. There are 319 members, and 46 percent of the class is made up of minorities.

The Fire Department says it’s the second-most diverse class in the department’s history, after the class that graduated in December of last year. That class was 62 percent minority.

The vast majority of the city’s more than 11,000 firefighters are white. A group of black firefighters brought a suit against the fire department over its hiring practices more than a decade ago.

The department said the new class also had 6 women.

The class will spend the next 18 weeks at the department’s Fire Academy.