Russell G. Hayden Founder


Russell G. Hayden: Founder


The level of innovation that Mr. Hayden infused into the area of recruitment earned him the Outstanding Employee Award for the City of San Jose.

His contributions included the development of the fire department's first recruitment program.

He built upon this program to include a comprehensive internship component that yielded many successful recruits.

Recognizing the needs of candidates to be better prepared for the application and testing process, Mr. Hayden developed the acclaimed eight-hour course entitled

"21st Century Diversity Recruitment Workshop".

He continues to conduct this highly effective course throughout the nation.

Additionally, Mr. Hayden has participated as an oral board member and proctor for agencies throughout the nation.

With a passion for diversity and recruitment, Mr. Hayden's experience and leadership roles include the following:

  • Founder – Firefighter's ABC's
    • Firefighter Diversity Recruitment Council
      • Fire department members nationwide including Canada
    • National Recruit Database
      • Diverse recruitment pool
    • Firefighter's ABC's
      • Online Internship Program
    • Firefighter's ABC's Entry Level Workshop – Towards diversity in the fire service
      • Presented nationwide
  • Thirty-four years fire service – retired
    • Twenty-nine years - San Jose Fire Department
      • Recruitment Officer 
      • Public Information Officer
      • Public Education Officer
      • Company Liaison Officer
      • Twenty years various administrative duties
      • Extensive relationship with Human Relations Department
    • One year - Gilroy Fire Department
      • Public Education Outreach
    • Five years - Los Altos Fire Department
      • Began as Student Firefighter
  • Prior presenter - Fire Rescue International Convention
    • Subject matter: Diversity Workshop
  • Environmental Compliance Programs Manager / Fire Safety Manager - NorCal Waste Corporation
    • Oversight of Fire and Environmental Safety for the Southbay Region
    • Three years
  • Rosendin Electric Inc.
    • Safety Professional 
    • Apple AC2 Project - Cupertino, CA
    • Three years
  • Past President and Co-Founder Santa Clara County Black Firefighters Association
    • Founded 1973 - Goals then and now to increase diversity within the fire service
    • The other Co-Founder was Kenneth C. Moore of then Stanford Fire Department which is now part of Palo Alto Fire Department
  • Lifetime Member International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
    • Member since 1973
  • When it's time to relax
    • He can be seen driving his 1954 Chrysler Crown Imperial
    • While pulling his 1948 Teardrop Trailer
    • To sneak a peek

About Firefighter's ABC's

Through hundreds of conversations with fire departments nation-wide, Firefighter's ABC's observed a host of challenges that hinder the fulfillment of diversity recruitment goals within the fire service. Many fire departments proclaim that recruiting qualified candidates, from diverse backgrounds, is literally like finding the proverbial "Needle in a Haystack".

While some departments do a better job than others, the anecdotal evidence clearly indicates that the vast majority of programs is not sustained over time and is not comprehensive or broad enough in scope. This led Mr. Hayden to form the Firefighter Diversity Recruitment Council and to couple it with the National Recruit Database.

This "Power in Numbers" approach benefits from the collaboration of shared "Best Practices" and the budgetary efficiencies of sharing a much broader pool of diverse candidates.

The most important aspect of Firefighter's ABC's is that it was developed to support our many diverse youth nationwide with a 100%  Free platform that will in some small way help support their career goals to become part of the fire service and if not the fire service simply being more productive citizens.


I ask for your support in the following three simple ways:

  1. Share our site throughout the United States and Canada with both fire agencies and our diverse youth starting with the 9th grade through and post college with a focus on females
  2. Mentor at least two youth to join the "Free" Firefighter's ABC's Online Internship Program with one being female and one being male
  3. Like us and share us via social media
    • @firefighters - Facebook
    • @firefighters - Instagram
    • @firefighters - Twitter

I thank each of you in advance for your support of a more diverse candidate pool for the Fire Service, EMS Field and other areas of Public Safety.

Russell G. Hayden - Founder

"All That I AM I Owe"

"I Live Eternally In The Red"

From a homeless at-risk youth hitch-hicking on the freeway to Dr. Irvin Roth of Foothill Jr. College picking me up and introducing me to the fire service in 1969. 

Yes, the fire service made a difference in my life - for more about this select "A Message From Our Founder" and read "A Short Story".

Thus began my career in the fire service as the first Black on the Los Altos Fire Department and the only Black for my entire five years on that department.

In 1972 Kenneth C. Moore and I entertained the idea of forming an association to create a more diverse candidate pool within Santa Clara County - thereafter the Santa Clara County Black Firefighters Association was founded in 1973 which is a Chapter of the Southwest Region of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters - our first meeting was held at Trotters Inn in Los Altos - for more about this select "Resources & Directory" then select Firefighter's ABC's Downloads then scroll down to History of the Santa Clara County Black Firefighters Association.


 Do not go where the path may lead.....

Go instead where there is no path.....

 And leave a trail.....


 Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson


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