Dong becomes the first fire chief of Asian American descent in the nation, reports the Daily Cal.
He has served as interim fire chief since December, taking over for the retired Debra Pryor.
Dong says he’s honored being the first Asian American, but also frustrated that no one else before him has been given the honor.
“I think it’s reflective of the culture and the problem we have recruiting Asian American firefighters,” Dong said. “Asian parents want you to become doctors, lawyers, engineers. We need to break through some of those barriers and show that being a firefighter is just as honorable.”
He called for more aggressive recruiting of Asian Americans and other minorities into the firefighting ranks.
You can read about what the Asian Firefighters Association says about all this in the Daily Cal.