New York Fire Department teaches Mandarin to emergency responders

CCTV News

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For the first time ever, New York City Fire Department is funding Mandarin classes for the city’s emergency responders.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

New York Fire Department teaches Mandarin to emergency responders

New York Fire Department teaches Mandarin to emergency responders

For the first time ever, New York City Fire Department is funding Mandarin classes for the city's emergency responders. CCTV America's Karina Huber reports.

The program is all part of an effort to respond to shifting demographics.

People from China are expected to become New York City’s largest immigrant group in the next few years.

The classes are funded by the fire department and were the brainchild of Lieutenant Lee, President of the Phoenix Society, a group of Asian-American firemen and first responders.

Spanish is currently the most widely spoken foreign language in New York, but foreign born Chinese are soon expected to become the city’s largest immigrant group. Many of those immigrants speak little or no English, which makes it challenging for first responders.