May 04, 2015 9:58 PM GMT
New York PostThe FDNY for the first time in its history will allow someone who failed its crucial physical fitness test to join the Bravest, The Post has learned.
Rebecca Wax, 33, is set to graduate Tuesday from the Fire Academy without passing the Functional Skills Training test, a grueling obstacle course of job-related tasks performed in full gear with a limited air supply, an insider has revealed.
Some FDNY members are angry.
“We’re being asked to go into a fire with someone who isn’t 100 percent qualified,” the source said. “Our job is a team effort. If there’s a weak link in the chain, either civilians or our members can die.”
“A lot of the girls in the field are pissed because they feel like they’re getting lumped into the same category of a female getting special treatment and not meeting the same standards as the males,” the insider added. “It devalues what the women in the field have accomplished.”
Last December, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told a City Council hearing on the FDNY’s efforts to recruit women that he had changed FST requirements to lower obstacles.
He also indicated he wanted to act before a possible sex discrimination lawsuit after the city paid $98 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the FDNY of discriminating against minorities.
“We must no longer wait for a judge’s ruling to tell us what fairness means,” Nigro said.
Wax had previously received another break to join the FDNY after pleading in June 2011 for a City Council bill that raised the age limit from 29 to 35 for applicants like her who first took the entrance exam in 2007. A hiring freeze imposed by federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis in the discrimination suit put them in limbo.
New Yorkers of RJ if you ever find yourself in a fire, please check your male privilege and remember your life isn't as important as empowering women.