New York Fire Department Gives Woman Seventh Chance On Running Test

New York Fire Department Gives Woman Seventh Chance On Running Test

Are you a believer in true equality? Do you believe that the best person should get the job? If you answered in the affirmative, then you have no place in the modern FDNY. The world-famous fire department is now offering a seventh chance to a woman to try once again to pass the physical requirements needed to become a firefighter.


In its sheer desperation to hire women, the New York Fire Department is allowing one lady who failed their running test six times to try yet again, the New York Post reports.

But the test seems like a formality for 34-year-old Wendy Tapia. “She’ll graduate, no question,” an unnamed FDNY employee told the Post. “The department does­n’t want another black eye.”

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The Fire Academy allowed Tapia to graduate in 2013 even though she muffed the relatively modest requirement to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. Prospective firefighters unlucky enough to have a phallus normally flunk out if they fail that test.

After clocking in most recently at just over 12 minutes, Tapia was assigned to light duty at FDNY headquarters and then to a Queens firehouse. She never actually worked a shift and seems to have spent most of her time trying to pass the test. But she failed again and again and again and again and again.

Tapia finally quit her “job” and went back to work as an EMT.

Now, she gets another bite at the apple because the NYFD, which in March 2014 settled a race discrimination lawsuit for $100 million, is fearful of gender bias claims.

Fire Department chief Daniel Nigro said last year that, “We must no longer wait for a judge’s ruling to tell us what fairness means.”


Nigro has loosened the standards to allow prospective firefighters to graduate from the academy even if they failed a rigorous “functional skills test,” which required them to run an obstacle course while wearing an oxygen tank and completing job-related tasks. Now, good grades can compensate for failing to demonstrate basic firefighting abilities, like running up six flights of stairs and raising a latter.

Gee, that is reassuring. The woman firefighter who arrives at your burning building might not be able to climb up the stairs to rescue you. But she can have an intelligent conversation with residents who managed to escape outside.

In 2013, the Department allowed Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder to graduate even though she could not run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes and needed to walk part of the way, gasping for air.

She is “the most pathetic specimen of physical fitness I’ve ever seen,” one classmate told the Post.

Dorin-Holder, who looks quite chunky in her official picture, finally passed the test on her third attempt. But 10 days after reporting for work she went on medical leave because she injured her left foot after getting off a fire truck, according to the Post.

And this May, Rebecca Wax was allowed to graduate from the academy even though she failed the functional skills test.

Despite the obvious double standards at play with Doirin-Holder, Wax and Tapia, FDNY spokesman Jim Long insisted to the Post that, “All who enter the academy must meet the same requirements in order to graduate.”

Yes, but to paraphrase the famous line from “Animal Farm,” everybody at the f academy is equal but women are more equal than the men.

If we, as a nation, are truly committed to equality, we must be willing to set aside these kinds of absurdities and judge people based on their individual merit.

If you think these kinds of ridiculous measures are not harming anyone, think again. Would you want a six-time reject in charge of rescuing you from a burning highrise?

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