Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, April 24, 2015

New York Fire Department Drops Requirements

Liberals have complained for years that there are not enough women serving in the military and in emergency services, but when the New York Fire Department commissioner cut a physical standards requirement last year, many including even liberals are left scratching their heads and worrying about the quality of new firefighters. In December, the department stopped requiring probationary firefighters to pass certain physical-skills tests related to the job. Many have criticized this as a lowering of standards – including those who have constantly complained about the department’s low hire-rate of women.

Women applicants are now allowed to fail components of the Functional Skills Training test, but nevertheless graduate from the Fire Academy. “It’s a lowering of the standards across the board,” said one former FDNY official. “What needs to matter is how well you perform the tasks of firefighting,” he added. “The question is when you’re 270 pounds and you’re on the fourth floor and someone comes through the window – can they pick you up and drag you out?” But still, the commissioner assured the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee that this test’s removal would not affect the quality of new firefighters.

He has also denied that this is an attempt to allow more women on the force, which is currently comprised of 10,500 male firefighters to only 44 women. Despite his assurances, Elizabeth Crowley – the Committee chair, and a Democrat – voiced concern at the impact of these lessened training requirements. Not forgetting her feminist demands, however, she continue to say that “There are still concerns that excessive testing…within the Fire Academy are being used to keep women probationary firefighters from graduating.” She must be too wrapped up in her radical feminist agenda to notice her inconsistencies.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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