Posted on July 24, 2013

Minority Candidates Get Second Chance & Join FDNY

Ginger Adams Otis, New York Daily News, July 21, 2013

About 15 years ago, five New Yorkers, then in their 20s, had one burning ambition: to work for the FDNY.

They all took the city’s firefighter exams in 1999 and 2002, but none got hired.

Six months ago, thanks to a controversial ruling by Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, all five — now older, a touch grayer and maybe just a little bit wiser — got a second chance at their dream job.

This month, four of them will finally join the city’s Bravest.


All five of the second-chance candidates profiled by the Daily News in January breezed through the written firefighter exam given by the city that month. With that hurdle out of the way, they turned their eyes to training for the rigorous physical exam that would be given in late spring.

The pass-fail test requires candidates to display “legs and lungs” with a 1.5-mile run in less than 13 minutes and other feats of strength, including four chinups.

Many of the priority candidates took advantage of physical training classes offered by the Vulcan Society — the fraternal organization that filed the lawsuit that brought about Garaufis’ ruling — in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Priority candidates are those minority applicants who took entrance exams in 1999 and 2002 but didn’t get jobs.