Well, not really but the city did say they are disinclined to acquiesce to the judge’s request.
On Friday 17 September Michael A. Cardozo, New York City’s corporation counsel told Federal District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis which of the five hiring options for the FDNY the city had chosen.
The city, despite earlier remarks that unfilled positions could jeopardize the safety of its citizens, reported back to Garaufis that using race-based quotas was unwise and illegal. Furthermore, the city stated it would not hire the 300 potential probationary firefighters stonewalled by the court and discrimination claims.
In the time that Judge Garaufis blocked the hiring, editorials took note of the ludicrous solutions offered by Garaufis to make the field level.
“One would let the FDNY hire by picking at random from a pool of candidates that matched the racial and ethnic makeup of all the people who took the test. The pool would be composed of the 2,500 top scorers, with two exceptions: the lowest-ranked whites would be replaced by the highest-ranking minorities below the 2,500 cutoff.”
“Other plans blessed by the judge would use hard percentages – essentially, outright quotas – to circumvent test rankings for blacks and Hispanics.”
Quota alarm: Judge is forcing city to choose between race-based evils in FDNY hiring, Daily News
Nick Garaufis, quota king, New York Post
“In one proposal, the city could hire a class that reflected the racial demographics of the applicant pool (60% white; 17% black; 18% Hispanic) using any criteria it chooses. The remaining 5% would be Asian and others, but the breakdown would not be mandated.”
“Another applicant-flow method would allow the immediate hiring of a class that is about 80% white, but the city would be required to appoint blacks and Hispanics in the following class that reflected the pool’s demographics, regardless of exam results.”
“Garaufis acknowledged those methods sound like racial quotas.” [bold mine]
Compromise lets FDNY hire 300 probationary firefighters from ‘discriminatory’ Exam 6019, Daily News
City Forgoes New Fire Class, Wall Street Journal
To his credit, and maybe on the heels of the Islamic community center protests, Mayor Bloomberg used his weekly radio show to support what many firefighters in the city, and across the nation, endorse: “I want to make sure that if my kids are in that building, I want the best-trained, smartest firefighter that we can possibly have coming through that door,”
City Rejects Judge’s Solutions In FDNY Discrimination Suit, New York 1
City Rejects Judge’s Alternative Hiring Proposals for FDNY, WNYC
Both Bloomberg and Cardozo are correct, surmising that quotas will have an effect on having the best – mentally and physically – running lines and throwing ladders. However, they don’t come close to a article that Dave LeBlanc shared from the American Thinker. In his article “What The NY Jets Can Do That The FDNY Cannot“, Jack Cashill makes a very good comparison between fielding a NFL team and the FDNY.
“Unlike most other professions, especially firefighting, the coaches are free to choose whomever they like for whatever reasons they like. They are certainly under no imperative to hire women. None dare try out. As to handicaps, these merely get a player sent home in a hurry. The coaches do not attempt to field teams that “look like New York.” I doubt if they even keep statistics on race, let alone gender or sexual orientation. The selection process has a massively disparate impact against certain minority groups — Hispanics and Asian-Americans, most notably — and even against African-Americans in the quarterbacking and kicking positions. Jets QB Mark Sanchez is a “minority” in the way that Ricardo Montalban was.”
Cash takes note that no one complains about discrimination in the NFL. No one cries in outrage over a lack of Hispanics on the offensive line; no one champions the plight of the Asians to be part of the pass rush. And in pointing out that obvious notion, he does the same about the safety of New Yorkers from fire,
“In every single American city today, “diversity” trumps safety. Scarcely a day goes by without the media trumpeting lawsuits that waste money and emasculate fire departments. In Chicago, one reads that because of unwelcome results, the city’s firefighter applicant test is now pass/fail. In Kansas City, two women sue the fire department, demanding, among other things, that they be recognized as having the same firefighting ability as men.
In Oakland, a headline reads “a New Century Brings Progress and Hope.” In this case, “progress” means that 13% of Oakland’s firefighters are women and 56% are “people of color.” Whether they can fight fires is irrelevant. In Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Miami, through a combination of litigation and intimidation, women represent more than 10 percent of the city’s firefighters. Fire chiefs who protested are no longer fire chiefs.
To its credit, the FDNY resists, but the federal regulators, the courts, and the media conspire against the Department. As reported in the New York Post earlier this year, a group of women threatened to sue the FDNY, warning the judge “that if the new requirements place a greater emphasis on strength, more women will be excluded from joining the department.”"
The city did well to refuse all of Garaufis’ options, even though they dashed the dreams of 300 hopefuls. The city and mayor also set themselves up for major backpedaling when the medical leave rate and overtime costs rise. Detractors will say that if the FDNY is worried about closing firehouses they should have picked one of Judge Garaufis’ hiring options. Unfortunately the true measure, the reasoning behind the test, will be lost in the corrected results. Being African-American, Hispanic, or Alaskan Eskimo has no impact on one’s ability to be the Control firefighter and make a proper hoseline estimate. Being Gay, Lesbian, Heterosexual or a Benedictine monk has no impact on one’s ability to assist the first due OVM at a fire in a Queen-Anne style private dwelling. What does matter is the mental acuity and physical fitness each of those persons has to properly pass the test and do the assigned jobs (look them up, there are SOPs for the Control firefighter and for Queen Anne dwellings – nowhere is there a reference to the firefighter’s race, sex and religion.)
Keep an eye on this, not necessarily for the FDNY but for your department. Soon, mark my words, we’ll see a discrimination suit filed because someone didn’t get assigned to the Rescue.
I think Frank Ricci would agree.
The Post did identify, however, one fireman brave enough to say the obvious. “It’s a physical job. It requires physical strength,” said Deputy Chief Paul Mannix. “People ask why there aren’t more women in the Fire Department. Why aren’t there more women in the NFL or Major League Baseball?”
Also on Backstep Firefighter …
- Manhattan Scaffolding Rescue Highlights Agency Rivalry and Risk Management Decisions – April 14, 2012
- Brooklyn Working:
Multiple Alarms for Flatbush Blaze – July 26, 2012
- FDNY Medal Day Preview:
WTC and Burn Foundation Medal Winners – June 5, 2012
- Bronx Working:
Videos, Engine Co.75, Ladder Co. 33 First Due on Four-Alarm House Fire – October 16, 2012
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