Brooklyn’s Judge Garaufis OKs Fire Dept. exam

October 3, 2012 From NYC Law Department
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FDNY can now begin processing candidates

Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis on Monday formally approved the FDNY’s most-recent exam, allowing the city to move forward toward hiring a new fire class.  

The approval follows a motion filed by the city on Monday seeking the judge’s sign-off, which ensures that the city can use the eligible lists resulting from the 2012 fire exam (Exam 2000), which was taken by more than 41,000 candidates in March and April Of this year.

The court approved the rank order use of Exam 2000. Significantly, it found that the validation study performed by the city’s experts contained persuasive evidence that the test and its cut-off score are job related.   

“We are very pleased that Judge Garaufis has recognized that the City’s proposed use of the exam, which was carefully created with the aid of numerous experts and Special Master Mary Joe White, had no discriminatory impact,” noted Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo of the New York City Law Department.   

“The FDNY’s strong commitment to diversity was evident in our recruitment campaign for this exam where 46 percent of the test takers were people of color — the same overall percentage of minorities at the top of this list,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. “We’re pleased that we can now begin hiring to fill the more than 650 current vacancies in the firefighter ranks.”  

“I am proud of the role that the DCAS Information Technology and Exams staff played in assisting FDNY recruiters process the exam applications of this record-breaking, diverse candidate population,” noted Department of Citywide Administrative Services  (DCAS) Commissioner Edna Wells Handy.

The firefighter test was developed by PSI, a leading test development company with extensive experience designing tests for government agencies, in consultation with experts representing the Vulcan Society and the Department of Justice, both of whom had brought suit against the city.   

The Vulcans and DOJ filed papers this week stating that they did not oppose the city’s motion seeking approval of Exam 2000. Special Master Mary Jo White also filed a report this week recommending that the court approve the new exam and permit the city to start hiring firefighters from its eligibility list.

As a result of Judge Garaufis ‘s approval, the Fire Department can start processing candidates immediately, beginning with the promotional candidates. The Fire Department expects to hire two classes of firefighters in each of the next several years.

FDNY EMTs and Paramedics who took the promotional exam could enter the Fire Department Academy as early as January 2013.

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