Sadly, striving for excellence is not something we can expect from a public sector that’s being crippled by political corrects. From the NY Post we get a story of a female who is about to be promoted to firefighter despite having failed the physical fitness test.
Rebecca Wax says she “wants nothing more than to be a New York City firefighter.” To those making the decisions her desired career is more important than the safety of the people she may be called upon to save, or the men and women she’ll be working with.
How can this be so? Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said he wanted to circumvent any further lawsuits. The city had recently paid a $98 million settlement to avoid trial in a wrongful minority discrimination suit and he was fearful of being sued for sex discrimination as well.
Of course, shutting qualified blacks out only because of their skin color was wrong, serving only to weaken the overall strength of the force. Equating the disqualification of an unqualified female with that is an affront to common sense.
The only difference between this decision and the wrong it seeks to remedy is who the power to decide is now vested in. The process is just as arbitrary. The outcome may well prove to be worse.
In order to make Ms. Wax qualify, standards had to be changed. Academic requirements can now overcome a candidate’s lack of physical ability. Tell that to the grieving spouse of a fellow firefighter when her ineptness leads to his or her death or injury.
A number of women have successfully passed the required physical testing proving their capabilities in emergent situations. In fact, 44 women have passed the test. That Ms. Wax couldn’t pass the test despite being permitted numerous attempts should disqualify her. In fact, she completed the test only once. And, that took her more than 4 minutes longer than the allotted time of 17 minutes and 50 seconds.
This should’ve been wholly unnecessary. Ms. Wax has been a FDNY civilian employee since 2009. She earned $52,338 last year. Testing revealed Ms. Wax to be highly intelligent. Wouldn’t a position that utilizes that skill set have, both, made more sense and satisfied hiring demands.
How soon before an emergency requiring the police is answered by a desk sergeants’ secretarial assistant only because she is a woman?
America’s taxpayers pay a fortune in taxes. Much of this money goes to inflated salaries, benefits, and pensions. They deserve to expect the most qualified person to respond to their call in an emergency.