Despite never receiving a passing score on the Functional Skills Test, a female FDNY recruit has graduated — and now calls Engine 301 home.
It seems a 2009 court order to increase diversity has forced the FDNY to loosen its rules in the case of Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder, who is black. According to the NY Post, instructors reportedly ‘fudged’ her scores after she failed to pass strength and running tests.
The 39-year-old was a court-mandated priority hire. She first took the civil service exam in 1999 and this was her third attempt at the fire academy after failing twice. After failing in 2014, it was widely reported in the NY press that Doirin-Holder was given a “cushy desk job” and received over $80,000 that year.
A former classmate described Doirin-Holder as, “the most pathetic specimen of physical fitness I’ve ever seen.” But an FDNY spokesman said Doirin-Holder “met all requirements for graduating from Probationary Firefighters School and was assigned to a firehouse.”
She completed the Functional Skills Test with a time of over 24 minutes. The passing time required is 17 minutes and 50 seconds. She also reportedly failed to complete the required 1.5 mile run in under 12 minutes, finishing it in 12 minutes 6 seconds. “This was after the start and finish lines were moved, shortening the course a quarter-mile,” the Daily Caller reports.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro ordered a rule change to allow trainees the option to instead show aerobic capacity while on a Stair Master.
There has been a strong push for New York’s Fire Department to increase diversity, since the 2009 court order which states in part: “…two of every five individuals that the City hires for the entry-level firefighter position shall be black Claimants from the approved list of priority hire claimants.”
The order came after a DOJ lawsuit against the city which argued two FDNY tests administered between 1999 and 2002 disproportionally failed black and Hispanic applicants.
Doirin-Holder’s graduating academy class had the most black and Hispanic graduates in history, and will bring the amount of women on the force to a record high, the Post reported.