Updated 09/28/2012 11:36 PM
Judge Approves FDNY's Entrance Exam
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A federal judge signed off Friday on a new New York City Fire Department entrance exam developed by the city that will allow more firefighters to be hired.
Judge Nicolas Garaufis said he agrees with the City and the Vulcan Society that the revamped FDNY entrance exam does not discriminate against minority candidates.
Under a court order, the city developed a new test in conjunction with the department of justice and the Vulcan Society, which is a fraternal order of black firefighters.
The Vulcan Society sued the department, saying the old test was biased.
That led a judge to impose a hiring freeze back in 2008.
Garaufis's decision clears the way for the FDNY to use the results of the exams to pick the next class of recruits, effectively bringing a years-long legal battle to a close.
"We're very pleased that we'll be able to used this test," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. "We're going to have the most diverse classes in the history of the department and that the test was fair, job-related and valid."
"We're optimistic and we're encouraging all of those who have taken the firefighter exam to continue with the process," said John Coombes of the Vulcan Society. "It may be long but it's certainly worth it. It's a great career and we're looking forward to a more diverse FDNY."
The city released a statement saying it is pleased with the judge's decision.
The Fire Department hopes to have a new academy class by January of next year.