In 2011, the DOJ ordered the Dayton Police Department and the Fire Department of New York to lower the required test scores of minorities after too many failed to pass the existing exams, and in 2013, the Marines changed their fitness requirement for women after the majority of female recruits were unable to perform the required three pull-ups.

This week we learn that the FDNY is allowing a woman to become a fire fighter despite failing a crucial fitness exam.  According to The New York Post:

The FDNY for the first time in its history will allow someone who failed its crucial physical fitness test to join the Bravest, The Post has learned.

Rebecca Wax, 33, is set to graduate Tuesday from the Fire Academy without passing the Functional Skills Training test, a grueling obstacle course of job-related tasks performed in full gear with a limited air supply, an insider has revealed.

“They’re going to allow the first person to graduate without passing because this administration has lowered the standard,” said the insider, who is familiar with the training.

Upon graduation, Wax would be assigned to a firehouse and tasked with the full duties of a firefighter.

As you might imagine, not everyone is thrilled with this development.  An FDNY member tells The Post, “We’re being asked to go into a fire with someone who isn’t 100 percent qualified.  Our job is a team effort. If there’s a weak link in the chain, either civilians or our members can die.”

This is particularly problematic because Wax is the only female firefighter who has failed the fitness exam and still made the cut.  The female firefighters who passed the fitness and other exams are livid; the Post reports:

While Wax fell short, two other female probies in the graduating class passed the FST with flying colors.

“They’re kicking butt. They’re doing better than 50 percent of the class,” the insider said. “When they get assigned to a firehouse, they’ll be welcomed with open arms because they’ve done what everyone else has gone through.”

Other female firefighters aren’t pleased about Wax’s treatment, either.

“A lot of the girls in the field are pissed because they feel like they’re getting lumped into the same category of a female getting special treatment and not meeting the same standards as the males,” the insider added. “It devalues what the women in the field have accomplished.”

This devaluing of genuine accomplishment by women and minorities is a real problem in this trend to lower standards to accommodate those who would otherwise not pass muster in military ground forces or on police and firefighting forces. Lowering standards does not create equality; it creates substandard military and first-responder teams, and these are the very last groups we want functioning poorly.

Lowering the physical fitness and ability standards for one female firefighter not only emphasizes her inequality but it endangers her, her fellow firefighters, and the public she hopes to serve.  If she can’t perform a fireman’s carry of a full-grown, unconscious man and move him quickly out of a smoke-filled building, she can’t do her job as a firefighter:

In the FST exam, probies must breathe through a mask attached to an air tank while carrying up to 50 pounds of gear.

They must climb six flights of stairs, stretch hose lines, raise ladders, perform tasks that simulate breaking doors and pulling down ceilings, and drag dummies through tunnels with no visibility.

They must complete the course in 17 minutes, 50 seconds or less.

Despite many attempts over the Fire Academy’s 18-week training course, Wax completed the test just once — but it took her more than 22 minutes, the source said.

In numerous tries, Wax struggled and was too slow. While fit probies finish with air left in their tanks, she had to stop when hers ran out, the source added.

Watch The Five discuss the matter:

If the left can’t see that having two effectively separate but equal standards endangers not only the men and women working alongside the unqualified recruits but also the general public they serve, you’d think they could see how they are undermining the very real accomplishments of women and minorities in closing race and gender gaps.

As it turns out, some on the left do see this.  Brian Van Reet, writing for The Daily Beast about the military, argues for a “nuanced” fitness and readiness series of tests that is job-specific:

This kind of job-specific system is already in place to match recruits with a suitable MOS, according to their mental abilities. The most mentally demanding jobs are only open to those recruits who score well on a standardized intelligence test. Similarly, fitness tests should be written to specific outcomes as opposed to specific genders. In the end, a job-specific fitness regime would simply codify what everyone in the military already knows: the average infantry troop is way more physically fit than the average satellite repair technician. So why not write a separate physical fitness standard for each?

Inevitably, this approach would lead to fewer women in the most physically demanding roles, but it would ensure that the women who did serve there had unquestionably earned the right, meeting the same requirements as their male peers. If the object of the current push for gender integration from Congress and the Pentagon is to ensure equal opportunity, that no woman is denied the right to serve just because of her gender, there should be no problem in accepting the fact that fewer women than men will be able to qualify for certain intensive assignments. It bears saying that the vast majority of men are not cut out to be commandos, either.

This isn’t a bad idea, and I’m sure that the FDNY can find a place for Wax that will not endanger her, her fellow firefighters, or the citizens of New York.

Political correctness and misguided “feminism” should not trump common sense and public safety, nor should it devalue and undermine the accomplishments and ability of the women who are qualified FDNY firefighters.



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