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FDNY Reports Record Number of Minority Test Takers

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A record-number of minorities took this year’s revamped firefighter entrance exam thanks to recruiting efforts aimed at minorities, according to the FDNY.

Of the 42,161 test-takers, 19,260 were minorities — Blacks, Latinos, Asians and women. That was a 130 percent increase compared to the last exam in 2007, according to the FDNY.

But Darius Charney, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said those figures are “a little misleading” since the overall number of applicants grew. He represents the Vulcan Society, a group of black firefighters that brought a discrimination suit against the city.

“What remains to be seen of course is whether the test results are going to show that the test was fair and valid,” he said. 

The FDNY did not say immediately how many more people overall took the test this year compared to 2007.

The FDNY said it spent more than $1 million in advertising the exam to potential test-takers and held thousands of recruitment events throughout the city. The campaign was in response to a suit claiming the FDNY entrance exams discriminated against minority applicants.

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