Sunday, July 26, 2015

Own It!

FDNY recruit failed her way into $81,000 desk job
FF Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder

Today’s New York Post has the following article, “FDNY Recruit Failed Her Way Into $81,760/Year Desk Job” ( In it, the author noted, “A year ago, a classmate called Doirin-Holder “the most pathetic specimen of physical fitness I’ve ever seen,” saying she failed to run a required 1.5 miles in 12 minutes, stopping to walk, and got winded walking up stairs.

“Doirin-Holder gets top firefighter pay, a base $76,488 after five years, because she is one of 282 “priority hires” who Brooklyn federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis ordered must get preference.

“Two other female priority hires in Doirin-Holder’s first academy class, now ages 41 and 44, did well, sources said.”

The FDNY and the City of New York have recently gone apoplectic over such “leaks,” but WHY?!

First, supporters of the view that the existing physical and cognitive standards for the FDNY are “arbitrarily and unnecessarily too high,” SHOULD BE happy to defend that view and use such cases as examples of BOTH their compassion and their ongoing dedication to inclusiveness even in cases where some recruits don’t quite measure up to the existing (“arbitrarily and unnecessarily high”) standards, as these standards are ultimately altered.

There is a large constituency in New York City that is predisposed to support that view, and the administration and FDNY does themselves and that constituency a disservice by refusing to proudly and openly advocate for that position. ALL such instances SHOULD BE seen as "teachable moments," where the case for NEW and DIFFERENT standards can be made to those who are skeptical, reluctant to accept change and suspicious of government's motives due to the furtive actions of previous administrations.

In my view, the ONLY thing that could mar such an agenda would be some kind of double standard, for instance holding some recruits to an “arbitrarily and unnecessarily high” bar relative to others.

After all, it wasn’t white, male firefighters nor certainly any present day white, male candidates who created those existing standards, DCAS (the Department of Civil and Administrative Services) created ALL the previous written and physical exams with precious little (if any) input from the FDNY...NONE, I dare say, from the rank and file.

Look, whether the proponents for lowering the existing physical and cognitive standards are eventually proven right or wrong, is ultimately immaterial, what’s important, at least in terms of respecting those ideals is “owning it.” Stepping up and at EVERY turn defending the view that traditional standards were unnecessarily and all too often arbitrarily high and that newer, less stringent standards are both necessary for greater inclusiveness, without jeopardizing the quality of the workforce.

In THAT regard the “leakers” SHOULD BE seen as co-advocates, helping to highlight the “New, More OPEN FDNY,” instead of as pariahs.

Even if many of those in the administration don’t much like “the cut of their critic's jibs,” at least "take care of them" (ie. put them out on 9/11 related PTSD pensions)...the “gift that keeps on giving.”

And it's NOT AS IF the city hasn't "cashed out" numerous "misfits and malcontents" before, it's been pretty much routine, just ask anyone who's worked over 10 years in the FDNY.

"Taking care of" these critics would be a boom to the city in a number of ways 
 - for one thing, such a solution would undermine the credibility of such "critics" going forward AND, what's more, it costs the city NOTHING (the feds pick up that extra quarter), while making them appear far less petty and mean-spirited.

It's a "WIN-WIN-WIN!"

After all, these "critics" have actually afforded the proponents of these policies a chance to advance and defend those policies.

AND that’s a gift that’s worth its weight in GOLD!

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