Good ol'e Boy Politics or Social Politics which is the lesser of two evils?
It used to be that the only way to get on a fire department was to know someone. Fire Departments were known as "White Male Boys Clubs," hence "good ol'e boy politics." You could say that the process was unfair, but if a person could not perform the job, they either didn't get on or they didn't last long.
Now with affermative action and city quotas, It seems to me that it is no longer about the person ability to perform. I constantly hear "we have to make the job available to everyone," thus standards are dropped. Is this the reason that there are some career firefighters who can't perform simple tasks such as pulling attack lines or throwing ladders? One personel director went as far to tell me that we can't make the physical agilities test too hard.
I don't know about you guys, but I would rather have a person who trained hard for a year prior to the test so they would pass, than one who could walk off the street in any condition an pass.