Nearly half of 9,400 applicants who aced the latest FDNY written exam are minorities, the city says in new court filings.
The latest figures are a significant increase over those for the previous test, in 2007, when just 38 percent of those who qualified were minorities.
The new test — created under the guidance of a court-appointed special master and other experts — was administered after years of legal wrangling in the wake of a federal court finding that the FDNY had discriminated for years against minority applicants.
The city hasn’t been allowed to hire a new class of firefighters since 2007.
Of the more than 41,000 applicants who took the most recent test in March and April, only those who scored 97 or above would be considered as “likely hires,” according to the city’s filing in Brooklyn federal court.
There are 9,417 people who meet that criteria. Of those, 53.5 percent are white; 22.6 percent Hispanic; 19.7 percent black and 3.7 percent Asian.
And a total of 437 women would be included, which amounts to 4.6 percent.
In the 2007 tests, 19 percent of those who qualified were Hispanic, 17 percent black, 2 percent Asian and 3.5 percent women.
The city hopes the increase from five years ago will be enough for Brooklyn federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis to certify the results of the new FDNY entrance examination and allow the department to resume hiring firefighters.
If the judge approves the test, the city says it plans to hire two classes each year for the next few years.
Last year, Garaufis ruled that broader judicial oversight was necessary to assure that minority applicants were fairly treated.
The city has appealed Garaufis’ decision, and the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals now is reviewing the case.
Garaufis appointed a special monitor to oversee the FDNY and mandated a series of far-reaching remedies to correct the racial imbalance at the nation’s largest fire department — where blacks account for only 3 percent of all firefighters.
Darius Charney, a lawyer representing The Vulcan Society, a fraternal group of black firefighters who, along with the US Justice Department, brought the lawsuit, said, “We are very pleased. It is good to see this happen.”
Republished with permission of The New York Post