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PR- 429-07
November 27, 2007


Of Top Scoring Test-Takers Most Likely to be Appointed New York City Firefighters, Percentage of Minorities Has More Than Doubled

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Martha K. Hirst today announced the results of this year’s written firefighter exam, which was administered by DCAS on January 20, 2007. Of the 21,183 test-takers who passed the exam, 38% are minorities; 3,862 (19%) are Hispanic; 3,487 (17%) are black; and 435 (2%) are Asian. This represents a significant improvement in diversity over the last exam, administered in 2002, where 21% of test-takers who passed the exam were minorities; 12% were Hispanic; 7% were black; and 2% were Asian. Similar improvements were also registered in the number of Native American and Asian individuals who took and passed the exam. Also, there was a 50% increase in the number of women who passed the exam; 770 passed this year compared to 512 who passed in 2002. This is expected to translate into the hiring of more female and minority firefighters than ever before and comes as a result of the New York City Fire Department’s (FDNY ) unprecedented recruitment campaign designed to attract a diverse group of qualified applicants.
“These impressive results show that people of all backgrounds want to study and train hard to become a New York City firefighter – a great job with great benefits,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Fire Department’s unprecedented investment in recruiting has paid big dividends, which will now allow us to take a major step toward making sure our uniformed workforce reflects the people they serve each and every day.”

“Becoming a New York City firefighter is a rewarding career opportunity that is open to anyone who wants it, and these results prove that a diverse group of New Yorkers have a strong desire to protect their neighbors and their City,” Fire Commissioner Scoppetta said. “By greatly expanding our recruitment efforts and reaching out to communities previously unaware about the benefits of joining New York’s Bravest, we are confident that the future classes at the Fire Academy will certainly be the best, the brightest and the most diverse.”

“More minority candidates have taken this year’s written firefighter test than any other previous test for the position,” Commissioner Hirst said. “The firefighter exam is highly competitive, but anyone willing to dedicate the time to study and prepare can succeed.”

A total of 29,638 candidates applied for this year’s firefighter exam – surpassing the totals for each of the exams in 2002 (23,976) and 1999 (22,529) – and more than 40% of the applicants were minorities (11,918). In 2002, 5,569 minority candidates applied for the exam. For this year’s exam, 1,401 applicants were women, up from 878 in 2002. Of the 4,000 test-takers who scored the highest on the exam and are most likely to be appointed, 33% are minorities. Of those, 722 (18%) are Hispanic; 491 (12%) are black; and 114 (3%) are Asian. This is a significant increase over the 4,000 test-takers who scored the highest on the 2002 exam, where 14% were minorities; 9% were Hispanic; 4% were black; and 1% were Asian.

The candidates who passed the written test will be called, in order based on their rank on the eligible list, for the physical part of the exam, the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). The CPAT, which is graded on a pass or fail basis, is expected to be administered beginning in the spring of 2008. Qualified candidates who pass are eligible to be appointed to the FDNY and report to the Fire Academy at Randall’s Island where approximately 600 probationary firefighters are trained each year. The eligibility list from this year’s firefighter exam is expected to be used to appoint firefighters for the next four years.

The Candidate Physical Ability Test is a nationally recognized physical exam that was developed by a consortium of national firefighter unions and fire departments nationwide, including the FDNY. The City will offer candidates two orientation sessions and two practice sessions before the actual test. DCAS will administer CPAT sessions on a regular basis as candidates are called for future Fire Academy classes.

The Mayor attributed the tremendous response from applicants to the expansion and efforts of the FDNY’s Recruitment and Diversity Unit, which has received $3.2 million in new annual funding from the City. Backed by an advertising campaign from the Arnell Group, recruiters attended more than 2,600 community-based events last year and employed 350 firefighters and EMS members of diverse backgrounds to help recruit qualified candidates across the City. Recruiters also set up a telephone bank in Queens to call thousands of potential applicants and offer guidance and support.


Stu Loeser / Jason Post   (212) 788-2958


Francis X. Gribbon   (Fire Department)
(718) 999-2056

Mark Daly   (Citywide Administrative Services )
(212) 669-7140

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