First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Entrance Exam Blues

IN THESE TIGHT-BUDGET TIMES, WE’VE heard of municipalities trying to balance their books on the backs of their emergency workers by cutting wages and furloughs.  Now it looks like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is attempting to boost their bank account using people who WANT to be emergency workers.

The state firefighter eligibility list as expiring and a new examination is scheduled to create the new list and everyone who wants to take it is required to pay $200 for the privilege.  The trouble is, most fire departments have been on a hiring freeze, including Boston, and virtually nobody has been hired off the old list.

That affects people like Jason Murray who got a near-perfect score on the test, but was never hired.  Now the state wants to charge him and everybody else another $200 to start all over.

WCVB-TV Ch. 5 Boston talked to Mr. Murray and he expressed his opinion in this video report:

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IN JACKSON, TENNESSEE, A STATE COURT OF APPEALS ruled that an evolution which is part of the physical agility test required before being placed on an eligibility list, does not discriminate against women.  A suit was brought in 2005 by Teresa Hayes when she failed to complete the PA portion of the test within the alloted time because of her difficulty in picking up a  ladder and placing it on the ladder racks of a pumper.

The Jackson Sun explains:

In the lawsuit Hayes stated that a requirement that she replace a 24-foot extension ladder on the fire truck discriminated against women because of the method demonstrated to her prior to the exam.  In a demonstration of the test by a fireman, the ladder was picked up from the center and placed overhead onto the truck, according to the ruling.

According to the opinion, in 2005 Hayes struggled to replace the ladder when she grabbed it at its center and lifted it over her shoulders.  Hayes took two minutes and 19 seconds to complete the task while the men ranged from 37 seconds to 1 minute and six seconds, the ruling said.

In 2007, Hayes took the physical exam again and passed the timed exam after using another method where she hooked one end of the ladder onto the truck before lifting the other end.

The court ruled that her successful completion of the test in 2007 demonstrated that she was able to lift and place the ladder.

Read the entire article in the Jackson Sun HERE.

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