By: Rob McCartney
There’s been some recent controversy over the FDNY’s decision to allow Rebecca Wax to become a firefighter despite her inadequate physical fitness. Many FDNY members are angry with this decision, and rightfully so. Any firefighter that is out saving the lives of others and putting their own on the line should meet the standards for the position. Wax’s high academic skills allowed her to graduate without having met the standards for the Functional Skills Training test.
Lowering the standards simply to accommodate a woman into the field is not the right choice to make. While it is true that an extremely small amount of the FDNY are women, there are other ways to fix this issue. There are other women who have passed the Functional Skills Training test and are fit for the physical demand of being a firefighter. By allowing Wax to graduate, these other women are being grouped with her and the significance of their achievement is lessened.
The physical test is extremely tough and unforgiving for good reason. In a real life scenario there’s no room for second attempts or mistakes. If someone does not meet those requirements, then they are not fit for the job. While her dream may be to be a NY firefighter, standards and regulations in the field come first.