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You may recall a few weeks ago the outrage that came from an article on the Internet that claimed the judge involved in the FDNY discrimination case told instructors to go easy on recruits at the training academy because there had been a much higher than normal dropout rate in the first court mandated class that addressed the diversity issue. The dropout rate was higher, according to a New York Post article from October 13. But the idea that the judge ordered the FDNY instructors to back off was not true. It was satire created by the website Call The Cops.
Now comes an article today in the New York Post that claims FDNY has gone easy on at least one recruit from a previous class. It’s a woman the Post is calling the “Teflon probie”. Her name is Wendy Tapia. According to reporter Susan Edelman at the Post, Tapia was one of five women among 285 firefighters who graduated on May 17, but has yet to work a shift in the Queens firehouse where she is assigned. Tapia, claiming a foot injury and then a respiratory ailment, was not able to complete a required running test and is scheduled to take that test again in December for an unprecedented sixth time.
At the end of 18 weeks of probationary training, Tapia failed to run 1¹/₂ miles in 12 minutes without gear, as required by the academy. She blamed a foot injury.
The FDNY let her graduate anyway — and gave her five more deadlines over the past six months to pass the running test.
She failed all five times, insiders said.
Normally, probationary firefighters who fail the running test at the end of academy training don’t graduate — period. They flunk out but can join the next academy class, start over and get another chance to pass the course.
Tapia’s treatment has inflamed male and female colleagues alike.
Tapia was “unavailable for an interview,” the FDNY said.
A spokesman said Tapia “successfully completed every requirement to graduate from the academy except the run — which she was unable to do after sustaining a work-related injury. We have provided her time to recover from her injury and will test her again on Dec. 2.”