fire_jeanettics.jpgThe Fighting 6019 is holding a protest rally at noon today in Union Square. Who are the Fighting 6019? They are a group of FDNY hopefuls who are upset with the Firefighter civil service exam given in January by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Among the problems alleged with the exam: nearly half the questions had more than one correct answer, 105 of the 150 questions were hypothetical in nature, proctors were ill-prepared, and the widespread use of cellphones during the exam.

Previous exams, which are given only once every four years, consisted of multiple choice questions designed to test reading comprehension and basic learning skills. Candidates who used exam prep materials were surprised to see questions such as "Imagine you are a senior firefighter witnessing a heated dispute between firehouse members over whether to buy a communal big-screen TV or workout bench. Would it be: A) highly desirable B) desirable, C) neutral, D) undesirable or E) highly undesirable to raise your hand and say that 'only lazy couch potatoes would be in favor of the television?"

The DCAS counters that the questions were designed to assess "a variety of abilities, including memorization, reasoning and judgement" and was developed with input from firefighters and fire officers.

An anonymous FDNY source told the Post that the changed format suggested that the city saw the test as less of hiring filter than the training period, which was recently extended from 13 to 23 weeks.

The correct answers for the question are D and E.

Firefighters battling a car fire on Third Ave by jeanettics on Flickr.