City Councilman Peter Vallone is introducing a bill that would raise the cut-off age for aspiring firefighters to take the FDNY entrance exam. Currently, potential recruits must be under 29 years of age on the day of the test, but Vallone's bill would change that age requirement to 35. The age change is intended to remedy the consequences of a 2007 court decision which found that the FDNY's recruitment exams discriminated against non-whites. None of the applicants from that year were allowed to join the FDNY, and since there hasn't been a new test since then, many of them will be too old to take a new, court-approved FDNY test.
"Not only did this judge blow a hole in the city's budget and rip money from the budget, it ripped these kids' dreams away, and we need to fix that," Vallone tells NY1. Sources tell the news channel that the FDNY's new test won't be ready until late 2011, and even then it could take 18 months or more to hire from that list! "Without changing the age limit I don't get to take the next test. Plain and simple. I'm 29, there's no way around it," says FDNY candidate Rebecca Wax, who should definitely show up to take the new exam wearing a Long White Beard.