Man wanting to become a firefighter SUES NY Fire Dept after repeatedly failing physical exam

A man is suing the New York Fire Department for allegedly discriminating against him in his effort to become a firefighter, even though he failed the physical exam multiple times.

Kevin Walker is demanding he be awarded the job, suing the city and the department for not advancing his application after he did not pass the physical examination three times, the New York Post reported.

After participating in Vulcan Society’s class-action lawsuit against New York City, which saw the case alleging discrimination against minority firefighter applicants settled for $100 million in 2014, the Queens resident was awarded $22,500 .

Walker was on track as a “priority hire” as he passed the qualifying exam in 2013, and could have been hired though he was past the usual maximum age of 35.

But the now-47-year old failed a practice test in 2013 by “grasping at the wall or handrail three times” while on a stair machine, according to court documents. A week later, he “fell or dismounted” three times while on the stair machine, failing to even get past the 20-second warm-up. After he complained, Walker was reportedly given another chance.

Yet two days later when he got that opportunity, the allotted time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds was not enough for Walker to complete the Candidate Physical Ability Test, he ran out of time while executing the seventh of the test’s eight challenges.

Walker slapped the city with a lawsuit in 2016, requesting the Manhattan Supreme Court judge appoint him “to the position of firefighter with the seniority he would have if not for the irrational disqualification.”

“It’s my understanding that he petitioned the court to just put him in. That’s absurd if you’ve already proven . . . that you can’t get it done,” an FDNY source told the New York Post.

Walker’s lawsuit claimed he “was going through the obstacle course even quicker than prior occasions but was suddenly stopped (with less than a minute to complete the obstacle course) by the examiner he had complained about claiming the time was up.”

 

But the city fired back in a 2016 motion to dismiss, accusing Walker of providing “no basis” for his claims including that the proctors knew of his involvement in the Vulcan lawsuit. After his time on the eligibility list had expired,  Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carmen Victoria St. George encouraged Walker to re-take the test a fourth time while dismissing the lawsuit.

“The court ruled that this particular candidate could not be hired because his eligibility under the civil service list had expired,” a city Law Department spokesman said in a statement.

That expiration and his multiple failures to pass the physical exam seem not to be enough for the wannabe-firefighter. Twitter users called him out for being a “cry baby” and attempting to endanger lives with his demands.

Frieda Powers

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