A woman who failed the Fire Department of New York's running test six times will get a seventh opportunity to become a full-fledged member of the department, according to a published report.
The New York Post says that Wendy Tapia, 34, is among a group of EMTs promoted to probationary firefighters. The group will start an 18-week training academy Monday.
The Post reported that Tapia was allowed to conditionally graduate from the Fire Academy on May 17, 2013, despite being unable to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes or less. At the time, she blamed her slow going on a foot injury.
After she was sworn in, the FDNY gave her five more chances to pass the test, but Tapia was unsuccessful in all five atempts. After her sixth failed attempt, in November 2013, Tapia resigned and returned to EMS never having worked a full-fledged shift.
FDNY members who spoke to the Post predict that Tapia will be allowed to pass the running test by FDNY brass, who fear a gender discrimination lawsuit.
"She’ll graduate, no question," one FDNY member said. "The department doesn’t want another black eye."
In March of 2014, the city agreed to pay $98 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination against minority applicants.
"All who enter the academy must meet the same requirements in order to graduate," insisted FDNY spokesman Jim Long Saturday.