Judge: FDNY may hire for first time in 5 years

September 28, 2012 - 6:35 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal judge overseeing the effort to diversify the nation's largest fire department has approved a new entrance exam that will allow the Fire Department of New York to hire new firefighters for the first time in five years.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis (GEHR'-ah-fuhs) ruled Friday that the department's most recent entrance exam was not biased against minorities and could be used. The decision comes after years of court fights and strongly-worded opinions from the judge, who called the Fire Department of New York "a stubborn bastion of white male privilege."

The city and fire department lauded the approval of the test and say they expect more minorities to be hired. The department is down about 650 firefighters since 2007.