All 33-year-old Rebecca Wax has wanted is to become a firefighter. She has worked for the New York Fire Department as a civilian for the past six years however now her dreams of actually becoming a bonafide firefighter are becoming real. And not everyone in the FDNY are welcoming her with opened arms.
According to the story on Firefighting News, Wax is set to graduate from the Fire Academy next week despite having failed her physical-fitness test. All students at the Fire Academy are required to undergo an obstacle course while wearing their full gear which is their Functional Skills Training test. While doing the Functional Skills Training test, recruits are to wear their breathing mask and tank while they carry their 50 pounds of gear up six flights of stairs. Then they must simulate a rescue and bring a dummy to safety while using techniques that they have learned. All this must be completed under 17 minutes and 50 seconds. The best time that Wax finished in was 22 minutes. This has left some in the department feeling uneasy about her hire according to Jaime Garcia Dias.
An insider in the department said that other firefighters felt it was not fair to hire Wax as a full-blown firefighter. If she is not up to 100% of her duties then it could cost someone their life. Other female recruits are being hired, however they completed their physical-fitness test as required.