A woman was allowed to graduate from the Fire Academy even though she didn’t run the mandatory 1 and ½ miles in 12 minutes without gear. She’s now taken the test five times and failed on each try with another attempt slated for early December.
MSN reports that Wendy Tapia was granted her diploma from FDNY's training academy even though she never performed the requisite run. Claiming a foot injury, Tapia has made five more attempts since graduation, with each ending in failure — the most recent one, she said, due to an upper respiratory infection.
The 31-year-old Tapia was one of only five women among 285 new firefighters who graduated from the FDNY’s Randall’s Island training academy on May 17, according to the New York Post, which reported that other firefighters are not happy about Tapia’s situation.
“I don’t know how she got to graduate. It never should have happened,” a female firefighter told the New York Post. “You should not graduate if you can’t meet all the requirements — male, female, black or white.”
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The New York Post also reports that normally, probationary firefighters who fail the running test at the end of academy training don’t graduate — period. They flunk out but can join the next academy class, start over and get another chance to pass the course.
Tapia hasn’t worked a shift at the Queens firehouse she was assigned to in May. She went on medical leave until June 10 to recover from her foot injury and then went on light duty until early July at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn. She reportedly went on full duty, but was sent back to the Randall’s Island training academy for extra help.
Tapia attempted the run again on October 31, but finished in 12 minutes and 23 seconds amid the claims of an upper respiratory infection.
An FDNY spokesperson said Tapia “successfully completed every requirement to graduate from the academy except the run — which she was unable to do after sustaining a work-related injury. We have provided her time to recover from her injury and will test her again on Dec. 2.”