“Firefighter who flunked physical injured 10 days into job”

Deemed a “priority hire” for FDNY under a federal court order, “probationary firefighter Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder injured herself Monday while conducting a routine check of equipment at Queens’ Engine 308 in South Richmond Hill.” She had been on the job for ten days following a bumpy ascent that had included a failed pass at the academy, a previous injury, and the bending of physical test requirements. “Since she was injured on duty, she is eligible for a disability pension that would pay three-quarters of her annual salary, tax-free, if deemed unfit to return.” [New York Post; similarly two years ago] I wrote more on the watering down of firefighter physical tests to avoid screening out female applicants in my book The Excuse Factory, as briefly summarized in this 2007 post.


  • It must be a relief for all the people who were shoved aside in the “priority hiring” process. Hell, somebody actually qualified could have been hurt.

  • She should sue the fire department under an unsafe workplace theory: they knowingly gave her tasks that would likely lead to injury.

    After all, the fire department probably argued exactly that – i.e., that physical requirements were necessary for safety purposes and that would be unsafe to waive them – in its own prior pleadings.

  • It would be nice if they were able to pass the financial costs to the court that forced her hiring.

  • Worst of all this is not only is she a danger to herself because of her inability to physically do the job, she is a danger to her colleagues and to the people of New York at large. Sorry, but if she isn’t able to cut the requirements, she is going to get someone killed. Her getting injured may have been the most merciful thing that could happen.