By Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN — Aspiring firefighters caught up in the city’s legal battle over whether FDNY entrance exams discriminate against minorities will be allowed to reapply to the department, even if they’re over the current age limit, the City Council voted Thursday.
Under the new rules, the age limit for those who wrote the last exam will be raised to 36 to give would-be firefighters the chance to reapply when a hiring freeze imposed by the judge is eventually lifted.
Under current FDNY rules, candidates must apply to take the test before they turn 29.
"Through no fault of their own they are in jeopardy of losing that opportunity because of the current age requirements and the fact that the exam they took isn’t being used," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement issued after the unanimous vote.
"This bill would right that wrong," she said.
"To prevent qualified FDNY candidates from serving our city simply because the court invalidated the test is unfair and a misplacement of punishment," City Councilwoman Member Elizabeth Crowley said.
Registration for a new class is set to open July 1.
The Council also voted on a resolution calling on the state legislature to allow the council to pass a law granting extra points to New York City high school graduates who apply to the FDNY in an effort to boost diversity. The force is currently overwhelmingly white.
In addition, the Council told the city to report how many people it helps find emergency temporary housing. It also ordered the Human Rights Commission to add new anti-cyberbullying and bias-related harassment courses to its roster of programs.