Entrance exam holding back hiring more Philadelphia firefighters

The Philadelphia Fire Department is looking to hire some new firefighters, but a Supreme Court decision has slowed down the process.  

The current Philadelphia firefighter’s test is similar to one struck down by the Supreme Court as discriminatory.  Everett Gillison, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, says a consultant will be paid up to a quarter million dollars to come up with a new exam.

“Go around the country figure out the best way to put together the appropriate test then we will bring that back in vet it get the test done and push it out,” said Gillison.  That process will take between three and six months.”

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says there won’t be a fire academy class starting for some time while waiting for a proper test and then administering the new exam.  

“We expect that whole process is going to be close to one year, it’s going to be a little while,” said Ayers.

For now, the city is budgeting for about two and a half million dollars worth of extra firefighter overtime to pay the existing workers to cover necessary shifts.

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