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Fri. Sep 26th 2014


By Kenneth Garger and Danika Fears NEW YORK POST

September 26, 2014 | 3:59am

Somebody call 911 — the FDNY’s recruitment practices need some emergency help!

An unprecedented number of fire recruits have been injured during probie training this year — after the department dropped its normally rigorous standards and hired a host of “physically unprepared” wannabes, department ­insiders claim.

“These kids are dumb and out of shape,” a high-ranking source said. “The standards are in the toilet.”

At least a dozen recruits out of a class of 300 have had to go on paid medical leave, the Post has learned.

They were overwhelmed by the department’s grueling 18 weeks of training at Randall’s Island, sources said.

Usually, no more than one or two per year are hurt.

“Kids are showing up that don’t belong there,” said the source. “They are getting these soft-tissue injuries and being put on light duty.”

While their classmates are running sprints, performing push-ups and hustling up stairs, these fragile probies have been assigned to light desk duty — and are getting full pay to push paper at 9 MetroTech or Fort Totten. They will be allowed to enter training and try to qualify again next year.

Some insiders are convinced that some of the fallen recruits are even exaggerating their injuries in order to get more time to study and get in shape for the physical exams.

‘These kids are dumb and out of shape. The standards are in the toilet.’

 - FDNY source

“It’s unprecedented,” said the high-ranking source, who has been with the FDNY for more than 20 years. “This is getting out of control. These kids are welcoming these injuries.”

Veterans of the department are shaking their heads at the abysmal performance, saying probies are now being allowed go on light duty after suffering lesser injuries like a sprained ankle, a source said.

“When I was in the Fire Academy, if you strained a muscle, you dealt with it at home,” said a 16-year FDNY member. “You nursed it on your off-time and got right back to training the next day.”

The Post first reported in July that physically unfit FDNY probie Choeurlyne Doirin, 39, was allowed to remain on light duty even though she couldn’t graduate with her classmates.

The former EMT said she suffered an injury that prevented her from finishing.

Another recruit, Wendy Tapia, was allowed to graduate from the academy ­despite failing a running test a whopping five times.

A high-ranking source said one of the reasons for the rash of poor performers is that recruits who are city residents get five extra points on their exams — and sometimes aren’t as ­academically prepared as their out-of-city equivalents.

A FDNY spokesman said the department will not comment on the protected medical records of employees.

Additional reporting by Kirstan Conley

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