A group of white New York City Fire Department candidates claim they’re being discriminated against by black firefighters after they say they were turned away from a test-prep session in Queens earlier this week.
The Vulcan Society, a fraternal order of black firefighters, has organized test training sessions for those looking to join the department.
However, the group is accused of turning away white candidates Wednesday night in Rochdale Village.
The latest controversy stems from an independent effort to fix what a federal judge called a shameful blight of discrimination in the FDNY and its hiring practices.
The Vulcan Society says three nights in a row, non-black FDNY applicants attended their test-prep sessions, but they ran out of material Wednesday night and turned away everyone they had not invited.
White firefighter candidates who attended a study session in Brooklyn Thursday night, though, say they experienced no problems.
“They got us all in and took care of us inside. They took us through the study course and they answered all the questions we had,” said one firefighter candidate.
“This material is Vulcan Society material. We paid for it we administer it,” said John Coombs of the Vulcan Society.
A class scheduled for Thursday night at the Queens was canceled – a decision the Vulcan Society says was made by the school because of what uninvited firefighters did Wednesday night.
“They were being obstructionists. Firefighters on the jobs were trying to take seats from other individuals who wanted an opportunity for tutoring,” said Coombs.
“It’s almost like reverse racism the way thing are going on here,” countered one FDNY candidate.
Black and Latino firefighters make up just nine percent of the department despite making up more than half of the city’s population.
A department spokesperson adds that the FDNY hopes to hold it’s own tutorials for applicants starting next week.