A buff 30-year-old man has been told that he is too old to join New York City’s fire department, and is speaking out in protest.
Rob Becerra, who turned 30 in April, said the FDNY’s strict on applications over the age of 28 is ‘age discrimination’ in a plea for the department to reconsider his case.
New York ban anyone who has reached their 29th birthday from starting the application process, with some exceptions for military veterans. The age cutoff is among the youngest in the country.
‘I was told by the FDNY I am too OLD to be a Firefighter, it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing besides the acting/modeling and animal activism,’ Becerra wrote in a plaintive Facebook post on Monday.
Rob Becerra, who turned 30 in April, said the FDNY’s strict on applications over the age of 28 is ‘age discrimination’
‘I was told by the FDNY I am too OLD to be a Firefighter, it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing besides the acting/modeling and animal activism,’ Becerra said
‘Talk about Age Discrimination….you telling me i can’t do the job? I’m too old? An outrage at the least, especially for all the people in my age bracket (30-35),’ he continued.
AGE LIMITS FOR NEW FIREFIGHTERS IN MAJOR CITIES
New York: 28
Los Angeles: No limit stated
Becerra said he wanted to become a firefighter in order to ‘save animals from burning buildings’.
The FDNY has made exceptions to its strict rules in the past.
In 2014, after the department settled a racial discrimination lawsuit alleging it had passed over qualified black and Hispanic applicants, those former applicants in their 30s and 40s were allowed to join.
Becerra, who also works as a personal trainer, told the New York Post that he first considered becoming a firefighter four years ago, too late for the department’s last open exam in 2012.
By the time the FDNY offered another exam this past April, he had aged out.
Becerra’s girlfriend vouched for his strength, saying he sometimes picks her up and carries her several city blocks
‘I work out five days a week. I can bench 315 pounds. I can run a mile in under six minutes,’ the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Becerra told the newspaper.
His girlfriend Grace Navarro also vouched for the Queens native’s fitness: ‘Sometimes he’ll pick me up, and carry me for blocks.’
Although a city council bill raising the FDNY age cap from 28 to 36 was supported by firefighters’ unions last year, it was shot down.
Department brass reportedly feared raising the age limit would disrupt efforts to recruit more ethnic minorities by widening the overall applicant pool.