Clarion Call Over Firefighters Exam

Past presidents of the Firebird Society of Bridgeport have signed a commentary written by retired firefighter Donald Day denouncing a city decision to extend conditional offers of employment to about 30 names on the list of an expired Civil Service exam. Day is joined by other fellow past presidents Ron Mackey, Joel Christy and George Bryant. Unclear how many will actually be hired based on budgetary allowances and retirements.

It has come to my attention that the City of Bridgeport Civil Service has decided to extend the expired Civil Service exam for firefighters for an additional six months after its expiration date. There were thirty letters sent to candidates on the expired list for twelve positions and of those thirty individuals only five are Bridgeport residents. How is it in the best interest of the residents of Bridgeport when five city residents are competing against twenty five out of towners for well-paying jobs in Bridgeport? Of those thirty individuals only three are Black, five are Latino and 21 are White males.

In fact for the 11th consecutive year there are NO WOMEN represented in those that received letters of participation. A top step firefighters makes $69,014 a year prior to working one minute of overtime and if by chance all five of the Bridgeport residents are hired, the city will still be sending $483,098 per year to the suburbs to uplift their communities. Should all twelve positions go the suburbs then $828,168 would leave the city each year and that figure doesn’t include OT or fringe benefits. This is an affront to all that is decent and moral.

It is said that Local 834 of the BFD union came to the city and asked that said list be extended and without question they obliged their request. Why would Local 834 ask to extend this list when no new hire can join the union until they pass four months of training at the State Fire Academy? The only reason for the union to request is so that their children, family and friends who also live outside of the city CAN BECOME FIREFIGHTERS TO THE DETRIMENT OF BRIDGEPORT RESIDENTS! Having said that, I firmly believe that again, this is the work of that dastardly David Dunn whose agenda since he was appointed, [without an exam or any experience,] as Civil Service Director is to rid the department of Women and Blacks. To that end he has been extremely successful. This is also a violation of the City Charter which says entry level and promotional exams are to expire after two years.

Bridgeport why are you standing by when great paying jobs are being sent to the suburbs by people that don’t live in Bridgeport like David Dunn, who in fact lives in the suburbs. Women why aren’t you calling the office of Mayor Joe Ganim to excoriate him about extending this list that don’t have any women representation when in the last two years women of the BFD has gotten two promotions to the rank of Pumper Engineer, one to the rank of Lieutenant, one for the Fire Marshal and two received commendations for heroism? Women have proven that they deserve to be on this job as firefighters and they were fairly represented prior to David Dunn being given the Civil Service position. Blacks why aren’t you calling to excoriate Mayor Ganim on extending this list when at best only three Blacks have an opportunity to compete for one of those twelve opening against 21 white males for jobs in your city?

Councilman (Ernie) Newton, you should be outraged and appalled that David Dunn, Local 834 and/or Mayor Ganim would try to backdoor your Resolution or Ordinance that would preserve Public Safety jobs like the Police and Fire Departments for Bridgeport residents. This appears to be a deliberate attempt to sidetrack your best efforts to the detriment of City residents. Bridgeport stand up and tell David Dunn, Local 834 and Mayor Joe Ganim, HELL NO leave that dead list alone and start fresh to give more Women, more Blacks and more importantly, more Bridgeport residents an opportunity for these well-paying jobs in the city where they were raised, where they live and where they were educated and to HELL with the suburbs.



  1. As the past leader of Bridgeport Firefighters for Merit Employment I find myself agreeing with Mr. Day. This is another move by David Dunn to circumvent testing and allowing for brighter firefighters both male and female. there is no reason that the testing should not be for Bridgeport residents only.
    Speaking of Local 834 the firefighters Union they are taking part in this travesty of justice.Is there support payback for granting their Union President a waiver to stay employed past the age of 65?
    Why are we going to hire the bottom of the remaining employment list?

  2. Local 834 does not condone this practice. This is nothing more than Acting Personnel Director Dunn making things up as he goes along. My guess is someone on the hung list who was not offered this sham of “conditional employment “ will bring suit to stop this illegal practice.

  3. What a shame or what a scam.
    What is going on here?
    Did Dunn claim that the firefighters union approved this when they didn’t or did one individual sign off on this even though he is not empowered to do so?

  4. Ernie, you know I love you like a play cousin, but you’re off base with your response to Mackey in the Roach post where you say, “It is about money every time you put a test together, it cost you should know that from being a fire fighter.”

    Yes he does know that and he also knows, as should you that everytime discrimination shows it’s ugly head the excuse for remedy is it’s about money. When has money become a precursor to doing what’s right, what’s moral and what’s just.

    Ernie, that’s the reason the Civil Service Office was always autonomous from city preview so that doing the right thing for the people isn’t governed by money, political pressure or political favors. That was changed under Finch and allowed to continue unabated under Ganim. Ernie you do your constituents a disservice when you sight the slave masters reasoning for continued discrimination of black’s, women and city residents. Ernie. Need I remind you that the city didn’t vote for you that’s was the constituents of the 139th and they deserve a chance for a better life by being firefighters. Repeat after me Ernie, Give the damn tests and to hell with its cost.

  5. Ernie, let me be absolutely clear, you and the other 19 city council people do your constituents a disservice when you use the money argument for a new exam as the reasoning for continued discrimination of black’s, women and city residents on this exam and any other. There isn’t a top step firefighter on the BFD that is making under $80,000 a year and ALL CITY RESIDENTS deserve a fair opportunity to compete for these life changing jobs and to use an expired exam to pick the next group is wrong, immoral and unjust. What say you my Brother?

  6. Ernie, let me address your comment about the Firebird Society from the Danny Roach posting and what they should be doing. You, Dr Ralph Ford, Keith Williams and Dave Roebuck and I discussed the Firebird Society in great detail at the East End reunion and I told you that this Firebird Society isn’t the organization that it was in the past. This Firebird Society’s leadership is operating without a social conscience or a need to do whatever it takes to uplift our community. This Firebird Society is about getting along rather than being an advocate for the inclusion of Black’s into the Fire Service.

    This Firebird Society refuses to care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical and expect more than others think is possible, unlike us Brother.

    This Firebird Society don’t understand that too accomplish great things, we most not only act, but also dream, not only plan but also believe. They don’t understand that our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. They know about the article on OIB from four past presidents, but to date no response whatsoever. My Brother you know I love this organization as past president and as a founder, but they’re lacking in their willingness to fight for our Brother’s and Sister’s like we fought for them.

  7. To the Bridgeport City Council members, here is why David Dunn the City’s “Acting” Personnel Director for the pass 11 years, should not hold the position that he has, plus if you look further in CHAPTER 17 it will tell you that City “shall” provide the funding for testing and you can’t that funding for any reason.

    Sec. 204. – Personnel director; assistants; civil service status.

    The civil service commission shall appoint a personnel director and such examiners, investigators, clerks and other assistants as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act. Such persons, including the personnel director, shall be subject to the civil service laws. The personnel director shall be a person thoroughly in sympathy with the application of merit and sound business principles in the administration of personnel; shall be thoroughly familiar with the principles and methods of personnel administration and skilled therein and shall have had at least three years of successful experience as director or assistant director in the administration of an employment system involving at least five hundred positions or employees. He/she shall direct and supervise the administrative work of the personnel bureau and perform such other functions as may be required of him/her by the civil service commission.

    The position of Personnel director of the city of Bridgeport, established under the provisions of the charter is included in the competitive division of the classified service created under said act, as amended. (These sections amended, 1986 referendum)

    1. (b)
      As soon a practicable after the passage of this act (1957, S.A.No. 85) the personnel director shall make or cause to be made an investigation of the duties and responsibilities of all positions in the classified service in order to aid the commission in determining the proper class or classes in the classification plan to which such positions should be allocated or reallocated and to report his findings in writing to the commission. Upon consideration of the facts made available to it through the report of the director and all other sources available to it, the commission shall forthwith allocate or reallocate on the basis of merit all such positions to the appropriate existing class or classes in the classification plan or it shall add such new class or classes to the classification plan as it may deem proper in accordance with the formula hereinafter described, and it shall allocate or reallocate on the basis of merit such positions as it may deem proper in accord with said formula to said next class or classes. All permanent positions in the classified service in existence on April 18,1957 shall be allocated or reallocated by the commission in accordance with the provisions of this act within one year of its adoption.

      Again, it states the commission SHALL forthwith ALLOCATE or REALLOCATE on the basis of merit all such positions to the appropriate existing class or classes in the classification plan, as you can read there are no budget cuts in giving exams by charter.

  8. *** ZZZZZzzzz…..ZZZzzz….*** Here we go again, no? *** It could be hiring, firing, quota’s, job-testing, promotion-testing, merit-system, resident points, unions, non contract negotiating unions, provisional positions, BFD-chief, race issues, politics, etc… *** Its been a “never-ending” story unfortunately, with the BFD, no? ***WHAT SAY YOU?***

    1. Mojo, these 20 City Council members think that they are Rock Stars but they won’t do their job like reading the City Charter and writing legislation that comforts to the charter but that’s asking to much so they wait for Mario and Hamilton Burger to tell them what to do, I mean after all nobody wants a primary, No?

  9. I will beseech all twenty members of the Bridgeport City Council to talk to Mayor Ganim and ask how is it fair, moral and just that 5 Bridgeport residents compete against 25 non-residents for these well paying jobs from a list that is in fact expired.

    Please ask, Mayor Ganim why not give the residents of Bridgeport a better chance to get these jobs by just giving another exam which by the way the City Charter mandates. Please ask, Mayor Ganim if you say you love this city as we all have heard you say, then love it enough to give a new entry level fire department exam and not use this old expired exam that doesn’t benefit our residents, our constituents or our city. The one which we all love.

  10. The politicians are putting out a lot of Bull shit these days about making developers hire a percentage of Bridgeport residents for their projects.these same 2 faced politicians are doing absolutely nothing to make sure that only Bridgeport residents are hired to be cops and firefighters/. For over 100 years it was done that way and it worked/ Why do we have to go to the suburbs to hire littlr willy to be a firefighter or a cop. Why do we have to go to the burbs and hire Mary swans or Joe Shithead to be cops when they never met. talked with or knew a black or Hispanic these same urban cowboys take it as a personnel insult when someone calls them mother Fucker, A street kid from Bpt would not view it the same as a suburban kid. You want developers to hire Bpt residents how about Bridgeport doing the same thing

    1. ANDY at lease i’m trying to get developers to hire Bridgeport first.You i see have gotten religion just remember when you where a fireman you didn’t stand up for your Brothers! firefighters which happen to be Blacks and Hispanics. Just remember you cost the city of Bridgeport tax payers Millions. I will be meeting with David Dunn and our City Attorneys on a Ordinance given to me by Donald Day.Andy what took you 30 years I’ve been fighting for all my life.I’m Glad to see you come over to the DARK side lol.

      1. There were 2 minority firefighters when I was a firefighter . Judge Daly took care of that. We were fighting what at the time looked like the emasculation of civil service. I wasn’t the only one that cost the city money on this suit, all those that claimed i court that they were AFRAID TO FILE AN APPLICATION

  11. I just talked to Councilman Newton and he informed me that David Dunn informed him that Bridgeport will not be using the expired fire department exam to hire new recruits. The long journey to righteousness begins with the first step.


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