HUDSON COUNTY –As noted in our earlier breaking news brief on Monday in this space, the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue is now able to hire firefighters from their local hiring lists. They are planning a press conference for Thursday. Details in the release:
This Thursday, April 29, 2010, at 12PM, a press conference will be held at North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) Headquarters, 11 Port Imperial Blvd. in West New York, New Jersey, announcing a major legal victory in NHRFR’s ongoing fight to protect jobs for its residents, a large number of whom are Hispanic.
An injunction issued by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey prohibiting NHRFR from hiring off its current New Jersey Civil Service Commission entry level list, which includes firefighter candidates composed entirely of North Hudson residents, has been vacated in its entirety.
The injunction, originally issued on February 18, 2009, in an action brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was vacated by Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise of the United States District Court. Judge Debevoise vacated the injunction, ruling that the NAACP did not have a likelihood of success on its merits. It was further determined that NHRFR made a strong argument for using the residency requirement for hiring, and that nullifying the residency requirement would be unfair to Hispanics.
“North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue has fought hard to preserve these jobs for all North Hudson residents. This injunction being vacated is also a major victory for our position that NHRFR membership should reflect the ethnic diversity of our five towns,” said NHRFR Chairman and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. “We are pleased that Judge Debevoise agreed that our residents would have been unfairly impacted by this injunction.”
Formed in 1998, NHRFR is one of the country’s largest regional fire departments, encompassing the municipalities of Guttenberg, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and West New York.