Fri, 11 Dec 2009|
Courtesy of FOX News, an interview with Frank Ricci as the New Haven 20 are set to be promoted after the Supreme Court ruling.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
-- known as the New Haven twenty -- their time has finally arrived. The New Haven firefighters are achieving their collective goal they -- the plaintiffs who just want to reverse discrimination case at the US Supreme Court. Over promotional exams at the fire department. In 2004 the case showed the elm city discarded test results because too few minorities passed. But now -- promotion ceremony for the firefighters is set to take place this Thursday. The lead plaintiff Frank -- he will be promoted to lieutenant and today he sat -- -- fox sixty ones Jim Altman in an exclusive interview about the landmark case that. Could change the legal landscape for businesses across the country. -- and -- the five year fight and is on third day today was a chance to reflect. And also a chance to talk about the future. -- Like -- has spent a career doing this. That's him. Afternoon's big -- and we're. The opening twelve years on the New Haven force as a firefighter. And the national safety instructor -- when you're stretching and take that extra second to look up but the last five years have been less about fighting fires. And more about legal battle. His landmark reverse discrimination case went all the way to the Supreme Court. And last week Ritchie and the so called New Haven 21 the right to finally get promoted on Thursday the wait is over. When you talk about being through trials and tribulations and you do that as a firefighter but did you think you've been through anything. Like this mistake came as a huge sacrifice to the morning. Basically. You work hard you apply yourself you stay focused and you see that light at the end -- we felt that we work. Political -- Com and at the cost the public safety and firefighter safety. We just gonna happen if so this one Ritchie a father of two and husband to Christine says the case is less about earning his stripes. More about public safety. He says that merit based promotions are crucial in the life saving bit what Jim what service in this country can somebody pick up phone. At 3 o'clock in the morning now mama want. And you get -- personnel at your door no paperwork within five minutes ready to help when someone called -- one they're not interested if the person's black white Hispanic. Male -- female. They want to know that the person's -- show up quickly. They're going to be competent. And -- treatment respect. A legal legacy sure to follow he says the -- -- -- -- -- decision. Is already creating change the legacy -- it's already been felt while firefighters were promoting and Bridgeport because of our case. Memphis Tennessee on we've seen -- Cleveland. And elsewhere so it's all based on merit regardless of race and now after the firestorm of controversy. Frank just wants to go back to what he does that -- continue teaching continue trying to keep firefighters and -- -- So later this week. When they call. Lieutenant frank -- to the podium. -- -- -- -- It's going to be a vindication -- pointless and I'm really not sure what I'm gonna be thinkin' I mean -- term and be excited. But if it shows you that when when he people stand up when individual stand up together. -- in America you can make it. Again a promotion ceremony is on Thursday that's -- fourteen of the New Haven -- -- we'll get there new -- And and Jim we understand -- an additional ten firefighters not part of the case but. And they are getting promoted as well they didn't -- -- and they are also eligible for promotion yes. And three of those firefighters are black -- Hispanic. Exactly right there so on Thursday essentially you're gonna have fourteen of the original ten or so -- legal point four. Right Jim thanks very much we should mention. There's an extended version of the interview on fox 61 dot com and we will cover the promotion ceremony on Thursday we'll have that story on the news to him that -- -- Tonight on -- 61 news -- tan picking up the pieces just one day after massive inferno destroyed the East Hartford business. Reach across America makes a stop in Hartford -- John -- we'll take you inside the special ceremony at the State Capitol. Retail insider here park shopping secret.