NOFD promotions hearing draws protests

Dozens of New Orleans firefighters plan to protest ahead of an appeals hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Some firefighters are angry about the promotions process within the New Orleans Fire Department.

Forty-six captains and four district chiefs say New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell skipped over them for promotions.

They say it isn't right or fair. Backed by the New Orleans Firefighters Union, they will be protesting on Poydras Street outside the building where the hearing will be held.

The group says McConnell uses personal and political bias when choosing who is promoted instead of relying on civil service test scores.

McConnell said those who are upset simply don't understand how the promotion system works. Making everyone happy is impossible, he said.

The department had 120 candidates for 40 openings, McConnell said.

Resumes and test scores were reviewed as well as education, training, leadership, problem-solving.

The department tried to identify candidates who demonstrated leadership within the department.

McConnell is set to testify at the promotional appeals hearing begins at 9 a.m.

If the protest beforehand is any indication, the hearing should be contentious.

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