Chicago must hire 111 black firefighters

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A Chicago spokeswoman says the city is working as quickly as possible to comply with an order to hire 111 black applicants who passed a Chicago Fire Department exam 16 years ago.

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago spokeswoman says the city is working as quickly as possible to comply with an order to hire 111 black applicants who passed a Chicago Fire Department exam 16 years ago.

Jennifer Hoyle says the city has made some initial strides toward contacting the 6,000 applicants covered by a court order entered Wednesday.

Under the order, the city must hire 111 applicants and pay $30 million in back pay to the rest.

The hires are expected to enter the Chicago Fire Training Academy by the end of March.

Before being hired, they must pass the physical abilities test, background check, drug test and medical exam.

The order ends years of litigation involving the 1995 entrance exam, which a federal judge has ruled discriminated against black applicants.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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