November 05
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Firefighter Takes Test After Giving Birth | Strange News, Weird Stories at

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A Houston firefighter had to take a promotion test just 12 hours after giving birth because fire officials wouldn't bend the department's policy to allow a postponement.

Beda Kent gave birth to a healthy baby daughter, slept for about 2 hours and then took the Houston Fire Department captain's exam just hours after delivery. "It was uncomfortable," said Kent, a twelve year veteran of the department. "I had my Motrin thank God but that only lasts for so long."

Civil service regulations mandate that everybody take the test at the same time. A person who is given a temporary reprieve could gain an unfair advantage if they learn about the test from other test-takers.

A firefighter who was injured at a scene and was unable to take the test also would have to wait for the next round of examinations, the department chief said. "It's the same for everybody," he said. Kent reported she opted to take the test because missing it would have meant waiting at least two years before the next promotion exam was offered.

She was about six months pregnant when the test was announced in October. "Generally, there's not a test announced until there is a vacancy," she said. "I really needed to take this one." Nevertheless, she said the department should find a way to accommodate people who have legitimate medical excuses that create a conflict with the testing timing.

Kent said at least 360 firefighters took the test this time around. She said she was told she ranked 15th, with a score of 104 out of 110, although the results are not yet official. Kent's newborn daughter, Brina Sue, stayed at the hospital for the mandatory 48-hour observation period.

"I didn't like that at all," she said. "It was really hard to leave her."

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