I worked in Harlem for the better part of 14 years and was constantly interacting with the FDNY. Obviously, that particular area was very busy and at any given time they were out on calls whether it be a building fire at 3 am or and aided case in a 6 story walk up in full gear in 100 degree temps;
The citizens of Harlem saw these guys on a daily basis and saw what they had to go through and virtually no one I ever met showed the slightest interest in doing what they did for a living....and even thought they were crazy.
COmbine this with the fact that due to the size of the city, there were numerous other civil service jobs with easier tests to be had that didnt have the physical demands the FF's did.
Of course, none of this is taken into account by Judge Gargoofis...who instead saw phantom racism in already dumbed down questions...which went virtually unseen by the thousands who chose not to even bother applying for the test....or didnt bother showing up when they did.