- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2006

HOUSTON (AP) — A firefighter took a promotion exam just 12 hours after giving birth because of a state law requiring all promotion candidates to be tested at once.

Beda Kent gave birth Jan. 10, slept for a little more than two hours and popped some painkillers before taking the exam. She scored 104 out of 110 and expects to return from maternity leave in March as a captain with a $6,000 raise.

“I wanted that promotion,” Mrs. Kent said of the job she had sought for two years. “I feel I was overdue for this promotion.”

When she was six months’ pregnant, Mrs. Kent learned the test would be given on Jan. 11 — just four days after her due date. She asked whether a proctor could administer the exam at the hospital if necessary, but was told there could be no exceptions, except for firefighters on active military duty.

Mrs. Kent’s doctor tried to induce labor on Jan. 4, but discovered doing so could cause complications and force a Caesarean birth, with a longer recovery that would take away from Mrs. Kent’s time to study.

After her daughter was born, Mrs. Kent left the infant named Brina Sue at the hospital within hours.

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