Career Firefighter Requirements:

Currently, there are 99 fire departments in New York State that are under the requirements of the Firefighting and Code Enforcement Training and Education Standards. Of these, 36 municipalities are staffed exclusively by full time or paid/part paid firefighters. The balance have combination departments made up of career, part-paid or volunteer members.

To qualify for employment as a career firefighter, an individual must:

  • Meet residence requirements, if they exist.
  • Apply for and take an entry-level Civil Service test periodically given by the municipality in question.
  • Successfully pass an agility test and physical.
  • Be reachable on the finalized list once vacancies are being filled.
  • Be selected as a probationary firefighter. 
  • Successfully complete basic firefighter training and departmental requirements within required time frames.

Contact the local Civil Service Office or Fire Department for complete details of requirements and procedures.

Volunteer Firefighter Requirements:

In many New York State municipalities, individuals give graciously of their time and energies on behalf of their communities. Contact should be made with each local department to obtain membership information and applications.

To qualify for the position of volunteer firefighter, an individual must:

  • Meet residence requirements, if they exist.
  • Meet the active membership requirements or bylaws of the entity or organization.
  • Successfully complete required probation or training needs.

Volunteer fire departments provide:

  • Injury compensation under The Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Law.
  • Company- and state-sponsored training.
  • Social/organizational benefits.
  • Retirement incentives in some departments.

Volunteer Program


In 1997, the National Volunteer Fire Council(NVFC) embarked on a national volunteer recruitment effort that has the potential to be the most effective campaign the volunteer fire service has ever experienced. The project allows for national exposure for the volunteer emergency services. The project is the national implementation of 1-800-FIRE-LINE.

How does this program work?

States which adopt the 1-800-FIRE-LINE number simply have calls placed within the area code boundaries for their states routed to a statewide answering point. The names of prospective volunteers who call the 1-800-FIRE-LINE are passed on to local contacts who will inform them about the emergency service opportunities in their communities (fire, EMS, police auxiliary, search and rescue, forest fire service, emergency management, canine rescue, etc.).