Firefighter and Emergency Service Resources
November 29, 2023
Albany, NY

DHSES Seeks Public Comment on Draft Regulations Establishing New Stipend for Volunteer Firefighters

DHSES Seeks Public Comment on Draft Regulations Establishing New Stipend for Volunteer Firefighters
New Stipend to Help Aid Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Across the State
Proposed Regulations Published in State Register to Undergo 60-Day Public Comment Period
Stipends Range from $500 to $1,250 Depending on Completion of Various Training Courses

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services today announced the start of a 60-day public comment period for draft regulations establishing New York’s first training stipend program for volunteer firefighters. As part of Governor Hochul’s effort to strengthen and stabilize New York’s volunteer fire service, $10 million was secured in the FY2023-24 State Budget to offset the costs of training courses which volunteer firefighters are required to complete. The program’s draft regulations were published in the State Register on November 29, 2023, and will now undergo a 60-day public comment period.

“The role volunteer firefighters play in our communities cannot be overstated, and with so many departments facing recruitment and retention challenges, it’s critical we support these brave men and women who keep our communities safe,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray. “Training is an essential component of firefighting and by offsetting its cost, New York is making it easier for volunteer firefighters statewide to continue serving their communities, without impacting their own bottom line.”

Volunteer fire departments serve approximately 9 million New Yorkers, nearly half of the State’s population. In recent years, however, more than three-quarters of these departments have reported a decrease in the number of individuals willing to volunteer and serve. This is further compounded by the increased operational responsibilities beyond fire protection to include vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, hazardous material spills, and weather-related rescue operations. At the same time, calls for service have increased 29 percent from 1997 to 2020.

As part of the effort to strengthen and stabilize the state’s volunteer fire service, the Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) will administer the stipend to volunteer firefighters for completion of the following training courses completed on or after August 31, 2023.


Volunteer Firefighter Training Course Stipends
Basic Exterior Firefighting Operations$750.00
Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus / Interior Firefighting Operations$1,250.00
Fire Officer 1$1,000


Additionally, a local fire training stipend may be authorized for the completion of any OFPC training course or equivalents, as determined by OFPC, up to $500.

Stipends are for first time course completions of the listed OFPC course or equivalency as determined by OFPC.  Students must be a member of good standing as determined by their department and stipend applications are submitted by the fire chief.

To be eligible, fire departments must have submitted fire reporting for the previous calendar year and complete the annual fire department demographics form. This regulation also authorizes volunteer fire departments to pay volunteer firefighters a training stipend, subject to local funding, for the completions of certain courses, identified by the Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

About the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control

The Office of Fire Prevention and Control delivers a wide breadth of essential services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York to help ensure the safety of all stakeholders. The office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations, and technical rescue programs.

About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow @NYSDHSES on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) or visit