Fire Chief

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No.: OC-65579 Name: Fire Chief
Type: Civil Service Exams Deadline: 01/09/23 05:00PM
Exam Date: 03/04/23 08:30AM
Salary: Varies with other agencies

Description of Duties

This is an administrative position responsible for the supervision, direction, and integration of the activities of a paid fire department or a combination fire department comprised of career and volunteer staff within a fire district.  Overall administration and accomplishment of objectives of the district and establishing major district practices, planning long-term programs, and determining fiscal and financial objectives are other responsibilities of the position.  Work is performed in accordance with the policies and objectives outlined by a Board of Fire Commissioners and reviewed by the Board via conferences, reports and success of the district’s programs and activities.  Duties include organizing, planning, and directing fire prevention, suppression and emergency medical response activities.  Duties also include responding to fire alarms to direct fire scene operations.  The employee reports directly to, and works under the general supervision of the Board of Fire Commissioners with wide leeway allowed for independent judgment.  General supervision is exercised over subordinate staff.

Minimum Qualifications

Graduation from high school or possession of an equivalency diploma plus EITHER:


(A)       Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with an Associate’s degree plus three (3) years paid full-time or its part-time equivalent experience in a fire district as a Fire Captain or higher rank; OR,


(B)       Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with an Associate’s degree plus six (6) years volunteer* experience as a Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief or similar rank; OR,


(C)       An equivalent combination of experience defined by the limits of (A), and (B) above.


*Volunteer experience, for the purposes of these minimum qualifications, must be documented by submission of a signed letter from the chief/director of the participating district or department stating the title(s) of the positions and months and years of volunteer service.


Effective June 2, 2021, except in the City of New York (a city with a population of 1 million or more) all fire Chiefs (paid or volunteer) who work in a fire department or company that employs six (6) or more paid fire fighters must meet minimum qualifications established by the State Fire Administrator.




Civil Service Law section 58-a and 19 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) section 426.9 establish minimum qualifications for fire chiefs appointed pursuant to the Civil Service Law.  In addition, General Municipal Law section 204-dd and 9 NYCRR Part 227 establish minimum qualifications for fire chiefs of a career and combination fire departments.  To be eligible for provisional or permanent appointment as fire chief, pursuant to Civil Service Law, the candidate must meet the following:


  1. Possess National Certification Fire Officer III, pursuant to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1021 Standard for Fire Officer Professional Qualifications or possess the training, education, experience, or combination thereof, determined by the State Fire Administrator (see guidance below); and


  1. Meet the core competencies for incident commander established by the State Fire Administrator, pursuant to General Municipal Law §204-dd and 9 NYCRR Part 227 (

Guidance regarding alternatives to meet the fire chief minimum education qualification requirement:

The State Fire Administrator will consider alternative training, education, experience, or a combination thereof, as appropriate and adequate substitute(s) for the NFPA 1021 Fire Officer III certification.  Alternate training, education and/or experience may include the following:


  1. Possess New York State (NYS) Supervisory Level 1 certification, pursuant to 19 NYCRR 426.9, or National Certification Fire Officer 1, pursuant to NFPA 1021, and 10 or more years of service as the fire chief, subject to Civil Service Law §58-a; or
  2. National Certification Fire Officer 1, pursuant to NFPA 1021 and completion of the National Fire Academy, Executive Fire Officer Program and supervisory experience above first-line supervisor; or
  3. National Certification Fire Officer II, pursuant to NFPA 1021, supervisory experience above first-line supervisor, and 60 college credits.



General Municipal Law §204-dd and 9 NYCRR Part 227 establish minimum qualifications for fire chiefs, volunteer or career, of a fire department with six (6) or more paid, civil-service appointed career firefighters. To be eligible for election or appointment as the Fire Chief, a candidate must meet the core competencies established by the State Fire Administrator for Incident Commander, based upon the Recommended Best Practices for Firefighter Training.  A career fire chief appointed pursuant to the Civil Service Law must also meet the minimum qualifications established pursuant to Civil Service Law §58-a and 19 NYCRR Section 426.9.

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