It is not easy to become a Firefighter. You must complete a formal process that requires a significant commitment of time and energy. You need to be willing to go all in and follow the path one step at a time.
STEP 1: Expression of Interest Form
The Expression of Interest (EOI) form is an official FDNY document used as a convenient way of letting us know you are interested in joining us. The EOI helps build a database of candidates we can communicate with. We may ask you to opt-in for additional information during the process of learning about our careers, and the EOI is the first step to receiving more information.
STEP 2: Written Exam
Completing the EOI ensures that you will be informed when it is time to take the FDNY written exam. The exam tests your reading comprehension and problem-solving skills, as well as your ability to follow rules and understand concepts. You do not need to have any knowledge of firefighting. If you do well on the exam, you will have an in-person interview and be put on a numbered “civil service” list.
STEP 3: Candidate Physical Ability Test
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) measures your physical condition. This is a pass/fail test involving cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. FDNY offers CPAT training, including female-only training sponsored by the United Women Firefighters. You can also download the CPAT Orientation Guide and watch our training video to see what it takes to pass.
STEP 4: Medical Assessment
Candidates who pass the CPAT are scheduled for a one-day medical assessment, which includes medical history, lab work, lung capacity and cardiovascular fitness tests, and a physical exam. More details and FAQs are available online about the assessment. We also recommend watching the FDNY medical evaluation video.
STEP 5: Additional Qualifications
Candidates who successfully complete the medical assessment must then take a psychological exam, pass a drug test, and go through a character and background check. If all goes well, you’ll finally be ready to enter the 18-week Fire Academy.
STEP 6: Fire Academy
The FDNY Fire Academy is an 18-week period that encompasses classroom study, reading assignments, weekly tests, and real-world physical training. You will learn about firefighting equipment, personal protective clothing, building construction and fire science, along with essential on-the-job skills. Our Probie Manual provides a good look at what to expect during the Fire Academy.
STEP 7: Probie Status
Once you graduate from the Fire Academy – which is a proud day for all candidates and their friends and families – you become a Probationary Firefighter. “Probies” are assigned to a specific Ladder or Engine Company and begin working alongside veteran Firefighters. It is a new phase of life; and a new phase of your career.
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