Get to know the FDNY

T he Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) is the largest Fire Department in the United States and universally is recognized as the world’s busiest and most highly skilled emergency response agency. The Department’s main goal is to provide fire protection and other critical public safety services to residents and visitors in the five boroughs. The Department also works to continually educate the public in fire, life safety and disaster preparedness, along with enforcing public safety codes.

Since its inception in 1865, FDNY has helped lead efforts to make New York the safest big city in the nation. This accomplishment requires a steadfast and daily commitment to maintaining the Department’s core values. To that end, FDNY members are sworn to serve and protect life and property.

FDNY not only responds to more than a million emergencies every year, its personnel also strive to prevent them by continually educating the public in fire, life safety and disaster preparedness, along with enforcing public safety codes.

Mission & Values

As first responders to fires, public safety and medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors. The Department advances public safety through its fire prevention, investigation and education programs. The timely delivery of these services enables the FDNY to make significant contributions to the safety of New York City and homeland security efforts.

The Department continues its unwavering call to protect and serve.

Courage is the foundation of our character. Bravery is the ability to overcome fear through fortitude, instinct, compassion for others and training.

We strive to keep our citizens reasonably free from danger, especially deliberate, harmful acts. With the best equipment and training, the Department can reduce the risk to the public and its members at fires, emergencies and medical incidents.

The enormous commitment necessary to perform the Department’s tasks requires excellence of character. We inspire each other through pride in our unit, which is a belief that every action reflects on all the members of the unit, both past and present.

A commitment to the objectives of our mission is an essential part of our code of conduct. The faithful observance of duty calls for us to fulfill our obligations professionally and honestly.

The Department is committed to equitable recruiting and service delivery. The Department fosters a diverse workforce of qualified individuals from all communities; who are proud to maintain its long tradition of responding to all who request assistance, without consideration to race, creed, nationality or religion.

By combining all of the components of our core values, the FDNY will maintain its constant state of readiness to meet all threats and challenges, traditional and new.

Equal Opportunity for All

The New York City Fire Department is an equal opportunity employer committed to full compliance with federal, state and local laws prohibiting employment discrimination which affects:

  • Recruitment
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Testing
  • Promotions
  • Hiring
  • Training Opportunities
  • Work Assignments
  • Transfers
  • Discipline
  • Discharge
  • Salary and Benefits
  • Working Conditions

Employment decisions in City government will be made on the basis of merit, fitness and equality of opportunity and without unlawful discrimination on the basis of: Age, Marital Status, Alienage/Citizenship Status, Military Status, Color, National Origin, Creed, Partnership Status, Disability, Prior Record of Arrest or Conviction, Gender, Race, Gender Identity, Religion, Genetic Predisposition, Sexual Orientation, Victim of Domestic Violence, Sex Offense or Stalking.

Diversity & Inclusion

The excellence of the New York City Fire Department is enhanced by the ability to recruit, hire, retain, and promote highly skilled, talented and motivated members from diverse backgrounds. FDNY prides itself in attracting candidates who are of diverse gender, age, culture, race, religious preference, and sexual orientation because the expression of unique ideas provides for better productivity, efficiency and service to a diverse and multi-faceted community.

FDNY’s mission is to maintain our high standard of excellence while accomplishing our recruitment, retention and inclusion goals.

Affiliated Organizations

Many FDNY affinity groups provide services during the hiring process and throughout your career with the Department. Contact the organizations directly to find out what services they offer. FDNY affinity groups assist in strengthening the Department’s ongoing partnership with members and the community the FDNY serves, while leading initiatives that celebrate all heritages.

Get Directory of FDNY Affiliated Organizations

Brief History

T he origins of the Fire Department of New York City date back to 1648, but it wasn’t until 1865 that the modern-day FDNY first was established with the creation of the Metropolitan Fire Department (M.F.D.). The first professional unit, Engine Company Number 1, went into service on July 31,1865, at four Centre Street in Manhattan. The first ladder trucks were pulled by two horses and carried wooden portable ladders in sizes up to 73 feet. The first reference to the nomenclature F-D-N-Y was made in 1870 after the Department became a municipally controlled organization. The reorganized Department changed leadership, titles of rank and even its name. All usage of M.F.D. was removed and the lettering on all apparatus was changed to the now-familiar F.D.N.Y.

Around the same time, origins of the Department’s Emergency Medical Service began to take shape with horse-drawn ambulances dispatched by telegraph from Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

On January 1, 1898, the Greater City of New York was formed with the FDNY now overseeing all fire services in the newly formed boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. A new charter accompanied the reorganization of the City. The Board of Fire Commissioners, in place since 1865, was replaced by a single Commissioner.

Organization & Leadership

Multiple bureaus, units and commands make up the FDNY. Each contributes to achieve the Department’s lifesaving mission. The Fire Commissioner, appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York, is the civilian administrator and head of the Department. The Chief of Department, appointed by the Fire Commissioner, is the highest ranking uniformed member of the Department, overseeing uniformed personnel. The First Deputy Commissioner, appointed by the Fire Commissioner, is the second highest ranking civilian administrator in the Department.