Any Firefighter will tell you that it is not easy to get this job. You have to really want it. And once you get it, you’ll understand why there is no other career like it.
“It is nice to see people smile when you are riding in the rig, and they are waving at you. Or when they come up to you and say, ‘Oh … I’ve never seen a female Firefighter before. Can I take a picture with you?’ I think that’s pretty cool,” says Firefighter Anita Daniel with Engine Company 234. “I would love to leave a legacy of hope so when little African American girls or little girls, in general, see me riding on the rig or out in the street they look at me and say if she can do it so can I.”
Firefighter Clara Lyde of Engine Company 217 remembers the Firefighters she knew while growing up in Brooklyn. “Every time you saw Firefighters, they were not just putting out fires, but turning on the fire hydrant in the summertime. You appreciate people like that. I would say to myself that [this] is the type of position I could absolutely have because I love my city.”
“At my firehouse, if the weather is good the doors are open because we want the community to feel welcome,” Anita adds.
“Graduating from the Fire Department and becoming a part of my community was an accomplishment,” Clara says. “I live here, and this is what I’ve known all my life. To be able to work for the people you know, even if you don’t know them all, is a blessing. Emergencies can be anything, and if you know the neighborhoods you are working in, you will feel a certain kind of pride,” she continues. “You will be trained to diffuse any situation to the best of your ability, and there will be somebody who has your back, and that always feels good.”
“A milestone that I had, which any Firefighter would appreciate, was helping to put out a three-alarm fire. I had the nozzle position, which is one of the most prized positions on the job. Front of the line. Up close and personal,” Anita explains. “There are three main people at the front. The lead person has control of the direction of the stream. I proved [myself] to a lot of people.”
“Joining FDNY was a perfect way to have a career that could not only provide a great income but provide a role model for my daughter. I knew that having a job like this, she could have a mom to look up to with a sturdy, respectful career,” Anita says.
Everything Anita says about the opportunity here is true. We are recognized for doing one of the most important jobs in all of New York City and are rewarded in kind. As a Firefighter, you can look forward to flexible schedules, full retirement and generous benefits that start immediately. You can also expect steady pay increases, with the potential of doubling your salary in as few as five years. If you choose to advance into leadership, you can be sure that your compensation will keep pace with your commitment.
Find out how you can join Anita and Clara at FDNY and experience the rewards and satisfaction of becoming one of New York’s Bravest.