- Fire & Emergency Services
- Join the AFD
Join the AFD
Join the Adventure!
Next Exam to be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023
Become one of Albany's bravest!
Albany Fire Department
260 member career Fire Department serving the City of Albany, New York.
Download the AFD Brochure (PDF)
High school diploma or equivalency diploma
Exam description and more information.
What's in it for you?
A career where every day includes excitement and adventure. No two shifts are the same.
Be Part of a Team: Be part of the brother/sisterhood! Firefighters work together, live together and are an extended family.
Help others: Respond to fires, medical emergencies, hazardous materials emergencies and more. There is no better feeling than saving a life in your community.
Generous starting salary with “step increases” annually until reaching “top grade” firefighter. The current starting salary for a firefighter/EMT is $45,500. Top grade firefighter is $69,999.
Opportunity for advancement
Throughout your career you will have the opportunity to become a NYS Paramedic which will give you a salary increase. Throughout your will also have the opportunity for promotion to a fire officer (Lieutenant, Captain, Chief).
Albany Firefighters work 24 hour shifts followed by 72 hours off. Firefighters also have up to 5 weeks paid vacation annually.
Albany Firefighters have excellent health insurance benefits and are eligible for retirement after 25 years of service. AFD members also have access to Albany Firefighters Federal Credit Union.
Albany Firefighters are members of Albany Permanent Professional Firefighters Association which is Albany’s oldest Union.
Currently Albany Department of Civil Service offers a competitive written exam for firefighter every two years. That time frame is subject to change based on the needs of the department. An “eligibility” list is developed based on the results of that test.
Once the eligibility list is established, potential candidates will be notified to continue the hiring process based on the staffing needs of the department. The remainder of the hiring process includes the Candidate Physical Aptitude Test (CPAT), background check, psychological evaluation, medical examination and candidate interview. These steps may be done in any order determined by the hiring committee.
Don’t be intimidated by the hiring process. It is worth the wait! It is never too early to prepare.
The CPAT is a rigorous physical fitness test designed to ensure that a potential candidate has the physical ability to perform tasks that may need to be performed on a fire scene.
There are two very important steps you need to take to prepare yourself to pass the CPAT.
- You need to join a gym that has a Step Mill. There are many local options.
- You need to purchase a weighted vest. Online is best.
The first event of the CPAT is the stair climb and is done on a step mill. It is the hardest part of the test and is most often the difference between passing and failing. That's why it is so important to join a gym with a step mill and to get yourself a vest.
Once you've joined a gym and purchased your vest you're ready to get to work. In my many years of preparing candidates to pass the test I have designed Step Mill workouts that will not only get you thru the first event but condition you to pass the entire test.
I recommend three step mill workouts a week Monday- Wednesday -Friday using CPAT protocol on machine.
- Monday Workout- With 75# vest go as long as you can. Your goal is to eventually perform over 10 minutes.
- Wednesday Workout- With 75# vest pass test 3:20….take 5 minute rest and pass test again. Your goal is to eventually pass the test 3 times in one night.
- Friday Workout- NO VEST for as long as possible. Your goal is to be able to perform 20 minutes.
All Step Mill workouts are done hands free of the machine. Grab your vest instead.
If you reach the goals listed not only will you sail thru the first event but you will be conditioned to pass the entire CPAT.
Strength training should also be part of your preparation. Free weight, multiple joint exercises build strength like nothing else. Squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, farmers walks and power cleans are some examples. Increasing your leg, back, grip and core strength will greatly enhance your ability to pass the CPAT. You should perform a series of core strengthening exercises at the end of every workout (planks, bridges, etc). A strong well-conditioned core will prevent injury as well as improving your CPAT performance.
To pass you need to do the CPAT in 10:20 or less. To guarantee you will pass you must dedicate yourself to spending hours in preparation. Develop a solid routine and you will pass.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following agencies provide the required EMT training classes:
- REMO 518-464-5097
- HVCC 518-629-4822
- SCCC 518-595-1101 Ext2
- Rensselaer County Ambulance & Rescue Association
- University at Albany
How to take a Civil Service Exam
Suggested reading materials:
- Arco Master The Firefighter Exam
- Norman Hall's Firefighter Exam Preparation Book
- Barron's Firefighter Candidate Exams
NYS Guide to the Written Test for the Firefighter Series
The Albany Police Department conducts background checks on all potential candidates
A psychological examination will be conducted on all potential candidates.
A medical doctor will conduct a medical exam on all potential candidates to ensure they are fit for duty.
Typically one of the final steps, an interview will be conducted with all potential candidates by the hiring committee.
Veteran's Credits available for entrance exam or promotional exams.
The mission of the Albany Fire Department is to provide protection of life, property, and the environment from the effects of fire, medical emergencies, and hazards in the safest, most efficient manner possible.
The City of Albany Fire Department was organized on June 1, 1867 as a Career Fire Department.
The Albany Department of Fire and Emergency Services consists of 260 career Firefighters staffing 8 Engine Companies (including 1 Paramedic Engine Company), 4 Ladder Companies, 3 Paramedic Rescue Companies, 1 Heavy Rescue Company, 2 Battalions and Administrative Staff.
Firefighters assigned to line companies work a 24 hour shift with a 4 platoon system.
In addition to fire suppression, the Albany Fire Department is considered an “All Hazards” Response Department which includes responses to Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue and Maritime Emergencies. They also provide Fire Investigation and Prevention as well as Community Education. The Albany Fire Department is the primary provider for Emergency Medical Services within the City of Albany. It is operated as a two-tier response system with "Basic Life Support" provided by Engine, Ladder, and Heavy Rescue companies, while "Advanced Life Support" is primarily provided by 3 Paramedic Rescue Companies and 1 Paramedic Engine Company. Every line company has the equipment to provide "Advanced Life Support".
Join the AFD
26 Broad Street
Albany, NY 12202
26 Broad Street
Albany, NY 12202
Phone: 518-447-7879Fax: 518-447-7883Emergency Phone: 911
Albany Fire Command Staff
Joseph W. Gregory, Chief of Department
Joseph J. Toomey, Executive Deputy Chief
Craig D. Wickham, Deputy Chief
David P. Newton, Jr., Deputy Chief