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Rochester Fire Department

About the Rochester Fire Department

The Rochester Fire Department has over 500 diverse uniformed and non-uniformed members, who reflect the community as a whole. Our 13 engines, 6 trucks, heavy rescue, and support staff respond to help from 15 neighborhood fire stations. Firefighters respond to numerous emergency situations, such as, vehicle extrication, medical emergencies, high-level rescue, hazardous materials incidents, structural collapse, swift water rescue, and many more emergency operations.

Our support staff is also a critical component of the department. The Fire Chief's Office is responsible for the overall management of the Department. These responsibilities include the establishment of personnel standards and policies, work schedules, public relations, training and the continuous review of operations and performance. Other areas of responsibility focus on fiscal control, personnel management, resource procurement and the coordination of the annual budget.

Our Community Risk Reduction Division  is eager to help you improve the safety of your home. As part of the Department's effort to keep the community safe, safety audits to help prevent falls and other injuries can be conducted.  Fire escape plans can also be developed. We are here to serve you!

Make sure to make us a part of your next block club, neighborhood get-together or invite us to meet with you to discuss fire safety and prevention. When you do that, you become an active participant in our vision of making Rochester the best and safest mid-sized city in the United States.

A Message from the Chief

Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano

Stefano Napolitano

On behalf of the city of Rochester fire Department, I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to visit our website. The Rochester Fire Department is a world class fire service agency and as the third largest fire department in New York State, it is my pledge as Fire Chief is to ensure that the delivery of fire and life safety services is of the highest quality, the most compassionate and at the maximum efficiency possible while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community.

Moreover, the Rochester Fire Department is committed to ensuring the safety of not only the residents of our City but to all persons who visit, recreate, work or travel through our community.  The men and women of this department will be the first on scene to provide emergent care in your time of need.

Lastly, the Rochester fire Department is more than an all hazards response agency. Additional services provided include, Code enforcement, Planning and Research, and Community Risk Reduction educational assistance so as to increase the health and safety of our community and improve the quality of life for everyone.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Rochester Fire Department for any of your fire, life safety and related needs.  We’re here for you!

RFD Recruitment FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

When disaster strikes, the Rochester Fire Department is there. Be part of a courageous team dedicated to saving lives, homes and businesses. Get training, secure good pay & benefits and build a career. Join Rochester’s heroes. 

The hiring process in its entirety is compromised of the following sequential steps:
• Civil Service Exam
• Physical Agility Test
• Background Investigation
• Conditional Offer of Employment
• Medical Exam
• Appointment as a Firefighter

Please click on the following link to view the hiring process flow chart .

Please take a look at the Job Opportunities section of the City of Rochester, NY webpage. For more information you may contact the City's Department of Human Resources by email at or by calling (585) 428-7115.

Yes. New York State Civil Service Law provides that Veterans who meet certain requirements are entitled to additional credits (or points) added to their passing civil service exam scores. If you are a Veteran and want to apply for Veteran credits (points) you can do so at any time up until the eligible list is established. However, processing Veteran’s credit information can take time and you are urged to submit your application as soon as possible. Veteran's credits cannot be granted after the list is established.

When you submit your application you can also fill out a Veterans Credit, Form VC1. This form is available from the City's Human Resources Department.
 For more information go to:  or call the Department of Human Resource Management at (585) 428-7115. 

No. However, if you are a non-citizen, you must have acceptable documentation which shows you are a legal resident of the United States. This documentation must be presented when a job offer is made.

There is no age requirement for an individual to participate in the exam. However, you must be at least eighteen (18) years old at the time you start the Fire Academy Recruit Class.

To participate in the examination you will need one of the following:

  • Currently possess a high school diploma or GED; OR
  • Expect to receive a high school diploma or GED by August 1, 2023; and if successful on the examination, you will NOT be certified for appointment UNTIL you have submitted proof of completion of your high school diploma or GED to the City of Rochester Examination Administration unit. Proof MUST be submitted no later than 2 (TWO) MONTHS after the completion of your degree or diploma. 

Yes, however you will be required to be a resident of the City of Rochester and maintain residency (90) days prior to the physical agility examination.  To ensure compliance with this residency requirement, we strongly encourage all candidates to be a resident of the City of Rochester by the date of the examination. During the background process you will be required to provide proof that you have complied with the above residency requirement. 

 In the event your address or name changes after you have applied for the examination, you must send an email to with the subject line of “Change of Address / Name.” In the email, be sure to include:  

  • your name (new and old if applicable)
  • old address
  • new address
  • new phone number
  • the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
  • the effective date of change
  • attach documents to verify residency, if applicable  (See below for details)  

Residency Verification: 
If you are moving from a NON-CITY address to a CITY address, you must attach two (2) documents/files showing the new address.  The documents that will be accepted are:

  • Driver’s license with a printed address
  • Mortgage statement  
  • Lease agreement or rent receipt
  • Bank statement
  • Credit card billing statement
  • Recent legal document which includes an address (ex. A marital separation agreement)
  • Utility bill (ex. Electricity, telephone, water bill, etc.)
  • Voter registration card issued by the Board of Elections

Your experience as a firefighter may help in the testing and selection process. However, the Rochester Fire Department is unable to accept transfers. You will be required to test and if successful, you will have to go through the training as a firefighter recruit.

In certain situations, in which a candidate is unable to make the examination date above they may request an alternate test date. Requests for alternate test dates due to non-emergency situations must be submitted to the Examination Administration section of Human Resource Management no later than ten (10) working days prior to the scheduled date of the written exam. The request shall contain a complete explanation of the reason the candidate cannot take the examination as scheduled and be supported by appropriate documentation, if available.

For emergency situations, the candidate must notify the Examination Administration section of Human Resource Management of the need for an alternate test date no later than two work days following the scheduled written exam date.

To request an alternate test date must send an email to with the subject line of “Alternate Test Date Request”.

The Firefighter Civil Service Examination will have two (2) parts:

Part 1 of the examination is a written test in a multiple choice format and will test for general abilities needed to succeed in entry-level Firefighter training. No previous knowledge of firefighting work is necessary to succeed on this test.

*Currently, the consultant developing this Firefighter Exam for the City of Rochester is conducting a Job Analysis of the Firefighter position at the City of Rochester.  The purpose of this Job Analysis is to identify the job duties and knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics of the City's Firefighter position for the examination to be developed from.  At the conclusion of this Job Analysis, an Examination Scope for this Firefighter Exam will be emailed to all candidates who have applied for this examination and will be posted on this page of the City's website.*

*Candidates who pass Part 1 of the examination will be invited to Part 2.

Part 2 of the examination is a qualifying Physical Agility Screening Test - also known as the Beep or PACER test, is an aerobic cardiovascular endurance test that consists of a series 20-meter runs to determine whether a candidate possesses a minimum VO2 or oxygen uptake level. 

Candidate Orientation GuideTraining Video, and Study Guide will be available for candidates to prepare for this written examination.   Upon the completion of the Job Analysis for this examination, a link to this information will be emailed to all candidates who have applied for this examination and will be posted on the City's website.

• Valid proof of photo identification (i.e. non-driver ID card, driver’s license, passport, school or military ID, etc.)
• Your written exam notice (Admission Letter).  If you received this by e-mail, it must be printed and brought with you.
• Two (2) No. 2 pencils.

Not allowed:
•  Study guides or any other reference material.
• Any electronic/communication devices to include calculators, pagers, headphones, etc. will not be allowed within the testing area .

 *NOTE: Cell phones must be turned off and stored away upon entering the testing area and for the duration of the examination. Cell phones may be turned back on once you successfully depart from the examination facility.

If you require special testing accommodations for a Civil Service Examination because of a documented disability you must forward a request, with supporting documentation pertaining to the disability, to the Department of Human Resource Management.  This request can either be e-mailed to the Department of Human Resource Management at  with the subject line of “Special Accommodations for Examination” or mailed to 30 Church Street, Room 103A, Rochester, NY 14614.

Written examination results, including your examination score, will be emailed and/or mailed six (6) to (8) weeks after the examination. Those who receive a passing score will be placed on the Firefighter Civil Service Eligible List and depending on the score band you rank in, you will be invited to participate in Part 2, the qualifying Physical Agility Screening Test, of the examination.

There is no fee to participate in the Firefighter Civil Service Examination.

The Firefighter Civil Service Eligibility List is good for a minimum of one (1) year and a maximum of four (4) years. During the life of this list it is imperative that you notify the City’s Department of Human Resource Management of any changes to your home address, e-mail address, or phone number. Failing to do so may result in you not being notified of a step in the hiring process which will disqualify you from consideration.

Yes. The Rochester Fire Department hosts several Application Assistance Workshops (AAW) during the application period. These workshops are designed to provide applicants with the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the hiring process and job requirements. These sessions will also provide applicants with the information and support needed to successfully and accurately complete the application.

The PACER test ensures that all candidates possess the base level of physical fitness needed for entry-level firefighter training. The PACER test was designed to measure cardio endurance and overall performance and fitness levels. Please click the following link to learn more about the physical agility requirements .

A workshop will be conducted in conjunction with Personal Energy Inc., the company that developed and administers the Firefighter physical examination, which will be an in-person event geared toward preparing candidates to successfully pass this portion of the examination.

Please refer to the link below to view a few sites that will provide a general overview of the test.

Blue Lion Fitness : Everything you need to know about the beep test
Beep Test Academy YouTube Video on the beep test protocol

Candidates must pass a medical examination in accordance with the standards set forth in the most recent edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582: Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments. This standard outlines guidelines aimed to reduce risks and improve the health, safety and effectiveness of firefighters. Please click on the link to view more specific information on the most recent NFPA 1582 edition. Compliance with this standard is required throughout employment as a uniformed member of the Rochester Fire Department.

Home Fire Safety

Whether it's winter time, or just dinner time, keeping your family and home safe from fire is always important. Click the button below to learn more!

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Spotlight on Rochester