Since the early 1800's the City was protected by various volunteer fire departments. In 1901 the City hired the first career chief to lead the various volunteer departments and in 1907 the city fathers disbanded all of the volunteer departments and started an all career department to better serve the City of Amsterdam residents.
The duties of the department include Fire Suppression, Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services / Ambulance Transport, Fire Investigation, enforcement of NYS Fire Prevention & Building Codes and the Code of the City of Amsterdam, and public education. The Department provides Technical Rescue including: low and high angle rope rescue, confined space rescue, water rescue/dive team operations. The area protected includes seven schools, a hospital, residential, commercial, mixed occupancy, industrial sites, institutional sites, waterways, railroad and roadways, including a section of the NYS Thruway.
Fire safety education classes and demonstrations are provided to school children, senior citizens, industrial and commercial employees and civic groups. Smoke detectors are made available and installed by department members to all who request them.
Code enforcement duties include fire safety inspections of all non-residential buildings, multiple dwellings and places of assembly. In 2017 the Department responded to 2708 calls for service. The members of the department continue a long tradition of providing a high level of service and commitment to all of the citizens of our City.
Department apparatus includes: 2 Class A pumpers, 2 quints, 1 Advanced Life Support Ambulance, a command vehicle, a Fire Investigation Unit and a special operations trailer. All responses are made from Fire Department Headquarters, located in the Public Safety Building. Current ISO rating is a 4.
Today the Amsterdam Fire Department consists of four battalions with 33 sworn members which include: Chief of Department, 4 Battalion Chiefs, 8 Lieutenants and 20 Firefighters all providing the City of Amsterdam with emergency response 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Department members are certified as follows: 27 Paramedics, 6 Emergency Medical Technicians, 2 Code Enforcement Officials, 26 Building Safety Inspectors, 12 SCUBA divers. Other members are also certified to teach various curriculums and provide this service to the department and other agencies. In-service annual training consists of approximately 160 hours of fire suppression, firefighter safety, emergency medical services, code enforcement, apparatus operation and maintenance, etc. Members also attend various training programs provided by outside agencies.
If you are interested in applying to become a firefighter at the AFD, please visit the Civil Service Commission page for any current career opportunities.