Fire Inspector

Modified: August 20, 2019 12:03pm

invites applications for the position of:

Fire Inspector

#64-331 - Open Competitive (open to the public)

Opening Date: August 20, 2019
Closing Date: September 11, 2019
Application fee: $20.00

Residence Requirements:

CANDIDATES MUST HAVE BEEN LEGAL RESIDENTS OF ERIE COUNTY FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF THE WRITTEN TEST AND MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF ERIE COUNTY AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT. There is one present vacancy at the Village of Kenmore ($45,000 - $50,000 annually) and one vacancy at the Town of Amherst ($49,412 - $68,499 annually). 

Preference may be given to successful candidates who have been residents of the municipality in which the appointment is to be made for one month preceding the date of the certification of the eligible list and who are residents of the municipality at the time of appointment.  Non-residents may be required to become a resident of the appointing municipality if local law so states.

Examples of Duties:

A Fire Inspector makes detailed inspections of occupancies to ascertain compliance with laws and ordinances pertaining to fire prevention;

Makes detailed inspections of buildings and structures to ascertain compliance with and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code;

Performs safety inspection work for the elimination of fire hazards;

Makes detailed inspections and reports of all types of occupancies, buildings and properties within the municipality to insure conformity with fire prevention standards, codes and ordinances;

Notifies owners of unsafe conditions;

Makes special investigations of gasoline stations to determine compliance with applicable fire safety standards and ordinances;

Recommends remediall precautions for any unsafe conditions of buildings, roads, etc.;

Explains the requirements of the Municipal Fire Prevention Code and the New York state Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code to building contractors and the general public;

Orders unsafe conditions to existing structures to be removed and arranges for condemnation notices to owners and builders of improper or hazardous structures;

Serves court appearance summons on the responsible parties in all types of occupancies, buildings and properties within the municipality for any violation of the New York state Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, New York state Industrial Code Rule 36 and other municipal ordinances and laws that relate to fire safety and fire prevention;

Investigates complaints and assists in prosecuting violations of the New York state Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code;

May conduct investigations of the source, origin and circumstances of fires;

Examines plans submitted for a building permit to determine compliance with fire safety provisions of the Building Code.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  Candidates must meet the following requirements on or before the date of the written test:

Graduation from high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma and two (2) years of experience* (see Note 1)  as a Fire Fighter or Fire Inspector.


1. *Completion of one (1) year or thirty (30) semester hours of study at a regionally accredited or New York state registered two ( 2) or four ( 4) year college or university majoring in fire science or related curriculum may be substituted for one ( 1) year of the above experience.

2. Special Training Certification Requirement required under Section 159-A New York State Executive Law:

434.5 Certification of code enforcement personnel.

(a) The New York state Fire Administrator shall certify code enforcerrent personnel as having successfully conpleted one or more of the training programs set forth in this Part as follows:

Probationacy and non-permanent code enforcement personnel scheduled to perform code enforcement duties an average of nore than 20 hours per week shall successfully complete a certified basic training program within 18 months of initial appointment. Code enforcement personnel not appointed for probationary terms but appointed on other than a permanent basis and scheduled to perform code enforcement duties an average of between 10 and 20 hours per week shall successfully complete a certified basic training program within 24 months of initial appointment. Code enforcement personnel not appointed for probationary terms but appointed on other than a permanent basis and scheduled to perform code enforcenent duties an average of less than 10 hours per week shall successfully complete a certified basic training program within 36 months of initial appointment. Training may be suspended during periods of non-service, but all periods of service shall be counted toward the fulfilllnent of the applicable requirement.

(b) Equivalent New York state Fire or Code Enforcement Training courses, federally-sponsored course, courses taught at an accredited college or university or courses taught by a professional society may be substituted, in whole or in part as the case may be, for the specific course requirements contained in this Part. Adequate documentation regarding course content and attendance shall be submitted to the state Fire Administrator as a prerequisite to certification.

3. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience will be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.


A medical examination may be required before appointment.



Examination date:

October 19, 2019

Applications Must Be Postmarked or Hand Delivered By:

September 11, 2019

The New York State Department of Civil Service has not prepared a test guide for this examination. However, candidates may find information in the publication 'General Guide to Written Tests' helpful in preparing for this test. This publication is available on line at:

Subjects of Examination:

Subjects of Examination: A test designed to evaluate knowledge, skills and /or abilities in the following areas.

Preparing written material
These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.

Evaluating conclusions in light of known facts
These questions will consist of a set of facts and a conclusion. You must decide if the conclusion is proved by the facts, disproved by the facts or if the facts are not sufficient to prove or disprove the conclusion. The questions will not be specific to a particular field.

Fire prevention, fire inspections, and fire hazards
These questions test for a knowledge of the methods, principles, practices, and equipment of fire prevention, conducting fire inspections, and dealing with fire hazards. The questions cover such areas as the following: fire prevention campaigns; automatic and other extinguishment systems; alarms; dealing with building owners and managers; characteristics of combustible materials; recognizing proper and improper practices related to fire prevention; and codes and regulations related to fire prevention.

Understanding and interpreting fire codes
These questions test for the ability to comprehend written material related to fire prevention and inspection. You will be provided with a brief reading passage. You must then select the most appropriate statement relating to the passage on the basis of whether it:
a. accurately paraphrases portions of the passage; or b. adequately summarizes the passage; or c. presents an inference that can reasonably be drawn from the passage.

The reading passages are drawn from existing New York State and national codes, regulations, and standards. Knowledge of the subject matter contained in the reading passages is generally not related to answering the questions successfully because all of the information needed can be found in the passages.

NOTICE TO CANDIDATES: Unless otherwise noted, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand held, solar or battery powered calculators. Devices with typewriter keyboards, "Spell Checkers", “Personal Digital Assistants", "Address Books", "Language Translators", "Dictionaries", or any similar devices are prohibited. You may not bring books or other reference materials.


APPLICATION FORMS: You may obtain these forms in person at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo. Forms are also available in the libraries and at Town, Village and School District administrative offices.

Mail your application form when completed to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202.

Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified. The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period.

MILITARY STATUS: Active duty military personnel may file an application for this exam. A special military make-up examination will be conducted for any member of the armed forces of the United States who has duly filed a timely application but who was deprived of the opportunity to compete in the scheduled exam due to active military duty. Special conditions apply to these requests and may be reviewed at the Erie County Department of Personnel.

VETERANS: Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 10 and 5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the OPEN examination. You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment. If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.

In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: Applicants whose religious beliefs prevent their taking examinations before sundown on Saturday and physically handicapped candidates who require special examination facilities should so inform the Erie County Department of Personnel, by a separately mailed letter at the earliest possible date before the test.

MORE THAN ONE EXAM ON THE SAME DAY: If you have applied for more than one exam on the same day you MUST make arrangements to take ALL of the examinations at ONE examination test site. If you have applied for both STATE and LOCAL government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the STATE examination center. If you have applied for both COUNTY and CITY government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the COUNTY examination center. You are responsible to notify EACH Civil Service Agency no later than TWO WEEKS before the examination date on which you are taking multiple examinations by submitting a Cross-Filer form; EACH Civil Service Agency has their own Cross-Filer form. The Erie County Cross-Filer form can be found at If you are taking multiple exams on the same date with Erie County only, you do not have to file a Cross-Filer form.

Candidates taking more than one exam in DIFFERENT exam series will be allowed the specified length of time for each exam, up to a maximum of eight hours. Example: If you are taking one exam which allows six hours and another exam in a different series which allows four hours, you must complete both tests in eight hours, but no more time can be spent on each exam than the time allotted for that exam. Candidates taking more than one exam in the SAME exam series will be allowed up to the specified length of time for each exam. Example: If you are taking two exams in the same series with a maximum time of five hours for each exam, you can spend no more than five hours to complete both exams.

ADMISSION TO EXAMINATION: Notice to appear for the test will be conditional as review of application for minimum requirements may not be made until after the written test. Call or write this Department if you have not received your notice 3 days before the date of the test. You may not be admitted to the examination room without official notice.

RATINGS REQUIRED: Tests are rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70. Unless the announcement states otherwise, you must pass the written test and the oral test, if any. Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: If a subject of the examination, training and experience may not be rated if all passing candidates are expected to be immediately reachable for appointment. If rated, training and experience will be based on the statements in your application subject to verification. If this examination includes a qualifying written test, candidates admitted to the test will have conditional approval only. Final decision regarding the qualifications of candidates rests with the New York State Department of Civil Service.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION: You may be required to take a medical examination to determine if you are medically and physically capable of performing the duties of the position. In accordance with State Law, Governor’s Executive Order 6, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended the County of Erie does not discriminate against handicapped persons in access to employment, during employment, or in any of its programs and activities.

VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates may be investigated or called for an interview to verify information contained on the application. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience may be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.

ELIGIBLE LIST: The eligible list resulting from an examination may also be used for appointment to the same title or to any other title deemed to be similar and appropriate. Eligible lists are active for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years from the date established.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (*including psychological evaluation when required by position): Candidates may be subject to a thorough background investigation or psychological evaluation when required to determine eligibility for appointment. Applicants may be required to authorize access to educational, employment, criminal history and other records check as part of such investigation or participate in related tests or interviews. Criminal convictions or other offense are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification pursuant to Section 50 of the New York State Civil Service Law. Applicant will be required to submit the necessary fees for the fingerprint processing, where required. (*If a psychological evaluation is required, it shall be specified in the minimum qualifications or special requirements for the position.)


A $20.00 filing fee is required for this exam. The required fee must accompany your application. Send or bring check or money order made payable to Erie County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order. Do not send or bring cash, as the County cannot be responsible for cash payment. As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER: A waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a State or local social service agency.

All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver and Certification: form and submit it with your application by the close of business on the Application Deadline as listed on the Examination Announcement. The form is available at the Erie County Personnel Department, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY (Room 604) or can be downloaded from the County’s website at Click on “County Departments and Agencies”, then “Erie County Civil Service.”

This examination is prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service,
and held in compliance with the New York State Civil Service Law
and the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Civil Service.

Frequently Requested Information


Phone: (716) 858-8484
Erie County Civil Service Exam Line: (716) 858-8729

Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, 6th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202