The Buffalo Fire Department is looking for a few hundred more men and women to sign up for the city's 2018 firefighter entry exam by the April 9 deadline. In addition, exam training classes and opportunities to discuss the job with a current firefighter are being offered.
About 900 people have signed up to take the exam so far, Mayor Byron W. Brown said during a Monday press conference to encourage residents to apply. That figure is less than half the number of people who signed up for the exam in 2013, the last time it was offered.
At that time, about 2,500 people signed up; and from that group, about 200 applicants were hired, said Human Resources Commissioner Gladys Herndon-Hill.
The city is looking to hire about 200 firefighters from the new exam.
Despite the numbers, Brown said he expects many people will sign up at the last minute, but he encouraged people not to wait until next week's deadline.
“What usually happens is that the last few days, there is an incredible push with hundreds and hundreds of people coming in to sign up for the exam," Brown said, encouraging applicants to sign up this week. "Don’t wait until the last moment and try to sign up on Monday and perhaps not be able to get there in time. It always occurs that there are people that want to take this exam and miss it."
The deadline to turn in applications is April 9. The exam, which is only offered every four years, will be administered on May 1.
To provide additional access for people who want to file applications in person or ask questions, the Human Resources Department is adding evening and weekend hours. The office, in Room 1001 of City Hall, opens at 8:30 a.m. weekdays. For the extended hours, it will be open until 8 p.m. Thursday; from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday; and until 8 p.m. on Monday.
In addition, there will be two “Meet a Firefighter” events held this week at the Belle Center, 104 Maryland St., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Anyone who wants more information about what it is like to be a Buffalo firefighter can ask questions and pick up an application.
Also, the Buffalo Employment and Training Center, at 77 Goodell St., is hosting a series of free firefighter exam training classes from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 16, 17, 18 and 19.
Base pay for Buffalo firefighters starts at $35,000 a year and can range up to $68,461 annually, Brown said.
To be eligible to take the exam, candidates must:
- be 19-years-old as of May 1 and at least 20-years-old at the time of appointment;
- be a full-time resident of Buffalo a minimum of 90 days prior to the April 9 exam application deadline and continue residency until the time of appointment;
- be a U.S. citizen; and
- have earned a high school diploma or GED.
A $25 exam fee is required to be paid at the time of application.
More information and exam applications are available at the Human Resources Department, all city firehouses and community centers and online at www.city-buffalo.com.
Applications turned in by mail must be postmarked by April 9.