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<<NOTE: A promotional examination is being held in conjunction with this open-competitive examination. In the event that a vacancy occurs in a department or agency for which a promotional list exists, the promotional list shall be used first.>>

ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICATIONS: Applications must be received by the City of Ithaca Human Resources Department no later than 4:30 PM EST on the last filing date indicated above. Applications must be submitted electronically through our online application program at We do not accept paper applications, faxed applications, e-mailed applications or photocopies of applications.

APPLICATION MATERIALS REQUIRED: A City of Ithaca application, copy of driver license, and copy of EMT certification.

VACANCIES: Currently, there is one (1) vacancy in the City of Ithaca Fire Department. The eligible list established as a result of this examination may be used to fill this vacancy and any future vacancies that may occur during the life of the eligible list.

RESIDENCY: There are no residency requirements for this examination. Preference in certification may be given to candidates who are residents of the municipality in which appointment is to be made, provided that the candidate is a resident of such municipality at the time of examination and remains a resident of such municipality continuously thereafter, up to and including the dates of certification and appointment.

SALARY: $101,339 – $121,607

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS: This is an administrative position responsible for assisting the Fire Chief with planning, directing, managing and overseeing the activities and operations of the Ithaca Fire Department, including fire suppression, fire prevention, emergency medical response, hazardous materials incident response, technical rescue incident response, emergency management operations, fire code enforcement, training and related fire service activities. The Deputy Fire Chief also assists the Fire Chief with a broad range of administrative duties, including the recruitment, selection and promotion of personnel, the purchase of equipment, the preparation and presentation of the annual budget and subsequent oversight and control of expenditures, long-range operational planning, the development and implementation of operational policies and procedures, and labor contract negotiations and administration. The Deputy Fire Chief may perform these functions and duties in a supportive role to the Fire Chief, or may be assigned primary responsibility for one or more functions at the discretion of the Fire Chief. In the absence of the Fire Chief, the Deputy Fire Chief acts for and in place of the Fire Chief. The work is performed under the general direction of the Fire Chief, within the broad limits of departmental rules and in accordance with principles, policies and objectives outlined by the Fire Chief. Supervision is exercised over subordinate departmental personnel, including supervisory and direct service firefighting and emergency medical personnel, volunteer firefighting personnel, and technical and clerical support staff. Does related work as required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Ten (10) years of progressively responsible paid, professional firefighting experience in a municipal fire department, at least two (2) years of which must have been at or above the second-line supervisory level.

NOTE: “Second-line” supervision refers to the second level of supervisory authority in an agency. For the purpose of these qualifications, it must include the supervision of paid, supervisory firefighting personnel. In the Ithaca Fire Department, for example, it would equate to the level of Assistant Fire Chief. Second-line supervisory experience must have been gained through an actual appointment into a second-line supervisory position. “Acting” or “out-of-title” second-line supervisory experience is not qualifying experience.


Possession of a valid New York State Class D driver license or a valid driver license equivalent to a New York State Class D driver license at the time of appointment and maintenance of said license for the duration of employment.
To be eligible for appointment, candidates must possess certification as a New York State Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). To retain the position, the appointee must maintain his or her New York State EMT Certification. If the appointee does not possess an EMT Certification at the time of appointment, he or she must obtain the EMT Certification within two years of appointment as Deputy Fire Chief. Failure to obtain and maintain an EMT Certification will result in either demotion in rank or dismissal as appropriate.

If you expect to complete the educational requirement within six (6) months of the date of examination, you can be admitted to this examination. If successful on the examination, you will not be certified for appointment until you have submitted proof of completion of the requirements to the Civil Service Commission. Proof must be submitted within eight months of the date of examination. Failure to do so will result in removal of your name from the eligible list.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: Applicants may be required to undergo a State and national criminal history background investigation, which will include a fingerprint check, to determine suitability for appointment. Failure to meet the standards for the background investigation may result in disqualification.

SCOPE OF THE EXAMINATION: The written examination will cover knowledges, skills and/or abilities in such areas as:

1. Educating and interacting with the public

These questions test for knowledge of techniques used to interact effectively with individuals and/or community groups, to educate or inform them about topics of concern, to publicize or clarify agency programs or policies, to negotiate conflicts or resolve complaints, and to represent one’s agency or program in a manner in keeping with good public relations practices. Questions may also cover interacting with others in cooperative efforts of public outreach or service.

2. 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.

3. Fire administration job simulation exercise

This job simulation exercise tests for the ability to develop and maintain fire department programs and activities. The questions will be based on a simulated set of administrative issues that a Chief Officer may be asked to analyze and respond to in a working day. The questions cover such areas as organizational relationships, planning, staffing, managing resources, budgeting, public relations, rules and regulations, and political and social concerns impacting the fire service.

4. Fire emergency job simulation exercise

This job simulation exercise tests for the ability to manage an emergency incident. The emphasis is on command-level actions and decisions in handling the incident from start to finish. The questions will cover such areas as principles and tactics of firefighting, accountability at a fire scene, hazardous materials, cause investigation, emergency medical care, community relations, and the incident command system, including interacting with other agencies and the media.

5. Administrative supervision

These questions test for knowledge of the principles and practices involved in directing the activities of a large subordinate staff, including subordinate supervisors. Questions relate to the personal interactions between an upper level supervisor and theirsubordinate supervisors in the accomplishment of objectives. These questions cover such areas as assigning work to and coordinating the activities of several units, establishing and guiding staff development programs, evaluating the performance of subordinate supervisors, and maintaining relationships with other organizational sections.

A Guide for the Written Test for Fire Chief/Assistant Fire Chief is available at the New York State website: Candidates not having access to a computer or the internet may request a copy of the test guide from the municipal civil service office conducting this examination using the contact information found elsewhere on this announcement.

NOTE: Most Civil Service examinations do not require the use of a quiet, hand-held calculator or slide rule; however, candidates have the option of bringing a battery-operated or solar-powered calculator to the test room unless specifically notified that their use is prohibited. Devices with typewriter keyboards, spell checkers, Personal Digital Assistants, Address Books, Language Translators, Dictionaries, or any similar devices are prohibited. USE OF CALCULATORS IS ALLOWED FOR THIS EXAM.


Applicants whose religious beliefs or military service prevent their taking examinations on the scheduled date and candidates with disabilities who require special accommodations to take the test should indicate the need for special arrangements on their application. Candidates who are called to military service after filing an application should send requests for an alternate test date to the City of Ithaca Human Resources/Civil Service Department before the test date.

Military Service Members: If you apply for an examination during the filing period but are on active military duty on the date the examination is scheduled, you may request a military makeup examination. Contact the City of Ithaca Human Resources/Civil Service Department for more information. If you are on active duty or discharged after the filing period has begun, you may apply for the examination up to ten days before the test date.

SECTION 23.2 STATEMENT: This examination will be prepared and rated in accordance with Section 23(2) of the Civil Service Law. The provisions of New York State Civil Service Law, Rules and Regulations dealing with the preparation and rating of examinations will apply to this examination.

TIME AND PLACE OF THE EXAMINATION: Approved candidates will be notified by mail regarding the time and place of the examination. If notice of approval or disapproval is not received three (3) days prior to the exam date, please call the City of Ithaca Human Resources/Civil Service Department at (607) 274-6539.

MULTIPLE EXAMINATIONS SCHEDULED FOR THE SAME DAY: If you have applied to take a written test announced by either one or several local jurisdictions (county, town, city) scheduled to be held on the same test date as this written test, you must notify each of the local jurisdictions no later than two weeks before the test date, so they can make arrangements for taking all tests at one test site. All examinations for positions in State government will be held at a State examination center.

VETERANS CREDIT: Veterans or disabled veterans who are eligible for additional credit must submit an application for veterans credit with their application for examination or at any time between the dates of their application for examination and the date of the establishment of the resulting eligible list. Applications for veterans credit are available from this office. Veterans credits can only be added to a passing score on the examination.

Effective January 1, 1998, the State Constitution was amended to permit a candidate currently in the armed forces to apply for and be conditionally granted veterans credit in examinations. Any candidate who applies for such credit must provide proof of military status to receive the conditional credit. No credit may be granted after the establishment of the list. It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide appropriate documentary proof of military service, and verification that the candidate received an honorable discharge or was released under honorable conditions in order to be certified at a score including veterans credits.

ADDITIONAL CREDIT FOR CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: 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.


Falsification of any part of your employment application will result in disqualification.

Applicants must answer every question on the application and make sure that the application is complete in all respects. Incomplete applications will be disapproved.

Candidates who wish to take more than one examination must submit an application for each examination. If you are cross-filing for another examination to be held on the same date, please indicate this on the application and specify the examination title and number, and the jurisdiction offering the other examination.

Appointments from an eligible list must be made from the top three candidates willing to accept appointment. The duration of an eligible list may be fixed for a minimum period of one (1) year and a maximum period of four (4) years.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to notify the City of Ithaca Human Resources/Civil Service Department of any change in address. No attempt will be made to locate candidates who have moved.

Issued by: City of Ithaca Civil Service Commission December 8, 2022

The City of Ithaca is committed to Equity and Inclusion. We encourage those with similar values to apply.

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