Volunteer fire departments are required by law to check the criminal history of applicants for arson and sex offenses.

The law applies to:

  • New applicants
  • Volunteers transferring to a new fire department
  • Members seeking to be reinstated

A follow-up arson background check is also required for minors when they turn 18.

If you are currently a volunteer firefighter and you didn't undergo a background check prior to starting, the NYC Sheriff's Office may contact you or your volunteer fire department to complete the necessary background check. After running the background check, the Sheriff's Office will mail the results to your fire chief.

If you are the chief of a volunteer fire department in New York City, you can request free background checks through the Sheriff's Office by submitting the Volunteer Firefighter Inquiry Form.

Download the Volunteer Firefighter Inquiry Form.

Mail completed forms to:

New York City Sheriff's Office
Bureau of Criminal Investigation
VFF Background Check
30-10 Starr Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

Call 311 for assistance.