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How to Read an FDNY Document

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Reading will make you a smarter firefighter and will help boost your overall intellect. FDNY documents can be difficult to read and understand. Here are a few tips to help process information and increase your reading comprehension of complex FDNY documents.

Read Slowly and Actively

In the manuals, there are long complicated sentences - pause, reflect, and reread so that you will be able to retain and understand the information

Use a Dictionary

Unfamiliar documents may be confusing. Use a dictionary for words that you are unfamiliar with. Lack of understanding of only one word can change the meaning or your interpretation of the entire sentence.

Focus on "Signal" Words

Words like therefore, except, always, never, however, etc., are extremely important. These "signal" words can indicate a shift in meaning, or emphasis on a specific detail or important point.

An example can be found in FD manuals Ladders 3, which states "member cutting roof must always be assured of a way to get off roof"; or in the manual on taxpayer buildings, "trenches must be at least 3 feet wide."

Visual Aids

Pictorials, boldface and highlighted materials are often extremely important and should never be overlooked. Take time to understand these drawings and diagrams; often they pertain directly to the text


Resource Links:
8 Week Study Guide
Candidate Mentorship Program Fact Sheet
Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
Physical Preparation Guide
Probie Manual
The Recruiter newsletter
Study Guide Test Questions
Probationary Firefighters School Physical Training Video 1
Probationary Firefighters School Physical Training Video 2


Video Series Links:

Intro: Attention all candidates
While at the FDNY Training Academy you'll undergo 18 weeks of intensive work, Your overall grade in the Academy will be 50 percent based on in-class exams and academics, and 50 percent on your physical fitness performance and test scores.

Probationary Firefighter School
This first section will introduce you to the academic and physical requirements of Probie School; the mentorship program; the importance of team concept; time management; and what will be expected of you when you enter the Academy.

How to read an FDNY Document (tips to read effectively)
This section will focus on reading the written materials you'll be responsible for, and techniques to improve retention and knowledge.

Effective study habits
Proper studying habits are key to absorbing, understanding and retaining information. This chapter will explain study techniques; when and where to study; how to study; and how to learn difficult facts, equations and numbers.

How to perform better on FDNY exams
This chapter will address test taking skills & techniques.

An overview of physical fitness standards
This chapter will explain Academy fitness standards and training techniques.

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
This chapter will explain the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and what is required to pass this test.


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