Frequently Asked Questions


1.      What is the mission of the New York State Association of Fire Chaplains, Inc. (NYSAFC)?

The mission of this Association is to unite all Chaplains of the State of New York in order to promote a deeper and wider knowledge of one another in the true ecumenical and interfaith spirit; and to establish statewide procedures of standardization in serving our fellow firefighters, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and God, our supreme Chief.


2.      Should I wear a gold or silver badge?

The badge is up to the discretion of the department of which you are a member.  However it is the recommendation of the NYSAFC that chaplains should wear a gold badge.  In the city of New York chaplains, for example, hold the rank of Battalion Chief.


3.      Where do Fire Chaplains march in a parade?

In a New York State sanctioned parade the chaplains march in the following formation:

The Chiefs march directly behind the band (20ft). Their formation is as follows:

Chief followed by Asst. Chiefs (arms distance behind)
Two      Three           Four                Five

X            X                 X                    X

X           XX             XXX             XXXX

Space 10 Feet

Village Officials, Commissioners or Trustees of Fire Protection District

Space 10 Feet

Chaplains in Uniform & not in Uniform

All Village Officials, Commissioners, Trustees of Fire Protection District and Chaplains will march in the same formation as the Chiefs'.

Space 10 Feet

Ex Chiefs
Officer's - Gold
Officer's - Silver

The above regulations are from the New York State Volunteer Fireman’s Parade and Drill Teams Captains Association.

4.      Should Chaplains wear turnout gear at a fire?

The answer to this question is yes.  For the sake of the chaplain’s safety, it is best if they are afforded the same personal protection equipment (PPE) as every other firefighter.  It is also recommended by NYSAFC that the chaplain’s PPE should be clearly marked as chaplain.  As to whether the helmet should be white (usually reserved for chiefs) or any other color, that should be according to the protocols of the local Fire Department or Fire Company.


5.      Can I belong to the Association even if I live in a state other than New York?

Yes.  Membership is available for chaplains outside of New York.  Such a chaplain would hold the rank of Associate Member which includes all of the privileges of regular membership except for the right of holding an office and voting privileges.


6.      Do you have training materials?

On our “Supply (Order Form)”page, you can find a manual, training tapes and soon a training CD.  You will find materials covering prayers, ceremonies, dedications, Memorial Services, Line of Duty Death, funeral services and the like.


7.      Do you have prayers for blessing of new apparatus, buildings, etc.?

In our Chaplain’s Manual, you will find a variety of prayers.


8.      How often does the association meet?

We have an annual conference that meets in April or early May – typically for three – four days.  There are some training events throughout the year in different parts of the state.  The web page will try to keep updated as to where and when these events occur.


The Board of Directors meets three times a year usually in September/October, January/February, and April/May.


9.      Should a Chaplain’s badge be covered by a memorial band at a wake and/or funeral?

The New York State Association of Fire Chaplains, Inc. at its February 2015 Board of Directors meeting has issued a statement to clarify the proper usage of a mourning band for chaplains.  The official protocol states “Out of respect for the role of the Fire/EMS Chaplain, at no time and under no circumstances is the badge of the Fire/EMS Chaplain to be covered.”