Fire Department Career
Our Role in PACT
As part of the City sponsored PACT
Program, the Fire Department enjoys teaching the community
about Prevention, Operations and the Administration of providing
Fire Services to our community. During the Fire Department
Session of PACT, community members were exposed to Apparatus
and Equipment, Advanced Life Support Medical Capabilities,
Fire Prevention and Investigation, Administrative Services,
and Fire Department Communications as a participant in the
County Wide Dispatching System.
In conjunction with the College of San Mateo, the Redwood City Fire
Department is proud to sponsor a 1 year Cadet Firefighter Program.
The goal of the program is to prepare potential Firefighters for
a career in the Fire Service, as well as help them earn their California
State Firefighter 1 full Certification. Fire Cadets participate
with on-duty Fire Crews in their daily activities, including responding
on calls for service. Cadets are required to spend at least 48 hours
per month at the Fire Department. They train, help maintain equipment,
respond to calls, give public education classes, participate in
building inspections, eat, and sleep with the Fire Crews.
Requirements to become a Cadet include: current EMT 1 Certification,
current California State Firefighter 1 Education class completion,
and High School Diploma. EMT and Firefighter 1 courses are available
through the College of San Mateo.
How to Get Started in the Fire Service
Here are some tips from our Fire Fighters and Fire Captains about
steps to get started in preparing for a career in the Fire Service:
- Become a Cadet, Explorer, or volunteer for exposure to Fire
- Ride along with different Fire Departments
- Take as many fire science courses as you can to learn about
- Obtain a driver’s license
- Obtain your EMT certification (College of San Mateo as well
as other local Junior Colleges offer EMT courses, and there are
private institutions that offer them)
- Paramedic training is a bonus
Characteristics of a Fire Fighter
- Performs well under pressure
- Able to think clearly
- Adapts to ever changing situations
- Skilled in learning about different tools, machinery and special
- Interacts well with the public
- Has a sense of humor
- Able to live and work closely with all different kinds of people
- Is in good physical condition and exercises
Positions and Requisites for each role in the Fire Department
Fire Prevention Officer
Possesses a combination of experience and education in the following
- Fire inspections
- Fire investigations (including determining a cause and origin
of fires, collections and proper handling of evidence, testifying
and presenting said evidence in court).
- Ability to develop and implement community fire prevention
- Interpret and enforce applicable codes, ordinances and laws
- Knowledge of fire and life safety systems such as fire sprinkler
systems, fire extinguishers and fire alarms systems
- Minimum of 30 semester college units, successful completion
of a Firefighter 1 equivalent training program and a current
EMT certification; or
- Paramedic certification and completion of a certified Firefighter
1 equivalent training program; or
- One year (a cumulative total of 12 months) firefighting experience
as a paid career or seasonal Firefighter and a current EMT certificate;
- Three years (a cumulative total of 36 months) volunteer firefighting
experience and a current EMT certification.
- Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid
California driver’s license.
Fire Fighter / Paramedic
In addition to the above qualifications for Fire Fighter, our
Fire Fighter/Parmedics also go through over one thousand hours
of medical training. The training includes classroom training,
a hospital internship, and a field internship. After the extensive
training program, a Firefighter/Paramedic can perform all kinds
of life saving skills. These skills include administering IVs,
death cheating drugs, providing advanced airway and breathing
support, along with delivering jolting electrical energy to a
Principles, practices, and procedures of modern firefighting and
the protection of lives and property; rules and regulations of
the Fire Department; operation and maintenance of the apparatus
and equipment used in modern firefighting activities; local geography,
including the location of mains and hydrants and the major fire
hazards of the City; first aid, rescue, and resuscitation equipment
and practices; principles of supervision.
Operate apparatus and equipment used in modern firefighting activities;
lead Fire Fighters effectively and maintain discipline; administer
first aid and operate a variety of rescue equipment; prepare complete
and concise reports; establish and maintain cooperative relationships
with those contacted in the course of work.
Four (4) years of experience as a Fire Fighter and current employment
as a Fire Fighter with a municipal fire department.
Equivalent to completion of the twelfth (12th) grade. Completion
of 30 units in Fire Science, Public Administration or a related
field, from an accredited college.
Possession of a valid California Driver’s License, EMT-I
Certification, and Fire Officer Certification.
If promoted to Captain from firefighter’s position, may
also maintain their paramedic certification and perform paramedic
duties as secondary medic.
- Five years as a Fire Captain
- Equivalent to an Associates of Arts degree from an accredited
Role as Battalion Chief
- While working as a shift commander, direct and supervise
forces in the suppression of fires, in the control of incidents
involving hazardous chemicals and other materials as required;
ascertain the need for and the type of additional resources
necessary to handle the emergency; make technical decisions
as to the best methods of extinguishing fires after observing
the fire and receiving reports from Captains.
- Assist in the development and implementation of goals, objectives,
policies and priorities for the fire department.
- Four years as a Battalion Chief
- Equivalent to a Bachelors Degree from an accredited college
Role as Fire Chief:
- The ability to plan, develop and implement policies, goals,
objectives and priorities for the Fire Department.
- Must plan, direct, coordinate and organize the departmental
operations of fire suppression, prevention and fire safety