The San Diego County Fire Volunteer Reserve Program provides high quality emergency medical and fire services to the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. The Volunteer Reserve Program relies on the hard work and dedication of volunteer firefighters to help keep the community safe. Volunteer Reserves partner with CAL FIRE career staff to gain the necessary skills and experience to become a career firefighter while providing the best possible care to the citizens of the unincorporated area. The Volunteer Reserve Program is a challenging and rewarding opportunity for volunteers to truly make a difference in the community.
 
Please look over the following minimum qualifications and selection process. If you do not have all the requirements, do not apply at this time. Call County Fire to discuss what requirements you need and how you can obtain them. County Fire will only accept full and complete applications. Any incomplete applications will be rejected.

Please be aware that the process to join the Volunteer Reserve Program takes about 2 to 3 months to complete.

Applicants are required to attach all required documents in PDF format to be considered. 

Once the application cycle is close, you will not be able to upload your application. Please check back for new application dates. 

POSITION CLASSIFICATIONS

The Volunteer Reserve Program is comprised of the following position classifications:

Entry Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter (Entry Level Firefighter):

An Entry Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter is a Volunteer Reserve Firefighter who operates under the direct supervision of a Volunteer Reserve Fire Apparatus Engineer or career staff. Upon completion of the required training, six months of service, and with the recommendation of the Module Reserve Coordinator, the Volunteer Reserve Firefighter will be granted Journey Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter status.


Journey Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter (Journey Level Firefighter):

A Journey Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter is a qualified Volunteer Reserve Firefighter who may perform the full range of fire suppression duties under the direct supervision of a Senior Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter or career staff. Upon completion of required training, one year of service, and with the recommendation of the Module Reserve Coordinator, the Journey Level Firefighter will be granted Senior Level Firefighter status.

Senior Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter (Senior Level Firefighter):

A Senior Level Volunteer Reserve Firefighter is fully certified at a State Fire Training Firefighter I. A Senior Level Firefighter may perform the full range of fire suppression duties and with proper certifications may staff and operate water tenders, patrols, and equipment under the functional supervision of a Company Officer. Upon completion of the required training, 18 months of service, and with the recommendation of the Module Reserve Coordinator, the Senior Level Firefighter will be granted Volunteer Fire Apparatus Engineer status.

Volunteer Reserve Fire Apparatus Engineer (Volunteer Fire Apparatus Engineer):

A Volunteer Fire Apparatus Engineer is a fully qualified Volunteer Reserve Firefighter who operates as a Company Officer under the functional supervision of career staff. Appointment to the rank of Volunteer Fire Apparatus Engineer requires the approval of the Module Reserve Coordinator, Training Chief, and Operations Deputy Chief.


VOLUNTEER RESERVE PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS

The following qualifications to join the San Diego County Fire Volunteer Reserve Program must be met before applying to the program.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a CA Driver's license
  • Must have valid auto insurance
  • Must have a current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support CPR Card (must be valid within 60 days of Administrative Orientation) 
  • Must have a current CPAT, Biddle, or NCRPAT certification
  • Applicants hired on or after October 15, 2021 must be fully vaccinated* against COVID-19 before beginning service. Vaccination card must be provided at the time of background.
  • Must be able to pass a background and medical screening
  • Must have all required training and certifications (below) at the time of application submission

REQUIRED TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS

  • Emergency Medical Training and Certification
  • Rescue Awareness Training and Certification
  • Fire Protection Organization & Structure Fire Training Certification
  • Wildland Firefighting Training and Certification
  • Hazardous Materials Training & Certification
  • Incident Command System Certifications
  • Defensive Driver Training (online)
If you do not have all these requirements and would like to know how to obtain them please visit our Requirements Page.

CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE INTO THE PROGRAM

Applicants hired on or after October 15, 2021, are required to be fully vaccinated* against COVID-19 before beginning service. If you receive a conditional offer, a copy of your vaccination card must be provided at the time of background.

*There may be exemptions to the vaccination mandate.
SELECTION PROCESS

The selection process for the Volunteer Reserve Firefighter Position includes the following:

1. Application Screening
Screening includes verification of all Required Training and Certifications. County Fire will contact you if you are eligible to move on to the next step in the screening process.

2. Interview
Candidates should be prepared to discuss their training, work experience, community involvement, etc.

4. Background Investigation - Pass/Fail
Candidates selected for further consideration, including alternates, will be referred to a background investigation. The background investigation includes, but is not limited to, Department of Justice/FBI criminal background check, employment reference check, DMV check, etc.

5. Medical Exam - Pass/Fail
Candidates invited to join the Volunteer Program must pass a medical screening prior to the Administrative Orientation. The medical exam is conducted through the County's designated physician which includes drug and alcohol testing. The exam costs are paid by County Fire. The exam will not be completed prior to passing a background check.

6.  Administrative Orientation - Attendance Is Mandatory
Candidates must attend a mandatory Administrative Orientation session outlining the Volunteer Program, County Fire's expectations, online training system and scheduling system, and Module assignment.

7. Operations Orientation (4064 CAL FIRE Training 5 days) - Attendance Is Mandatory
Candidates must also attend a mandatory Operations Orientation discussing the candidate's training folder and undergo skills testing.
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