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How Can You Become a Firefighter?

You first must become a firefighter trainee. The hiring process for the position of firefighter trainee involves the following steps, all of which must be completed satisfactorily to be considered for the position.

A candidate must:

  1. Have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  2. Be at least 21 years of age at the time of final filing of application.
  3. Pass the written entry level test.
  4. Pass job related physical performance exercises.
  5. Pass medical examination.
  6. Possess a valid California class "C" driver's license. Possession of no less than a Class 2 operator's license is required prior to completion of the 12-month probation.
  7. Pass an oral interview conducted by selection committee with a minimum score of 70%.
  8. Pass a thorough background investigation.
  9. Possess a current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) card is required at time of application.
  10. Possess a valid E.M.T. certificate at the time of application.
  11. Possession of a Firefighter 1 Certificate OR graduation from a Firefighter 1 academy certified by the State Fire Marshal's Office OR the completion of 15 semester units of college coursework in Fire Science "major" courses. A list of classes including name of school, course title, number of units and date completed must be attached to the application. College transcripts will also be required by date of oral board interview.

Key skills and abilities

  1. Learn the layout of the City's water main system and street numbering system.
  2. Retain presence of mind in emergency situations.
  3. Think and act quickly and effectively in emergencies.
  4. Understand and follow oral and written directions promptly and accurately.
  5. Perform general office and clerical duties in support of assigned activities.
  6. Perform heavy lifting and physical maneuvering.
  7. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  8. Pass all required oral, manipulative and written exams for Firefighter Trainee.
  9. Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.