Required Training and Certification

For many reasons including state and federal regulations, national standards, risk management and program goals, the minimum training and certification requirements for the Volunteer Reserve Firefighter position are substantial. Those interested in the volunteer reserve firefighter position with SDCFA must currently meet all training and certification requirements detailed below at the time of application submission.

The San Diego County Fire Authority has partnered with San Diego Miramar College Fire Technology & Emergency Medical Technician Programs to allow prospective volunteer reserves the ability to obtain all required training and certifications for the volunteer firefighter position. Through the Miramar program, it is possible for an individual to complete all the position’s requirements in 16 weeks, while earning a total of 16 college credits. The program also provides a great opportunity to learn more about the work firefighters perform, often in a hands-on simulated environment.

The specific requirements for the volunteer reserve firefighter position are detailed below. Those interested in the volunteer reserve firefighter position with SDCFA must currently meet all training and certification requirements detailed below at the time of application submission.

 

General Requirements
  • 18 years of age
  • High school diploma or GED
  • California Driver License
  • Valid auto insurance
  • *Effective 1/1/2016* Must possess one of the following Physical Abilities Tests (PAT):
    • CPAT (Candidate Physical Abilities test) Certification; OR
    • Biddle Certification; OR
    • NCRPAT (North County Regional Physical Ability Test) Certification
      **The PAT must be obtained prior to application and must be valid within a year of hire date

* Appointments for the CPAT can be made on www.fctconline.org/cpat/.

  • Ability to pass a background and medical screening
  • Must have all required training and certifications at the time of application submission
 
Emergency Medical Training (EMT) and Certification
Volunteer firefighters must be certified as a Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic by the County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Below are the medical certification requirements for the volunteer firefighter position.
  • County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services (EMS) EMT Certification; OR
  • County of San Diego EMS System ID Card (also known as Prehospital Card); OR
  • County of San Diego EMS Paramedic Accreditation

EMT or Paramedic certification in other states or counties is not sufficient. Prospective applicants must complete the necessary registration with the County of San Diego EMS. Certifications and related information are provided by County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Local opportunities for completing the required EMT or Paramedic training can be found here.

Rescue Awareness Training and Certification

Certification in rescue awareness is a requirement of the volunteer firefighter position. All courses must follow the curriculums prescribed and approved by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The following options fulfill the rescue awareness certification requirement.

Fire Protection Organization AND Structure Fire Training and Certification

The required structure (i.e. buildings) firefighter training is often the most challenging and time consuming training for prospective volunteers to obtain. Graduating from an accredited fire academy in the State of California is one option for fulfilling this requirement, but it is not the only option. The following training and certification options meet this training and certification requirement:

  • California State Fire Marshal Firefighter 2 certification; OR
  • California State Fire Marshal Firefighter 1 certification; OR
  • California State Fire Marshal Volunteer Firefighter certification; OR
  • Graduation from a California accredited Firefighter I academy; OR
  • Graduation from an out-of-state IFSAC or Pro Board accredited fire academy; OR
  • San Diego Miramar College Fire Technology & Emergency Medical Technician: Courses FIPT 101 Fire Protection Organization AND FIPT 150A Manipulative Skills; OR
  • Southwestern College Fire Science Program: Courses FS 101 Fire Protection Organization AND FS 33 Firefighter Basic Skills (offered in FALL 2015 and SPRING 2016)

Please be aware that SDCFA only accepts structure fire training that has been completed within the LAST 5 YEARS (unless you are a FF1 or higher). If your structure firefighter training does not meet the specific qualifying options above, please call (858) 974-5999 or email sdcfa@sdcounty.ca.gov to discuss your training.

Wildland fire academies provide individuals valuable training and skill; however, wildland academies by themselves do not generally fulfill the structure firefighting training requirement.

Wildland Firefighting Training and Certification

Training and Certification in wildland firefighting can be completed with the following:

  • CAL FIRE/CDF Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy (BWFA); OR
  • San Diego Miramar College Fire Technology & Emergency Medical Technician: Course FIPT 110 Wildland Fire Control; OR
  • Southwestern College Fire Science Program: Course FS 144 Wildland Fire Academy; OR
  • ALL National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Courses below:
    • NWCG S-110: Basic Wildland Fire Suppression Orientation (Prerequisite video other NWCG training)
    • NWCG S-130: Firefighter Training (this training is field-day training which can be provided by SDCFA shortly after entering the SDCFA Volunteer Program)
    • NWCG S-190: Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (online)
    • NWCG L-180: Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service (online)
Hazardous Materials Training and Certification

Certification in Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational (FRO) which meets California Govt. Code 8574.19-22; Title 8, Section 5192; and Federal OSHA requirements 29 CFR 1910.120. The certifying course is 16 hours in duration and maintaining the certification requires an annual 8-hour refresher. The certification must meet the standards established by the California Specialized Training Institute.

Local opportunities for obtaining the certification include but are not limited to:

Incident Command System Certification
All the certifications below are required. Each of these certifications can be obtained by completing free online training courses.
Defensive Driving

Defensive driving certification is required. The certificate can be earned by completing a free online training course provided by the State of California, Department of General Services and Office of Risk and Insurance Management.