About the Volunteer Reserve Firefighter Program

The Volunteer Reserve Firefighter Program provides emergency medical services to the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Volunteer Reserve Firefighters (VRFF) are an integral part of San Diego County Fire. VRFF are professionally trained and work with CAL FIRE staff to respond to an array of emergencies including structure and wildland fires, emergency medical incidents, natural disasters, hazardous materials incidents, rope-based rescues, water rescue emergencies and other general public service calls.

In all, the County Fire Volunteer Reserve Program serves a population of approximately 48,600 residents living in about 1.5 million acres of unincorporated San Diego County. 

Volunteer Reserve Firefighters

San Diego County Fire Volunteer Reserve Firefighters assist with emergency medical services and firefighting throughout the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.Volunteer Reserve Firefighters will have the opportunity to serve shifts at many of the County Fire Stations within the San Diego County Fire Protection District.

There are two position classifications within the Program:

  • The Restricted Volunteer Reserve Firefighter (Restricted Reserve) is the entry point into the VRFF Program. Restricted Reserves will work at least two (2) 12-hour day shifts per month and will assist with medical aids, traffic collisions, structural fire protection, vegetation fire response, fire engine support functions, and overhaul operations. Restricted Reserves are engaged in observational and supportive roles to career firefighters. Restricted Reserves will receive a $192 stipend per 12-hour shift worked.* 
  • The Full Volunteer Reserve Firefighter (Full Reserve) is required to have their California State Fire Marshal Firefighter I Certification. Full Reserves will work three (3) 24-hour shifts, and perform all duties, delivering the same life-saving services as career personnel at fire stations and on emergency calls. Full Reserves work with career staff to supplement the minimum CAL FIRE/County Fire staffing standards. Full Reserves will receive a $384 stipend per 24-hour shift worked.*

*Stipends are not a wage. Reserves may receive a maximum of six (6) stipends per month.