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Fire Fighter/Fire Chief Series

Fire Fighter/Fire Chief Series

California State Personnel Board Specification

Series established February 2, 1977


This series specification describes two classes used by the State departments to perform fire prevention and suppression duties at State facilities.


Fire Fighter/Fire Chief Series Specification - Class Titles and Codes
Schem Code Class Code Class
VZ30 8979 Fire Fighter
VZ20 8977 Fire Chief

Definition of Series

Fire fighting personnel direct, supervise, or perform fire prevention and suppression activities. Incumbents respond to fire alarms and take action to extinguish fires, minimize fire and water damage, and prevent injury and loss of life; operate nozzles, fittings, cellar pipes, hose, ladders, and forcible entry tools; operate, inspect, maintain, and repair the fire station and fire fighting equipment including vehicles and fire protection equipment, sprinklers, standpipes, and automatic and manual alarms; operate, inspect, and maintain emergency ambulance equipment; inspect grounds and buildings for fire hazard conditions; install, maintain, and recharge fire extinguishers; enforce rules and regulations related to storage and use of flammable items; advise management on fire and panic safety aspects of building design and construction; develop and maintain emergency evacuation plans; develop procedures for and enforce fire regulations for indoor public gatherings; develop and present fire prevention and training programs; administer first aid; perform rescue operations; maintain records; and prepare reports.

Definition of Levels

Fire Fighter

This class is the entry and full journey level in this series. Under supervision of the Fire Chief, incumbents in this class perform the full range of fire suppression duties.

Fire Chief

This class is to have charge of the fire prevention and suppression activities of a large State facility under direction of the facility's Administrator or the Chief of Protective Services, Department of Developmental Services. Incumbents plan, organize, coordinate, and direct the activities of personnel involved in fire suppression activities.

Minimum Qualifications

Fire Fighter

Willingness and ability to perform fire prevention and suppression duties at a California facility.

Fire Chief

Either I


Three years' experience performing fire-fighting duties in the California state service.



Four years' (or part-time equivalent) experience in urban or suburban fire fighting.

Knowledge and Abilities

Fire Fighter

Ability to: Learn and use modern fire prevention and suppression principles and techniques and fire-fighting tools and apparatus; learn to use and maintain motorized fire-fighting equipment; do heavy physical labor; follow oral and written directions; exercise good judgment in hazardous fire suppression activity; organize, instruct, and lead a group of part-time fire fighters in suppression and rescue work; write legibly; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; maintain cooperative relationships with people, organizations, and agencies.

Fire Chief

Knowledge of: Modern fire prevention and fire suppression principles and techniques, fire-fighting tools and apparatus; emergency first aid including cardiopulmonary resuscitation; use and upkeep of motorized fire-fighting apparatus; methods used in protecting life and property against fire and panic; Federal, State, and local laws and regulations affecting fire department activities; facility buildings and grounds; fire hazards; available fire-fighting resources including personnel, equipment, water supplies, and communications; principles and practices of effective management of a fire department and supervision of its personnel.


Ability to: All of the above, and organize, train, and direct a fire department in fire prevention, fire suppression, and rescue work; make budget recommendations reflecting the need for fire protection and safety of the facility; plan, organize, and direct the training of facility staff in fire prevention and fire safety; keep firehouse equipment clean and in good working order.

Special Personal Characteristics

Both Levels:

Hearing adequacy within speech frequencies (uncorrected); normal use of both hands and both feet; physical strength and agility; and weight in proportion to height.

Additional Desirable Qualification

Both Levels:

Education equivalent to completion of high school.

Fire Fighter

Fire prevention and suppression experience on a paid or voluntary basis.

Fire Chief

Education equivalent to 20 college semester units in fire science.

Class History

Fire Fighter/Fire Chief Series History - Dates Established, Revised, and Title Changed
Class Date Established Date Revised Title Changed
Fire Fighter 07/12/1946 02/07/2001 04/24/1974
Fire Chief 11/09/1945 02/07/2001 10/04/1972
  Updated: 6/3/2012
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