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Fire Department Career

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How to Get Started in the Fire Service

Here are some tips from our Firefighters and Fire Captains about steps to get started in preparing for a career in the Fire Service:

  • Become a Cadet, Explorer, or volunteer for exposure to Fire Departments
  • Ride along with different Fire Departments
  • Take as many fire science courses as you can to learn about the field
  • Obtain a driver’s license
  • Obtain your EMT certification (College of San Mateo, as well as other local Junior Colleges, offer EMT courses, and there are private institutions that offer them)
  • Paramedic training is a bonus

Characteristics of a Firefighter

  • Performs well under pressure
  • Able to think clearly
  • Adapts to ever changing situations
  • Skilled in learning about different tools, machinery, and special equipment
  • Interacts well with the public
  • Has a sense of humor
  • Able to live and work closely with all different kinds of people
  • Is in good physical condition and exercises

Positions and Requisites for each role in the Fire Department



Fire Prevention Officer 



Firefighter / Paramedic



Fire Captain


Battalion Chief

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Fire Chief

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Other Job Opportunities



Fire Department Career
Incident Summaries
Special Events
Cadet Program
Create a Smile
Emergency Alert System 
Fire Safety First
Incident Summaries