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Fire-Rescue Department

Fire Recruit

Firefighter Recruit is one of the most popular entry-level job classifications in the City of San Diego. When the Basic Fire Academy asks for applications, the number of applicants far exceeds those who can be accepted. Be aware that the Fire Recruit position opens (typically) every year, and the resulting eligibility list lasts one year. The City Personnel Department maintains an email notification system to inform you when applications are being taken.

A Fire Recruit is under constant supervision while attending the Fire Academy. The academy prepares recruits for a firefighting career and teaches them to perform related work.

Fire Recruit is an entry-level class in the Firefighter series. Upon successfully completing the Fire Academy, recruits are promoted to Firefighter I.

Examples of Fire Recruit Duties

  • Attends an 18-week paid Fire Academy, which includes course work and practice in fire prevention and suppression, emergency medical training and state and local laws.

Minimum Qualifications of Fire Recruit

You must meet the following requirements on the date you apply, unless otherwise indicated.

AGE: You must be 18 years of age.

EDUCATION: Graduation from high school OR passage of the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) or General Education Development (GED) examination.

CITIZENSHIP: You must be a United States citizen or have the current legal right to work in the United States.

CANDIDATE PHYSICAL ABILITY TEST (CPAT) CERTIFICATION:  A valid Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification issued within one year of interview date is required at the time of hire.   

NOTE: Attach a copy of your valid CPAT certification if it was issued within the last six months.

CERTIFICATE: You must have ALL of the following valid certificates:

  1. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate or a Paramedic License issued ONLY by the State of California or by the National Registry (NREMT-Basic) or by an EMT or Paramedic certifying agency approved by the State of California.
  2. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Card (Healthcare Provider/BLS Provider equivalent or higher).


  • A valid County of San Diego Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate or Paramedic License issued by the State of California and certified by the County of San Diego is required at the time of hire.
  • A valid Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Card (Healthcare Provider/BLS Provider equivalent or higher) is required at the time of hire.
  • A Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP) Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certificate is NOT qualifying.

LICENSE:  A valid California Class C Driver License is required at the time of hire.  


If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1. More information on calling 9-1-1.

For other questions or concerns, see the Frequently Asked Questions, call 619-533-4300 or email