Image of San Diego Fire-Rescue logo

Join San Diego Fire-Rescue

Choosing a career as a Firefighter is the beginning of a journey. It can be one of the most challenging, exciting and rewarding experiences of your life.

Learn more about being a Firefighter

Learn more about being a Dispatcher

PDF icon Joining the Fire Service in San Diego County

Meet the Chief

Chief Colin Stowell is the 18th fire chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD). Chief Stowell was hired by SDFD in 1988 and has served in every rank in the department. He earned an associate’s degree in fire science from Miramar College, a bachelor’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University and completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy.

Read more about Chief Stowell

photo of Chief Colin Stowell

Application Process

1 Get started

 

2 Meet the minimum requirements

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 is required at the time of hire.

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).

NOTES:

  • If you have a National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) or National Registered Paramedics  (NRP) you will need to have 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 at the time of hire. Please see the County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services for details of this process.
  • 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's License is required at the time of hire.

HIGHLY DESIRABLE:

  • Valid Paramedic License issued by the State of California or the National Registry or by a Paramedic certifying agency approved by the State of California.
  • One year of experience working with the City of San Diego's emergency medical service (EMS) transport service provider in the City of San Diego's EMS system.
  • California Firefighter I or Firefighter II Certificate indicating successful completion of a Fire Academy that meets the State of California Fire Service Training and Education System's Firefighter I and Firefighter II certification standards or equivalent.
  • Full-time paid experience as a firefighter.
  • Minimum of one year of documented participation in the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue's Cadet Program.
  • Minimum of one year of experience working with the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue's Lifeguard Division, at a Lifeguard II or higher, or two years at Lifeguard I.
  • Documented reserve or volunteer firefighting experience.
  • Service in the United States Armed Forces.

3 Submit an application

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FIRE RECRUIT UNTIL FEBRUARY 6, 2023

Fire Recruit Application

4 Take the written exam

If you pass the application phase, then it's time to take the PDF icon written exam.

5 Get scheduled for an interview

Once you pass the exams and meet the criteria for an interview, you will be notified by Personnel about your scheduled interview date. If you have questions about any portion of the process, please contact Personnel at Personnel@sandiego.gov or 619-236-6400.

Recruitment Events

There are no recruiting events at this time.

Resources

Questions? Contact us at joinsdfd@sandiego.gov