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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

Meet the Chief

Brian Fennessy was sworn in as the City’s 17th Fire Chief on November 12, 2015. He began his fire service career in 1978 where he served on and led both U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management hotshot and/or helishot crews for thirteen years. He was hired by the City of San Diego in October 1990 and has served and promoted through all ranks of the Fire-Rescue Department.

Read more about Chief Fennessy

Application Process

1 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.

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.  

2 Submit an application


Fire Recruit Application

3 Take the Civil Service Exam

If you pass the application phase, then it's time to take the Civil Service Exam.

4 Get scheduled for an interview

After you pass the Civil Service Exam, we will schedule a Captain's interview with you.

5 Get invited to Fire C. A. M. P.

The Candidate Assistance Mentoring Program is a high intensity, functional fitness conditioning program designed to prepare and inspire "highly qualified" candidates for the Fire Academy. A "highly qualified" candidate is someone who is currently in the hiring process and has passed the Captains interview panel.

Fire C.A.M.P. candidates will be oriented to equipment and tools used in the Fire Academy. This includes memorizing spiels (Equipment Specifications) and station locations.

6 Attend Fire Academy

If you do well in Fire C.A.M.P., then your next stop is the Fire Academy!

Watch the 81st SDFD Fire Academy

Follow the San Diego Fire Academy:


Recruitment Events

March 3 and 4, 2018 - Girls Empowerment Camp


Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

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