Join San Diego Fire-Rescue
Meet the Chief
Kevin Ester is currently serving as the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s (SDFD) interim fire chief until a permanent chief is appointed. Chief Ester started his fire service career in 1978 as a fire explorer with the Orange County Fire Department. He was hired by SDFD in 1985 and has served in every rank within the department. Chief Ester has attended the National Fire Academy, is a State Certified Fire Officer and has a Fire Science Certificate from Miramar College. He has served as the driver training officer, fire fleet manager, rescue specialist with California Task Force-8 and rescue 4 and was a member of the occupational health and safety committee.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Go to the City's Open Job Opportunities page to fill out an application for Fire Recruit.
Is the application period closed? Here's what you can do while you wait...
- Fill out the Application Contact Information form to help us serve you better in the future.
- Be notified when applications are being accepted again by filling out the Job Interest Card.
- Associate's Degree programs for Fire Science or Emergency Management are appropriate degree tracks for the Fire Service. Though they are not required, it is a great way to begin preparing for your career advancement opportunities.
- Be a volunteer! Volunteerism is an important aspect to being a firefighter with San Diego Fire-Rescue. Being involved in community service activities (doesn't have to be fire-related) will be helpful in during the interview process.
- If you are transitioning from the military and you are in or near Camp Pendleton, the Skills Development Program Office offers the First Responder course, which is designed to help you get your EMT and other certificates.
If you pass the application phase, then it's time to take the Civil Service Exam.
After you pass the Civil Service Exam, we will schedule a Captain's interview with you.
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.
If you do well in Fire C.A.M.P., then your next stop is the Fire Academy!
Follow the San Diego Fire Academy: