Fire Chief

City of Seaside , California

Job Information 



Executive Level


$163,933.12 - $163,933.12 Annually

Application Deadline 


10/04/2020 11:59 PM PDT

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


After serving our community for over eight years, Fire Chief Brian Dempsey has announced his retirement.   The City of Seaside is recruiting to fill the position with another creative and talented leader.  The selected candidate must be a relationship builder, both inside and outside of the department, who is willing to work collaboratively in areas not typically associated with the Fire Service.  As an example, the Fire Chief is the staff liaison to the City's Homeless Commission.  The Chief must advocate for the Fire Department, while recognizing that the department is only one part of the City's team.  The new Chief will be an inclusive leader who embraces diversity and is committed to ensuring the Fire Department team is representative of the community.  The Chief will use data to drive decision making and effectively lead the team through the internal culture changes that will come from moving the department forward in the 21st century. 
The City and Fire Department teams are small and as such all department directors must be technologically and administratively self-reliant.  Initially, the key programs and projects for the department include implementing the recommendations from the Standards of Cover / Community Risk Analysis, completing the CFAI Accreditation process, and continuing to assist with the implementation of programs to reduce homelessness.

Click on link below to view Community Risk Assessment: Standards of Cover, Seaside Fire Department, CA

Under administrative direction, plans, organizes, manages, and provides administrative direction and oversight for all functions and activities of the Fire Department, including fire prevention and inspection programs, response to fires, medical emergency, rescue, hazardous materials, natural and man-made incidents, and other public services; coordinates assigned activities with other City departments, officials, outside agencies, and the public; fosters cooperative working relationships among City departments and with intergovernmental and regulatory agencies and various public and private groups; provides highly responsible and complex professional assistance to the City Manager in areas of expertise; and performs related work as required.


Receives administrative direction from the City Manager.  The work provides for a wide variety of independent decision-making, within legal and general policy and regulatory guidelines.  Exercises general direction and supervision over management, supervisory, professional, technical, and administrative support staff through subordinate levels of management and supervision.


This is a Department Director classification that oversees, directs, and participates in all activities of the Fire Department, including short- and long-range planning, development, and administration of departmental policies, procedures, and services.  This class provides assistance to the City Manager in a variety of administrative, coordinative, analytical, and liaison capacities.  Successful performance of the work requires knowledge of public policy, municipal functions and activities, including the role of an elected City Council, and the ability to develop, oversee, and implement projects and programs in a variety of areas.  Responsibilities include coordinating the activities of the department with those of other departments and agencies and managing and overseeing the complex and varied functions of the department.  The incumbent is accountable for accomplishing departmental planning and operational goals and objectives and for furthering City goals and objectives within general policy guidelines.

Examples of Duties

Management reserves the right to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Assumes full management responsibility for all Fire Department programs, services, and activities.
  • Develops, directs, and coordinates the implementation of goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and work standards for the Fire Department; establishes, within City policy, appropriate budget, service, and staffing levels. 
  • Manages and participates in the development and administration of the department’s budget; directs the forecast of additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, and supplies; directs the monitoring of and approves expenditures; directs and implements budgetary adjustments as necessary.
  • Selects, trains, motivates, and directs department personnel; evaluates and reviews work for acceptability and conformance with department standards, including program and project priorities and performance evaluations; works with employees to correct deficiencies; implements discipline and termination procedures; responds to staff questions and concerns.
  • Contributes to the overall quality of the department’s service by developing, reviewing, and implementing policies and procedures to meet legal requirements and City needs; continuously monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; assesses and monitors the distribution of work, support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement; directs the implementation of change.
  • Responds to major alarms and performs as part of the incident command team as needed.
  • Manages City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) including city-wide emergency management training, operations, and plan development and implementation.
  • Manages the Community Risk Reduction program which included business and residential safety inspections, fire and medical trainings, and public education.
  • Represents the department to other City departments, elected officials, and outside agencies; explains and interprets departmental programs, policies, and activities; negotiates and resolves significant and controversial issues.
  • Conducts a variety of departmental organizational and operational studies and investigations; recommends modifications to programs, policies, and procedures as appropriate.
  • Participates in and makes presentations to the City Council and a wide variety of committees, boards, and commissions.
  • Attends and participates in professional group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of fire safety and other services as they relate to the area of assignment.
  • Maintains and directs the maintenance of working and official departmental files.
  • Monitors changes in laws, regulations, and technology that may affect City or departmental operations; implements policy and procedural changes as required.
  • Prepares, reviews, and presents staff reports, various management and information updates, and reports on special projects as assigned by the City Manager.
  • Responds to public inquiries and complaints and assists with resolutions and alternative recommendations.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Typical Qualifications

Education and Experience:
Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be any combination equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in business or public administration or a closely related field and five (5) years of responsible management and/or administrative experience in the fire service.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California Driver’s License by time of appointment.
  • Possession of a valid California Certified Fire Officer Certificate or equivalent.
  • Completion of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy is highly desirable.
Knowledge of:
  • Administrative principles and practices, including goal setting, program development, implementation, and evaluation, and supervision of staff, either directly or through subordinate levels of supervision.
  • Public agency budget development, contract administration, City-wide administrative practices, and general principles of risk management related to the functions of the assigned area.
  • Organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of projects, programs, policies, procedures, and operational needs; principles and practices of municipal government administration.
  • Principles and practices of fire safety program development, management in a municipal setting, and fire safety program planning and budgeting.
  • Applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulatory codes, ordinances, and procedures relevant to assigned area of responsibility.
  • Methods and techniques for the development of presentations, contract negotiations, business correspondence, and information distribution; research and reporting methods, techniques, and procedures.
  • Record keeping principles and procedures.
  • Modern office practices, methods, and computer equipment and applications related to the work.
  • English usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation.
  • Techniques for effectively representing the City in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups, and various business, professional, educational, regulatory, and legislative organizations.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and City staff.

Ability to:
  • Develop and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls for the department and assigned program areas.
  • Provide administrative and professional leadership and direction for the department and the City.
  • Prepare and administer large and complex budgets; allocate limited resources in a cost effective manner.
  • Interpret, apply, explain, and ensure compliance with Federal, State, and local policies, procedures, laws, and regulations.
  • Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of management, supervisory, professional, and technical personnel; delegate authority and responsibility.
  • Select, train, motivate, and evaluate the work of staff and train staff in work procedures.
  • Research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods, procedures, and techniques.
  • Effectively administer special projects with contractual agreements and ensure compliance with stipulations.
  • Conduct effective negotiations and effectively represent the City and the department in meetings with governmental agencies, contractors, vendors, and various businesses, professional, regulatory, and legislative organizations.
  • Prepare clear and concise reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and other written materials.
  • Conduct complex research projects, evaluate alternatives, make sound recommendations, and prepare effective technical staff reports.
  • Establish and maintain a variety of filing, record-keeping, and tracking systems.
  • Organize and prioritize a variety of projects and multiple tasks in an effective and timely manner; organize own work, set priorities, and meet critical time deadlines.
  • Operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software applications programs.
  • Use English effectively to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.




Supplemental Information


Must possess mobility to work in a standard office setting and use standard office equipment, including a computer; mobility, physical strength, and stamina to respond to emergency situations and use all emergency apparatus and equipment; perform medium to heavy physical work, to work in confined spaces, around machines, and to climb and descend ladders; to operate a motor vehicle and to visit various City and meeting sites; vision to discern colors and assess emergency situations, including medical incidents and to read printed materials and a computer screen; and hearing and speech to communicate in person, before groups, and over the telephone or radio.  This is partially a sedentary, partially a field classification that requires operating in emergency situations and identifying and assessing problems or hazards.  Finger dexterity is needed to access, enter, and retrieve data using a computer keyboard or calculator, operate standard office equipment, and to operate above-mentioned apparatus and equipment.  Positions in this classification bend, stoop, kneel, reach, and climb to perform work and inspect work sites and push and pull drawers open and closed to retrieve and file information.  Employees must possess the ability to lift, carry, push, and pull materials, objects, and individuals necessary to perform job functions.

Employees partially work in an office environment with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions, and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances.  The work also involves work in the field with exposure to loud noise levels, extreme temperatures, inclement weather conditions, road hazards, substantial heights, vibration, confining workspace, chemicals, mechanical and/or electrical hazards, and hazardous physical substances and fumes.  Employees may interact with upset staff and public and private representatives in interpreting and enforcing departmental policies and procedures.

May be required to work on evenings, weekends, and holidays and monitor radio traffic on 24-hour shifts as assigned.


No location specified