Firefighter (Entry) Job at Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, California

Firefighter (Entry)

City of Watsonville , California

Job Information 



Entry Level


$71,868.16 - $96,299.84 Annually

Application Deadline 


05/27/2021 05:00 PM PDT

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


Attach copies of the following to your application:

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • C.P.R. card
  • A.C.L.S. card
  • BTLS or PHTLS or Santa Cruz County Trauma Equivalency certification/card
  • PALS or PEPP Provider certification card
  • Copy of current (within one year) Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
  • An original and current (issued within 60 days of the final filing date) Department of Motor Vehicles driving record print-out
  • Proof of relevant course completion
  • Resume 

Firefighters respond to fire, medical and other emergencies; perform emergency medical care; fight fires; perform rescues; participate in hazardous materials control; conduct training sessions; perform fire prevention inspections and pre-fire planning; perform public education talks and classes; perform other support functions to carry out City policy and the mission of the Fire Department and other related duties as assigned.

This job class functions at the Firefighter level.  (Paramedic-accredited Firefighters perform advanced life support and receive a pay differential).  Firefighters are typically assigned to a 24-hour rotating shift schedule averaging a total of 56 hours per week.

Receives direct supervision from the Fire Captain


Examples of Duties

Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Responds to fire, medical and other emergencies on a rescue unit or on an engine
  • Connects and lays hose lines, enters burning buildings and directs stream onto fires
  • Raises, positions and climbs ladders
  • Assists in such firefighting activities as rescue, protecting exposures, ventilation, salvage, overhaul and other operations
  • Assists paramedics in providing emergency medical care
  • Inspects, services and maintains equipment to ensure proper operating condition
  • Maintains clean and orderly conditions in and about the fire station
  • Attends and participates in special drills and other training activities
  • Performs such collateral assignments as maintaining emergency medical supplies, presenting training classes in firefighting and first aid techniques, repairing equipment, training cadets
  • Performs fire prevention inspections and preplans of industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential occupancies
  • Conducts presentations and classes with public groups on fire safety, emergency response and other Fire Department related subjects
  • Works long hours, at all hours, under physical and mental pressures in hazardous conditions, in inclement weather and during emergency response and disaster situations
  • Wears self contained breathing apparatus
  • May be assigned to attend meetings and make presentations
  • Responds to fire, medical and other emergencies on a ladder truck or on an engine
  • Performs inspections and preplans of industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential occupancies
  • Completes records and prepares reports as assigned
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by the Fire Captain

Accredited Paramedic (In addition to the above):

  • Provides Advanced Life Support first responder emergency medical care and assistance to victims of accidents, injuries or illness

Knowledge of: 

  • principles and practices of modern methods and techniques of fire ground management, fire suppression, fire prevention, rescue and the Incident Command System (ICS)
  • emergency medical procedures necessary to deal with life threatening illness and/or injury
  • proper methods of public presentations
  • safe vehicle driving techniques
  • proper pump operation procedures  
  • maintenance and repair procedures of fire department apparatus and equipment
  • emergency medical procedures necessary to deal with life threatening illness and/or injury
  • basic fire prevention and hazardous materials inspection procedures
  • basic arithmetic, correct English usage, grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • basic chemistry of fire and hazardous materials
  • proper methods of developing a lesson plan and delivering a basic training class
  • proper methods of preparation and delivery of a speech and public presentations
  • basic mechanical principles that demonstrate technical concepts, procedures, and equipment   operation
  • basic computer skills
  • customer service techniques

Accredited Paramedic (In addition to the above):

  • emergency medical procedures necessary to deal with life threatening illness and/or injury
  • advanced Life Support pre-hospital emergency medical care techniques, principles, and practices
  • basic human anatomy and physiology
  • medical terminology
  • techniques and analytical processes used in the description and assessment of patient status
  • categories, indications and contraindications, and appropriate dosage levels of medications
  • procedures and equipment used in monitoring patient vital signs, symptoms of impaired cardiac and respiratory functioning, altered states of consciousness, various types of toxicity and poisoning, shock, and common diseases

Ability to:

  • safely and effectively operate fire department tools and equipment
  • perform departmental fire suppression, rescue, and other related tasks
  • communicate, understand and follow oral and written instructions
  • think clearly and act decisively under stressful conditions
  • maintain a good driving record
  • read English, understand and apply information received from fire service handbooks, manuals and regulations
  • perform strenuous physical labor under adverse and dangerous conditions
  • keep maintenance and repair of fire department apparatus
  • perform as an effective team member and co-worker
  • establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervisors, coworkers, other departments and agencies, business and community groups, and the general public
  • walk to perform assigned duties; walk on uneven surfaces; crawl and run
  • stoop and bend; twist; reach above and below shoulder level
  • stand for long periods of time
  • lift equipment weighing 50 to 90 lbs.
  • carry fire hose, ladders, tools, etc.
  • push and pull; balance on ladders
  • distinguish red, yellow, and blue flashing lights
  • smell to detect odors such as alcohol, smoke, gases, etc.
  • hear effectively and communicate in both emergency and non-emergency situations
  • work in various environments subject to heat, cold, inclement weather, etc.
  • maintain physical health, strength, and agility to meet the physical demands of fire fighting
  • learn technical concepts, procedures and the operation of equipment utilized in fire fighting, prevention, and education
  • read, comprehend, retain and apply a large number of technical procedures, policies, codes and orders
  • write comprehensive and grammatically correct reports
  • sit at a desk and in meetings and trainings for long periods of time
  • work under physically demanding conditions and in potentially hazardous or stressful situations
  • maintain a level of performance consistent with the standards of the department
  • work a 24-hour continuous shift, and be subject to recall during emergencies
  • effectively use radios to communicate
  • speak English; speak Spanish highly desirable

Accredited Paramedic (In addition to the above):

  • observe and evaluate patient status and conditions
  • determine appropriate BLS and ALS procedures
  • make paramedical decisions rapidly, under stressful conditions
  • perform BLS and ALS life support, including CPR, cardiac monitoring (EKG interpretation),and defibrillation
  • administer medications via appropriate route per protocol
  • monitor and maintain patient airway to include endotracheal intubation, and needle cricothyrotomy
  • communicate technical and medical information effectively
  • learn and apply Santa Cruz County radio format to transmit medical information to base hospitals
  • prepare accurate and complete reports


Typical Qualifications


  • posession at time of hire and continued maintenance of a valid California Class C driver’s license and a safe driving record
  • must meet minimum medical requirement defined in NFPA Standard 1582
  • must demonstrate physical strength, endurance and agility as defined by NFPA Standard 1582 and as applied to the position
  • at least 18 years of age at time of hire
  • High School Diploma or GED or equivalent is required
  • an AS/AA degree from a properly accredited institution in Fire Protection Technology or other related field is highly desirable 
  • possession of Certified Firefighter I or equivalent prior to working or completed during probation (within first year) on shift including the following courses: 
    • CSTI Haz Mat FRO
    • SFT or NWCG ICS 100, 200
    • NIMS IS-700
  • complete SFT RIC Tactics course within first year of employment
  • EMT at time of hire
  • Current CPR card

Accredited Paramedic (In addition to the above):

  • six months experience as a paramedic
  • possession of a current license as a paramedic
  • possession of current CPR, ACLS provider certification, BTLS and PALS or equivalent
  • possession of EMT-Paramedic accreditation in Santa Cruz County within sixty days of appointment


  • Prior to appointment, the Department may require candidates to successfully complete a psychological examination and/or background investigation
  • Must sign non-tobacco use agreement
  • Must maintain physical fitness according to Department Standards
  • Second year of employment must complete Driver Operator 1A and 1B and Drivers License Firefighter endorsement


Supplemental Information

The candidate selected will be appointed for a 12-month probationary period. Names of successful candidates who do not receive a job offer will be placed on an employment list which normally remains effective for one year. The Human Resources Department may abolish an Employment List at any time the needs of the City so require. The position is represented by the International Association of Firefighters Local 1272 bargaining unit.

Prior to appointment to the position of Firefighter, a medical examination, background and Department of Justice LiveScan fingerprinting will be required. 

The City of Watsonville is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages workplace diversity. The City of Watsonville is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by including people with disabilities in all of its programs and activities.



275 Main Street Suite 400

Watsonville, CA 95076