Are you interested in becoming a City of Pismo Beach Reserve Firefighter?

Firefighters line up in front of 2 fire trucks

About CAL FIRE/ City of Pismo Beach Fire Department

The Reserve Firefighter positions are administered by the CAL-FIRE/ Pismo Beach Fire Department. Staff includes:
  • 1 Administrative Assistant
  • 1 Battalion Chief
  • 2 Firefighter II’s
  • 3 Engineers
  • 5 Captains
Additionally, the department employs 20 Reserve / Paid Call Firefighters and 25 Seasonal Lifeguards and Junior Lifeguard program instructors. From 2 fire stations the Fire Department operates:
  • 1 Rescue Water Craft
  • 1 Type I Reserve Engine
  • 1 Type II Rescue
  • 1 Type III Engine
  • 2 Front Line Type I Engines

Responsibilities of a Reserve Firefigher

Reserve Firefighters are required to attend an initial training program and also attend required drills. Reserve Firefighters will be trained to perform emergency response functions such as:
  • Emergency medical response
  • Structure and wildland fires
  • Technical rescue such as cliff-side and surf (ocean) rescue
  • Vehicle traffic collisions
Reserves will also participate in fire prevention activities, operate and maintaining firefighter equipment and apparatus and station cleaning and maintenance. Reserves are required to be available for call back to augment on duty staff during emergencies. After successfully completing an 8 month training program, reserves are required to work a minimum of 2 shifts per month.

Education & Experience Needed to Apply

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age at time of application
  • Have a high School diploma or GED
  • Possess a current valid Class C driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record
  • Applicants must have passed the National Registry Exam (NREMT) and have a California EMT certification through a local EMS Agency
  • Successful completion of a State Certified Firefighter Academy or SLO County Volunteer Firefighter Academy is recommended, but not required
  • Must:
    • Be a moderate to strong swimmer in the ocean
    • Be comfortable working from heights
    • Be able to pass a 500 meter swim
    • Be able to perform rigorous physical activity associated with firefighting
    • Be able to provide a current Candidate Physical Ability Test
    • Be able to read maps
    • Be able to remain calm and work efficiently under emergency conditions
    • Be able to understand and carry out oral and written directions
    • Be capable of an exercise initiative
    • Understand and act in accordance with departmental policies, rules, instructions, and written material in the field of firefighting
    • Applicant must live within a 60 mile radius to the Bello Street Station

Position Compensation

The pay rate for Reserve Firefighter is $10.50 per hour during the initial training period. Upon completion of training, the rate is $11.53 - $13.83, depending on the level of previous experience, education, and training.


Social Security and Workers Compensation are provided. No other health, welfare, retirement, or paid leave benefits are provided. This position is not considered full time employment.


Reserve Firefighters are limited to 900 hours per year. A normal shift consists of 19 hours paid with 5 hours standby. The average Reserve Firefighter works 2-3 shifts per month.

How to Apply

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