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Post #553 (Ages 14-18)
Get your hands on the challenging field of fire and emergency services. Fire service exploring offers young men and women the chance to experience fire and emergency service career opportunities.
- Must be between 14-18 years old and be in high school at time of application
- Must reside within Santa Clara County
- Must maintain a minimum of a 2.5 GPA
- Occurs annually and will coincide with the beginning of the new school year.
- If selected, new Explorers will attend and complete a mini-academy where they will learn basic skills and fire department organization.
- After graduating, Explorers will be expected to attend drills that are held every other Saturday at our drill tower in Campbell from 1:00pm-5:00pm.
- In addition to the regular scheduled drills, Explorers will also have opportunities to visit and train with other fire departments to learn about specialty equipment and acquired skills for such equipment. Opportunities may include: Moffett Field for Aircraft Firefighting, Cal Fire for Wildland Training, Santa Cruz for Water Rescue, etc.
Explorer Transition into a Volunteer Program
(Emergency or Non-Emergency Response Program)
Upon reaching 18 years of age, Santa Clara County Fire Department Explorers may apply to the Volunteer program. Those meeting the requirements of an Emergency Response Volunteer Firefighter, and the following criteria, will be granted an oral board interview.
- Must be an explorer in good standing
- Receive a favorable recommendation from the Explorer Post #553 Coordinator
Explorers that are accepted into the Volunteer program, and that have a completed a California State Fire Marshal approved Firefighter 1 academy may begin their 6-month evaluation period prior to the completion of the 6-week academy. However, all Explorers are required to complete the 6-week academy when offered. Failure to complete the Volunteer Academy may be cause for removal from the division.
County Fire Volunteer programs provide training and practical experience to those interested in pursuing firefighting as a profession. Through regular training, ride-a-longs and participation in organized public education activities, the volunteer will experience a glimpse of what firefighters do on a daily basis.
Emergency Response Volunteer
- Must successfully complete a California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) within 12 months of their appointment date (as evidenced by a CPAT card),
- Must successfully complete a comprehensive background investigation.
- Must successfully complete the Volunteer Academy and a six (6) month probationary period.
- Successful completion of the six (6) month probationary period will include required skills completion, documented via the Volunteer Firefighter Taskbook.
- Must reside within 15 minutes of a department fire station. The method for determining time and distance of travel will be accomplished using standard commonly accessible web-based map services that use Global Positioning Satellite data technology (Google Maps, MapQuest, Apple Maps).
- Additionally, all volunteers must maintain a current DMV license and American Heart Association CPR certification.
Non-Emergency Response Volunteer
Non-Emergency Response Volunteer assignments will be based on the needs of the Department and at the Direction of the Training Division Chief.
Examples of non-emergency response assignments may include:
- Engine 973 Coordinator (requires maintenance of appropriate driver’s license)
- Community Education Liaison
- Saratoga Historic Fire Apparatus Coordinator (requires maintenance of appropriate driver’s license)
- Volunteer Records Coordinator
- Volunteer Communications Coordinator
- Volunteer Equipment Coordinator
Non-Emergency Response Volunteers must reside in Santa Clara County.
For more information about any Volunteer Programs, please contact (408) 378-4010 or email.