1. #1
    Forum Member
    CaseyBhoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    East Bay, NorCal

    Default Cal Fire (CDF) - Suggested Units?

    (Posted this in the Hiring/Employment forum, but thought I'd try here as well)

    I'm finally ready to put in my first application with Cal Fire (CDF) and was wondering if anyone had any insight into which Units would be best to apply to as a first-time applicant. Mainly, are there certain Units that tend to hire more firefighters each season than others? I'm located in the SF Bay Area and am planning to apply to the local Units as well as those located up the coast and in the Sierras (i.e. Northern Units).

    Also, I currently work as a reserve/volunteer with a county department and just earned my paramedic license - will these help improve my chances of getting hired as a seasonal?

    Finally, I know the hiring process is a bit different and was wondering if anyone knew how to choose which stations to go visit since there can be a couple dozen in each unit.

    Thanks all in advance for your replies and best of luck.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Casey, I have friends that have gotten hired in the Humboldt-Del Norte Unit whom have not had many certs, i.e. only 67 hour CDF cert. Some of the more difficult units to get picked up with atleast in the Northern Unit are Santa Clara, San Mateo-Santa Cruz, and Butte Units. I don't know if you have applied by mail to all the Northern California Units but I would definitely recommend doing so, because some Units do not send out interviews to some of their applicants based on lack of qualifications, limited available positions, etc.

    Your reserve/volunteer experience will increase your chances of getting hired with Cal Fire. Your Paramedic license will definitely help you out in getting hired with the Riverside Unit, many of their stations in that Unit have medics. In Northern California not many Cal Fire stations have medics.

    In terms of visiting stations, your best bet would be to politic as many stations as you can before your interview dates. Give the station a call a couple days in advance and ask if you can visit them and then bring your resume and give it the the captain on duty.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    If you dont have your 67 hour cert, don't bother applying to SCU, BTU, NYU, AEU just to name a few. The units that do offer the academy to new hires are LNU, HUU, and MEU, although with the budget problems they may not be offering them this year. LNU, BTU, and NYU all hire a lot of firefighters because they are big units, but also get the most applicants. The farther off the grid you go (LMU, HUU, ect.) the better chance you got. But if you politic hard at a unit you want, you got a good shot even if they arent hiring alot. Good luck.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Casey its not that easy. You need to apply at all the units you can. You really cant just go and pick, Humbolt and mendo take alot of new people but they interview a crap load. southern units: give less interveiws in the southern and less people apply because they dont want to drive the distance, its up to you how bad you want it. And politic your *** off

  5. #5
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Sep 2002


    More Cal Fire/CDF information here- http://www.californiafirefighter.com...isplay.php?f=8

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