California Volunteer Firefighters
In fall of 2021 California State Firefighters’ Association (CSFA) was awarded a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant in the amount of $2,090,300.00 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These grant funds will be spent over the next four years to assist the over 500 California fire departments that use volunteer firefighters in their mission to protect lives and property.
Specifically, these grant funds will be used to provide reimbursements for NFPA 1582 physicals, reimbursement for structural PPE, tuition assistance for Firefighter I academies, free leadership, behavioral health and diversity training (travel and meals) and marketing materials, free live fire training and free memberships in CSFA.
As part of our mission as California’s oldest statewide trade association we have developed this website as a “one stop shop” to support California’s volunteer fire service.
Please check back often as we add more services and resources to this site.
Your Community Needs YOU
Of the fire departments registered with the National Fire Service Department Census, 87% of them are all volunteer or have some volunteers.
California Volunteer Fire Departments
In California 242 fire departments are 100% volunteer; 221 are mostly volunteer (1 to 50% paid) and 138 are mostly paid, but with a few volunteer/paid call). (USFA – National Fire Department Registry)
1,140,750 firefighters protected the United States in 2013. 354,600 (31%) were career firefighters and 786,150 (69%) were volunteer firefighters. (NFPA)
Training & Events
CSFA Volunteer Firefighter Training
CSFA is actively working with SAFER grant funding to enhance the recruiting and retention efforts for the California fire service.
In the Fall of 2018 CSFA was awarded their 5th statewide SAFER grant. This 4-year grant award will provide live fire training courses and Recruitment and Retention Workshops to volunteer firefighters throughout California. There is no cost for these courses. Departments will need to enroll their volunteers and get them to and from the event.
Live Fire Training
Sixteen (four per year) 2-day live fire training courses geared towards the specifications for Fire Control 3 certification will take place across California. Burn buildings and trailers will be rented and facilitated by experienced instructors in locations that will provide convenience for participation.
The only equipment needed for these training events is individual PPE and SCBA gear. All apparatus, water, air re-fill station, and required apparatus will be coordinated by CSFA and the host departments. If there is more than 1 volunteer attending from your department we request that you bring qualified personnel to act as your trainer inside the live fire trailer; it is not the duty of the live fire trailer operators to guide you through the training.
Recruitment and Retention Workshops will be held across the state and will be FREE to participants including travel and per diem. The R&R Workshops will cover management skills including collecting and reviewing volunteer applications, improving interviewing techniques, evaluating prospects, describing expectations, and motivating the new volunteer firefighter. Retention techniques by anticipating retention challenges, creating a cohesive environment, and rewarding performance with incentives. The program will also help participants with implementing a local volunteer recruiting campaign.
Fire service and community leaders are encouraged to attend this R&R Workshop. There is NO COST to attend the workshop; travel, 2 nights lodging, and per diem for attendees will be reimbursed upon completion of the workshop. The R&R workshop is designed to facilitate open discussion about the local Volunteer Firefighter retention and recruitment issues.
Upcoming CSFA SAFER Training
News & Articles
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No-cost March training opportunities abound
If you are seeking no-cost training opportunities, there will be several opportunities in Northern California during the month of March.
On March 25 and 26 live fire training is coming to Sonoma County at North Bay Fire Department in Sebastopol. This FREE training is funded by CSFA through a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. Participants are responsible for transportation to and from the training event.