In 2010, the Lakeside Fire Protection District initiated a reserve firefighter program and is one of the few agencies within San Diego County to continue to offer this opportunity. The Board of Directors has authorized the Chief of the Department to fill reserve firefighter positions to assist crews with their routine fire, EMS, and station duties.
Reserve firefighters ride on district apparatus and/or CSA No. 69 ambulances and perform all of the duties as the regular fire crew, including fire suppression, public education, station maintenance, and the response to medical emergencies including providing advanced life support treatment to the ill and injured. After the initial training period, reserve firefighters continue their training, working a minimum of two shifts (48-hours) per month on district apparatus. Reserve firefighters are not compensated for their time and must supply their own station uniform. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided by the District.
Reserve firefighters are utilized to augment current staffing levels as well as provide the highest level of multi-discipline training to pre-employment candidates. Participation as a reserve firefighter does not guarantee the position will lead to a paid employee position within the District.
Reserve firefighters, under direct supervision, attend scheduled drills and perform a myriad of firefighting and EMS skills including but not limited to: responding to structure fires, wildland fires, vehicle accidents and medical aids. Other duties may include vehicle and apparatus maintenance as well as station maintenance. During scheduled ride-along shifts the reserve may be assigned to an engine company or a transporting ALS unit.
Each new reserve firefighter will be required to attend 16 hours of introductory training prior to starting their scheduled ride-along time. Once the introductory training is complete the reserve firefighter may begin to schedule shifts. Each reserve firefighter must schedule at least four 24-hour shifts per quarter and attend one (1) Saturday drill per month. Reserves are assigned a task book they are responsible for completing.
Unless the reserve firefighter candidate has previously attended and successfully completed an accredited Firefighter 1 academy, the candidate must commit to attending the Heartland Academy. Academy tuition will be paid by the District. Candidates shall not receive compensation for hours spent in the academy.
The Heartland Academy is 12 weeks long and runs from early January through mid-April. Academy days are typically Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Candidates who attend the Heartland Academy at the District’s expense shall agree to reimburse the District the cost of tuition if the candidate voluntarily leaves the reserve program or is employed by another fire department within 12 months of Heartland Academy graduation.
- Must be 18 years of age at time of application.
- High school graduate or equivalent.
- Must have and maintain a valid San Diego County EMT certification (San Diego County Paramedic license is highly desirable).
- Must have and maintain a valid, unrestricted Class C California Driver License.
- Reside within San Diego County.
- Must have a working telephone at their residence.
- Must be able to purchase required uniforms and safety boots (approximately $500 in total cost).
Interested in joining our Reserve Firefighter program?
The application process usually starts in the late summer or early fall each year. Applications may be downloaded from the Job Opportunities page when the process begins. Once the application process is complete, the District will conduct a competitive examination, typically in early October.
If you are interested in applying for a reserve firefighter position, we encourage you to send an e-mail to place your name on the pre-examination notification list. You will be notified prior to the process to file a current application and begin the examination process.