About the Department

Choosing the fire service as a career can prove to be one of the most interesting and personally satisfying choices one can make. Firefighting is a rewarding career for men and women that is challenging, demanding, and exciting.

The Richmond Fire Department is a diverse, vibrant and progressive urban and industrial department made up of seven stations and 94 uniformed personnel who come from various cultural and educational backgrounds. Firefighters provide life safety and emergency medical services to over 100,000 people who live and work in the department’s 56 square-mile jurisdiction.  In addition to firefighting and emergency medical response, Richmond firefighters also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of specialty areas including hazardous materials, technical rescue, marine response, fire investigation and prevention. The department actively participates in public education and community service.

Helpful Information

Firefighter Trainee Requirements - learn more about the minimum qualifications to apply for the position.
Preparation - find information on local EMT programs and the CPAT
Recruit Academy - read about the Recruit Academy and probation
Salary Schedule - view the salary schedule
City of Richmond Employee Benefits
IAFF Local #188 MOU - view the MOU between the City of Richmond and International Association of Firefighters - Local 188 (IAFF)

Common Questions

What is the job?

As a Richmond firefighter, you will respond to a variety of emergency calls, including residential and commercial structure fires, vehicle accidents with extrication, hazardous materials, marine response, and rescues. Our department has a heavy call volume, responding to a diverse community comprised of residential, urban, industrial, and wild land areas.
 In addition to responding to emergency calls, firefighters train on a daily basis, and at times may be required to attend special night drills and classroom courses. A typical day in the station also includes: 
  • Roll Call: At 0730 hours the oncoming shift is briefed by the previous shift. The company officer and/or battalion chief disseminate daily plans and assignments to the crews. 
  • Apparatus and Equipment Check: All personnel check and maintain the equipment and/or apparatus he or she has been assigned to for that shift. Additionally, all emergency equipment is checked to ensure that everything is stocked and ready for use. 
  • Station Maintenance: Firefighters are required to maintain their assigned stations, including cleaning and making sure everything is in working order.  
  • Training: Firefighters train every day.  Training may include performing drills, classroom presentations, reviewing procedures, and various other fire suppression related duties. 
  • Public Services: Firefighters are often dispatched to non-emergency calls to help invalids back into bed, rescue people trapped in elevators, assist people locked out of their cars or homes, and enforce the City’s ban on illegal burning.  
  • Public Education: Richmond firefighters take pride in giving back to the community and often give presentations on fire safety to children and attend many community events. 
  • Administration: Each response requires a computer incident report, and firefighters must prepare paperwork to backup everything they do. 
  • District Familiarization: In addition to studying the streets of their district, firefighters familiarize themselves with the neighborhoods, schools, parks, and other facilities in their district. 

These are only a few of the many responsibilities of a Richmond firefighter. If public service is what you are interested in, the job as a City of Richmond firefighter will exceed your expectation as a rewarding career.

What is the schedule?

Suppression personnel assigned to the Operations Division work a "48/96" schedule: on-duty for two consecutive 24-hour shifts and then off-duty for four days.

What kind of opportunities are available for advancement in my career?

The Richmond Fire Department offers many opportunities to individuals who are motivated to advance their career. Firefighters are encouraged to study and apply themselves and are often mentored by those in the position they aspire to attain. Specialized training is offered in hazardous materials, rope rescue, water rescue, marine response, public education, and more. We also encourage our personnel to join a project or committee that they are passionate about.  
On the Operations side, firefighters can promote to Engineer, Captain/Company Officer, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief, and Fire Chief. Firefighters are also able to join the Prevention Services Division by promoting to Fire Inspector, Deputy Fire Marshal, and Fire Marshal. 

I still want to learn more.  What do you suggest?

Call our Fire Administration office at (510) 307-8031 and ask to be transferred to a specific fire station. You can make arrangements with the crew to visit their station where you can ask the firefighters questions about a career in the fire service and what it's truly like to work for the Richmond Fire Department.