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Job classification

Overtime eligibility Covered (Non-Z) - Nonexempt
Labor agreement Firefighters Unit 1, Local 798
Effective dateAugust 17, 2012

Current compensation plan

Effective: Jan 06, 2024

See Historic and future compensation information for this class

Step: Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
Rate /hr: $44.6375 $46.8250 $49.2000 $54.5375 $62.4875 $65.5000 $68.8500
Rate /biweekly: $3,571.00 $3,746.00 $3,936.00 $4,363.00 $4,999.00 $5,240.00 $5,508.00
Rate /year: $92,846 $97,396 $102,336 $113,438 $129,974 $136,240 $143,208

Job description


Under general supervision, engages in firefighting and related activities for the saving of life and property; administers first responder treatment, including first aid; responds to a variety of emergency situations involving public safety and medical care; may be assigned duties in connection with fire prevention activities, including the inspection of business, schools, and homes to ensure fire safety; maintains station quarters; and performs other duties as assigned.

Distinguishing Features

An H-2 Firefighter is distinguished from an H-1 Fire Rescue Paramedic in that the H-1 performs advanced life support tasks, but does not perform interior fire attack tasks. The H-2 Firefighter is distinguished from the H-3 Firefighter Paramedic in that the H-3 performs advanced life support tasks. An H-2 Firefighter is distinguished from an H-20 Lieutenant in that the H-20 has supervision responsibilities, and the firefighter does not.

Supervision Exercised


Examples of Important and Essential Duties

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 309, the duties specified below are representative of the duties assigned to this class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

1. In preparing for the tour of duty: attends roll call in uniform and receives orders, instructions, and assignments of work to be done; speaks with firefighters on other shifts to receive updated information regarding the previous day's activities; reads teletype or computer messages and general orders to receive Department and company information; calls in to fire house prior to tour to inform Department if he/she will not report to work due to sickness; relays messages to officer concerning sick or disabled crew members; while on watch, monitors computer printout to learn of obstructions, road work, broken hydrants, or other events that will require different route to any response; carries out station duties such as cooking, cleaning, and building and equipment maintenance; etc.

2. In performing tasks from receipt of alarm to arrival at scene: while on watch, listens for alarm and radio communications to inform company when to respond to call, address, and other pertinent information; dons protective gear and straps self into position in vehicle in preparation for departure; locates alarm using knowledge of first-alarm area to determine most efficient route and possible hazards for driving to alarm; drives engine/truck to and from locations of fires/emergencies using the most efficient route by considering traffic, safety, and road conditions; positions vehicle to fight fire as instructed by officer; positions vehicle to that there is access to the fire and to water sources; positions vehicle for use of hand and aerial ladders, paying special attention to overhead obstructions, such as power lines; positions vehicle so as not to interfere with later arriving equipment; dons Scott air pack to assist breathing in hazardous conditions; etc.

3. In performing tasks related to search and rescue: searches for victims under direction of officer; determines safest evacuation route of occupants; pries open vehicles, equipment, or structures using specialized equipment such as jaws-of-life or winch in order to free trapped persons; renders medical aid to victims, as appropriate, when victims are found; takes precautions for own safety when searching (e.g., has a way out, takes a rope or follows hose line); locates victims in smoky areas by crawling around room near walls, below smoke level, if possible, searching for victims by touch when visibility is limited; drags or carries conscious, or injured, or unconscious victims down ladders or stairway to remove them from building or entrapments to safety; works in team of two to perform search and rescue tasks; etc.

4. In performing fire extinguishing activities: adjusts throttle and relief valve to ensure necessary volume and pressure from pump for water supply in hoses; monitors gauges of pump (e.g., pressure) to ensure adequate water volume and pressure for hoses; connects hose and couplings to water sources, pumps, nozzles, and other hoses in order to set up water supply; secures garage door in an open position when attacking fire through a garage; sprays fire with charged hose for as long as necessary, until fire is extinguished, or until Scott air pack is expended, or until relieved by another firefighter; observes and responds to changes in condition of fire while fighting it; advances charged hose lines to fight fire, assisted by other firefighters; lifts and maneuvers hand-held and hand-raised ladders to rescue victims and to provide access to fire; lifts and pushes up 50-foot ladder, with assistance, and places against building or dwelling; uses foot to stabilize bottom of 50-foot ladder in positioning ladder against building or dwelling; pushes or pulls pole to stabilize 50-foot ladder; climbs ladders while wearing turnout gear, truckman's belt, ax, and Scott air pack and hand-held tools to ascend for rescue or firefighting; uses turntable controls to elevate, rotate, and extend aerial ladder for access to high building locations; walks or crawls through smoke-filled area to position self to fight fire; extinguishes fire in areas where there is no visibility and extreme heat; etc.

5. In performing ventilation activities: determines two means of egress from roof in case immediate evacuation is required to ensure firefighter safety; determines whether roof is safe to support weight of self and other firefighters and their equipment; ventilates structure based on location of fire; opens holes in structures using axes, ceiling hooks, and other equipment for the purpose of ventilation; operates power tools to make openings for ventilation; places ladders at appropriate positions to provide a means of egress for other firefighters; etc.

6. In performing salvage-related activities: carries by hand, materials and debris from fire areas to an area of safety in order to prevent smoke, fire, and water damage; carries with a carry-all, assisted by other firefighters, material, furniture, appliances, and debris from fire area in order to prevent smoke, fire, and water damage; turns in to superior officer valuable items found during salvage or overhaul; etc.

7. In performing overhaul-related activities: uses axes or ceiling hooks to open walls and floors to remove sheet rock and ceiling material to check for signs of fire, hot spots, potential rekindle, and extensions of fire; cuts holes in ceilings, walls, and floors, using power tools (e.g., chain or multi-purpose saws), and makes stairway and ladder chutes to drain water from floors; preserves evidence of arson for use by fire investigation squad; restores to working order all equipment used during the emergency; replaces all equipment on engine and truck used during emergency; inventories equipment used during fire to identify missing or damaged equipment; etc.

8. In performing activities related to administering first aid: dons protective equipment (e.g., gloves, Hepa Mask) to protect against infectious diseases; carries resuscitator and/or related emergency equipment (e.g., first aid bag) to scene of emergency in order to initiate treatment prior to arrival of paramedics; makes sure scene is safe before taking action at scene; checks pulse and respiration of victim to determine whether circulation and respiration are functional; inspects and clears oral and nasal airways to facilitate victim's breathing; inserts airway adjuncts to facilitate victim's breathing; controls bleeding of victims/patients; uses defibrillator to revive and stabilize victim; follows appropriate notification procedures when exposed to an infectious disease; etc.

9. In performing activities related to inspections and pre-planning: familiarizes self with buildings or transit system (e.g., building layout, type of occupancy, and structural information) during inspection in order to respond appropriately in an emergency; visually inspects hydrants, sprinkler systems, and standpipes in district to determine their location, and whether they can be opened for use in a firefighting situation; checks pressure of hydrant using a gauge during inspections to determine if pressure is correct; applies Gleeson valve to high-pressure hydrant to reduce pressure during inspection and testing of hydrants and hoses; conducts drills at schools to educate and pre-plan for emergency situation; etc.

10. In performing activities related to maintenance: tests equipment by operating it in order to determine if it is functioning properly; visually inspects and operates Scott and resuscitator equipment to ensure that all parts of the equipment are present and functioning properly, and tanks are fully charged; visually inspects equipment on truck and engine using an inventory list and knowledge of equipment and storage locations to determine whether all equipment is secured and available for use; visually inspects oil and fuel levels and parts of equipment (motor, tires, etc.) on engine and truck to ensure that equipment is ready and safe to function; cleans and refuels engine-powered equipment such as chain saws, generators, pumps, and extrication tools; reports verbally to officer and other drivers concerning conditions on truck or engine that need repair or replacement in order to function properly; visually inspects all medical equipment and performs daily tests; visually inspects water and cliff rescue equipment (e.g., wet suits, ropes); etc.

11. In performing activities related to training/drills: studies maps to familiarize self with locations of streets, buildings, etc., in first alarm area; exercises to maintain cardiovascular fitness and strength; attends in-service training classes for the purpose of maintaining and gaining knowledge of activities involved in firefighting; performs firefighting activities in fire drills, practices (e.g., ladder practice, hose practice, high-rise drills), and mock disasters as training exercise; discusses past fires and other emergencies with other firefighters and officers, in order to learn from experience and to prepare for similar situations in the future; attends training to maintain EMT and defibrillator certification; etc.

12. In performing activities related to community relations: presents general fire safety information (e.g., methods of eliminating fire hazards) in response to calls and other requests; refers citizen complaint to appropriate superiors; conducts public and private school fire drills (i.e., turns on alarm and observes how school responds); participates in community events (e.g., races, blood drives, neighborhood parties, toy program) to provide service to the City or raise awareness for the SFFD; etc.

13. In performing non-fire response activities: rescues persons who are stuck in elevators; gains entrance to residences by laddering building, picking locks, or using forcible entry to assist public or law enforcement during lock-outs or lock-ins; blocks off street with rig or flares when live wires are down to maintain scene safety until PG&E arrives; when there are reports of a gas leak, shuts off gas valves by using gas wrench to prevent possible explosion; shuts off refrigeration systems using appropriate tools; ensures scene safety at the scene of motor vehicle accidents (e.g., shutting off ignition, disconnecting battery); shores up building by using straps and any other available material (e.g., wood) to stabilize building with weakened structure until engineer can determine how to deal with situation; etc.

14. In performing tasks related to probationary activities at the Division of Training and during initial assignment: attends training classes daily in order to acquire the information necessary to become a certified firefighter; observes demonstrations by instructors in order to comprehend how firefighting tasks should be carried out; demonstrates the correct method of carrying out manipulative tasks (tying knots, raising ladders, etc.) in order to be graded as having satisfactorily mastered the material presented during training; practices performing the tasks which make up the job of a firefighter in order to perform the tasks satisfactorily on manipulative examinations given in fire college or the field; takes the physical ability test; participates in physical conditioning activities; at firehouse, seeks information from other personnel concerning firefighting; etc.

15. In performing tasks related to working with others: serves as a team member while performing job duties, firefighter training, or emergency missions; responds to, carries out, and completes work assignments in accordance with policy, procedure, and protocol; utilizes problem solving techniques in carrying out assignments; communicates effectively with peers and superiors from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds; understands and/or carries out oral instructions or information from superiors and/or peers at emergency incidents; etc.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of: the streets, and traffic laws and patterns in the City; first responder and EMT procedures and equipment to assist in aiding injured individuals; methods of building construction; hazardous materials and their implications for firefighting situations; violations to look for during inspections; the Department's rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and training bulletins; Department manuals; the general principles of fire science; the uses, capabilities, and limitations of firefighting equipment and apparatus; fire fighting techniques and strategies; and fire and building codes related to fire suppression systems and fire safety.

Ability to: work effectively with others; successfully and expeditiously perform tasks associated with extinguishing a fire, administering first aid, searching for and rescuing victims, ventilating the fire building, going from receipt of alarm to arrival at the scene of the emergency, receiving training and performing drills, maintaining the fire house and job-related equipment, overhauling the fire building, preparing for the tour of duty, salvaging materials from the fire building, community relations, fire prevention inspections and pre-fire planning, non-fire response activities, and probationary activities.

Experience and Training

1. High school diploma or equivalent at application.

2. Emergency Medical Technician certification prior to appointment.

3. Successful completion of fire academy post appointment.


1. Minimum of 19 years of age at application.

2. Minimum of 20 years of age at appointment.

3. A valid California Driver License at appointment

4. Successful completion of the Candidate Physical Ability Test prior to appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

Effective Date: 02/28/72

Retitled: 07/01/77

Amended: 08/29/01; 03/08/02; 5/11/09

Standard information

Disaster service work

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

Historic and future compensation

Effective (Sched) Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7
Jan 06, 2024 (Y) $44.6375 $46.8250 $49.2000 $54.5375 $62.4875 $65.5000 $68.8500
Jul 01, 2023 (X) $43.6500 $45.8000 $48.1125 $53.3375 $61.1125 $64.0625 $67.3375
Jul 01, 2022 (W) $42.5875 $44.6875 $46.9375 $52.0375 $59.6250 $62.5000 $65.7000
Jul 01, 2021 (U) $40.1375 $42.1250 $44.2375 $49.0500 $56.2000 $58.9125 $61.9250
Jul 01, 2020 (S) $38.9625 $40.9000 $42.9500 $47.6250 $54.5625 $57.2000 $60.1250

Historic compensation data is provided in hourly pay.

Sources: San Francisco Open Data Portal: Compensation plan table