Published: January 28, 2022
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Established in 1866, the San Francisco Fire Department is rich in tradition and history. From the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 to the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, the Department has grown to meet the many challenges along the way. Today, the San Francisco Fire Department serves an estimated 1.5 million people, providing fire suppression, fire prevention and emergency medical services to the residents, visitors and workers within San Francisco's 49 square miles.
This is a deep classification encompassing three levels: Level I EMT; Level II Paramedic and Level III Firefighter Paramedic. Depending on the level in the deep class, incumbents may perform basic life support duties on an ambulance (Level I EMT); perform advanced life support duties on an ambulance (Level II Paramedic); or respond to fire alarms engaging in firefighting activities and performing advanced life support duties (Level III Firefighter Paramedic).
The list established from this selection process may be used by the Fire Department to fill vacancies at Level I and Level II.
Detailed descriptions for Levels I and II are below. The descriptions are cumulative in that each Level II may be required to perform the duties defined in Level I.
Level I - EMT
Under general supervision, responds to medical and other emergencies and engages in life support and life-saving activities; performs emergency medical service (EMS); maintains equipment; staffs and drives an ambulance to provide initial emergency medical care in a pre-hospital setting; evaluates and administers advanced first aid, basic life support and life maintenance measures in accordance with Emergency Medical Service Agency (EMSA) policies and procedures, including CPR, definitive therapeutic care at the scene of an emergency or during transport of persons; provide community health screening and other non-emergency health services; protects the privacy of patients treated by SFFD, safeguards patient information and uses and discloses patient information in accordance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the privacy practices of SFFD; may perform duties of either driving ambulances, EMT attendant and other related duties as assigned. Works a 40-hour week, including days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays; shift to be determined by operational requirements. Incumbents must maintain superior physical strength, agility and stamina to carry out the intense physical duties of the position.
Level II - Paramedic
In addition to the above, required to provide advanced emergency medical care to victims of fire and activities for saving lives and property, including medical scene size-up, establishing medical command post, reporting to incident commander or EMS Captain and implementing medical Incident Command System (ICS); supports rescue activities in a variety of situations; renders first aid, treatment for shock, cardiac compression, resuscitation, and prevention of blood loss; responds to trauma or medical emergencies; performs primary and secondary evaluation of patients to assess conditions, triages in major disasters; administers proper procedural emergency treatment; institutes emergency care and/or advanced life support to stabilize patient conditions, including cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation, drug administration, invasive procedures and definitive therapy; as part of EMS response, conducts hazard assessment of residences, places of business, public assemblage, schools, and hospitals to ensure compliance with fire codes, ordinances, laws and regulations, and refers potential hazards/violations to appropriate Fire Department division; participates in training and physical fitness programs as required.
How to Qualify
This selection process is open to individuals meeting at least all of the minimum qualifications listed for Level I below at the time of application filing. Individuals who meet minimum qualifications for Levels II and III may be considered by the Department at those levels.
H003 Basic Minimum Qualifications: (All levels)
1. A high school diploma or an equivalency certificate (e.g., G.E.D., California High School Proficiency Certificate).
2. Minimum 19 years of age at time of application and 20 years of age at time of appointment.
Additional Minimum Qualifications for Level I:
1. Possession of a current and valid California Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification issued by the State of California [required by the application filing deadline] and the ability to accredit with the local EMS Authority [required prior to appointment].
2. Possession and maintenance of valid Class A, B, or C California Driver License with Ambulance Driver certificate / endorsement.
3. Any combination of 500 hours of verifiable work experience as an EMT (on an ambulance or first responder vehicle) or hours of documented ambulance ride-along as a member of the San Francisco Fire Reserves within the last three years, at the time of hiring;
Any combination of 1,000 hours of verifiable work experience as an EMT (on an ambulance or first responder vehicle) or hours of documented ambulance ride-along as a member of the San Francisco Fire Reserves within the last five years, at the time of application filing.
Additional Minimum qualifications for Consideration at Level II:
- Possession and maintenance of a valid California Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic (Paramedic) license issued by the State of California and the ability to accredit with local EMS Agency.
- Possession and maintenance of valid Class A, B, or C California Driver License with Ambulance Driver certificate / endorsement.
- 1,000 hours verifiable work experience as a Paramedic (on an ambulance or first responder vehicle) within the last three years; OR 1,500 hours verifiable work experience as a Paramedic (on an ambulance or first responder vehicle) within the last five years at the time of application filing.
What else should I know?
The following documents and verifications must be submitted if and when requested by the SFFD Background Investigation Unit:
1. A copy of the respective current & valid certification
2. A copy of the respective current & valid CADL (with Ambulance Driver certificate for LI & LII)
3. Verification of experience. Acceptable verification would be a letter from an employer which specifies the applicant’s job title, duties, dates of employment and hours worked per week while working with that employer. Pay stubs may substitute for information regarding hours worked. However, all other information must be confirmed through an official letter from the employer and the letter must include the employer’s letterhead.
Candidates who do not submit the required verifications as requested will no longer be considered qualified or allowed to participate further in the selection process.
Written Test (100%): Candidates who are invited to participate in the selection process will take a pass/fail multiple-choice test to determine their relative knowledge in job-related areas, which may include, but are not limited to, procedures and practices in emergency medicine, and current EMT techniques in field & hospital settings. Candidates who pass the Written Exam will advance to subsequent components of the selection process.
ELIGIBLE LIST: Candidate duration on the eligible list will be two years. A candidate must retake the written test thereafter to again be eligible. The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this selection process will be the Rule of the List. SFFD has the authority to hire any candidate named on the eligible list (“Rule of List”). Therefore, one’s placement on this list neither guarantees nor implies an offer of employment. Candidates who receive an offer of employment may waive the offer only two times. A third waiver of appointment renders candidates ineligible. All candidates on the eligible list will be placed under administrative waiver until they successfully complete the Departmental Selection Process described below.
Department Selection Process
SFFD will contact eligibles to ascertain interest whenever there are vacancies to be filled in Levels I or II. Selections from the eligible list will be made by the Fire Chief or her or his designee. Criteria for selection may include the following:
- Additional Certificates
- Relevant work experience such as experience involving the performance of EMT or paramedic duties associated with medical transport for any employer within the City & County of SF
Candidates who are selected will be invited to participate in selection components such as those listed below.
Skills Assessment: The Skills Assessment will require candidates to demonstrate their relative knowledge, skill, and ability in job-related areas, which may include, but are not limited to: Basic Life Support (BLS) procedures, practices & techniques; administration of first aid, basic life support and life saving measures; recognition of signs & symptoms and knowledge of appropriate treatment action for various medical conditions & situations.
Structured Oral Interview: The SOI will assess relative knowledge, skill, and ability in job-related areas, which may include, but are not limited to current MCI standards & practice; common logistical issues; customer service; interpersonal skills; and verbal communication skills.
Chief’s Interview: The Chief’s Interview will be a “fit” interview including competencies such as problem solving, customer service, interpersonal skills, and verbal communication skills.
Physical Ability Test (Pass/Fail) [LI and LII]: Candidates must also complete and pass the SFFD physical ability test [PAT] for medics in order to be considered for hire. The test will consist of job task simulation components designed to measure a candidate’s ability to lift and carry 70 lbs. of equipment up and down six flights of stairs, drag a 165 lb dummy 15 ft, and unload/reload a 165 lb. stretcher in and out of an ambulance. Candidates on the eligible list will be placed under waiver until they have passed this PAT.
Local Accreditation: Applicants who are extended conditional offers of employment will undergo County EMT accreditation from the SF EMS Agency prior to their appointment to any SFFD Academy. The local accreditation will include an extensive background investigation by the SF EMS Agency. Failure to pass the local accreditation process will result in the withdrawal of the conditional employment offer or removal from the respective SFFD Academy.
Driving Record: Applicants must not have been convicted of any of the following during the period from one year prior to application up to the date of appointment: drunk driving; reckless driving; or hit and run with personal injury or property damage over $25.00. Applicants will be disqualified if any of the following occurred or is in effect at any time during the period from one year prior to application up to the date of appointment: probation as a result of a driving‑related offense; license suspension or revocation; three moving violations in 12 months; or five moving violations in 24 months.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ICS Certificates: Applicants who are extended conditional offers of employment will be required to submit FEMA ICS 100, 200 and 700 Course Completion Certificates prior to the start of the Academy. These courses can be taken online at www.training.fema.gov/IS/
Medical Exam: Applicants will be required to pass a medical evaluation given by the SFFD Physician. The medical exam will be administered only to those applicants who are likely to be selected for appointment to the SFFD-3 Level 1 EMT Academy. The medical exam will include evaluation of vision, hearing, and general medical condition, and screening for drugs and alcohol. Applicants will be evaluated based on the Ambulance Driver Certificate requirements for medical exam. Applicants must meet the SFFD's height and weight ratio or body fat percentage through a body fat test in order to pass the medical exam.
All medical conditions will be evaluated individually to determine the applicant’s fitness for employment at the respective position -- Level 1, Level II, or Level III. Applicants who proceed to the Medical Exam will be required to complete a Medical History Statement. Any misrepresentation by an applicant on the Medical History Statement as determined by the Chief of the SFFD will result in disqualification.
Vision Screening: Applicants must have a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye, either unaided or aided by spectacles or contact lenses. If spectacles, hard contact lenses, or non‑extended‑wear soft contact lenses are worn, uncorrected vision must be at least 20/100. If soft contact lenses that are approved for extended‑wear use are worn, there is no limitation on the uncorrected vision, provided the wearer has successfully worn extended‑wear soft contact lenses for at least six months. Applicants who wear extended‑wear soft contact lenses must have their contact lenses approved for extended‑wear use by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, licensed by the State of CA, subject to verification by the SFFD Physician. If subsequently hired, applicants who use extended‑wear soft contact lenses must wear them at all times while on duty. Applicants must have visual field performance without correction of 130 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye.
This announcement is issued in accordance with CSC Rules, Volume III, Uniformed Ranks of the SFFD and the policies & procedures of the DHR. These rules can be obtained at http://www.sfgov3.org/index.aspx?page=300. Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by posting the correction on the DHR website https://careers.smartrecruiters.com/CityAndCountyOfSanFrancisco1/
CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT: All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.
The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.