Cal Fire FF2 2024 hiring

What’s the word about FF2 and FAE hiring. I applied for both but i’m thinking i really want FF2. I’m moving over from the forest service and want to get into a schedule A station in a northern unit. I feel that since FAE hiring is going to happen first id be stupid to turn that down hoping for the FF2 spot and then not have either job. Any info would be greatly appreciated.


The majority of FF2 jobs are in the south(Riverside & San Diego)
FAE offers will begin on Nov 27 because there are 2 COA’s that begin on 1/8/23. The FAE jobs are the priority as that is the 1st permanent position working for CAL FIRE per CAL HR.

In a perfect world, those existing FF2 that already have FFA and experience would be offered FAE jobs first. However, CAL HR is far from perfect.

Good luck!


Ok, so I would be pretty dumb to turn down a FAE offer hoping to get a FF2 offer when it sounds like there are very few of those positions available in northern units. thanks!


You are correct! If money/salary is a key in your decision than the FAE position would pay more and have more statewide opportunities. Good Luck!


Hey Ehoss84. Saw your comment about the coming COA academy. Do you think the offers from this round will be used to fill that academy? I am a current fed as well looking to make the transition. I made rank 1 and have all the required docs to get an offer such as the CDL and CPAT plus of course the additional certs. I am hopeful since I selected the whole state but my concern is that my wife is due January 22nd. Would it be looked bad upon if I couldn’t accept an offer due to the conflicting academy date? I don’t wanna shoot myself in the foot by turning down an offer.

Offers will come based off the “internal scoring” that occurs, based on your written score, application and resume. There are only 3 ranks and state HR Rules state you can only hire from 3 ranks at a time.

(The old days there were 10 ranks & ranks were separated by written score. Rank 1 was always Veterans.)
2= 95-100
3= 93-94
4= 91-92
5= 88-90
6= 86-87
7= 85
8= 83-84
9= 81‐82
10= 80

Seeing how you selected the entire state, you very well could get an offer next week. In January 2024 the following training academys begins:
2 COA at Ione
1 FFA at Ione

1 FFA at Redding

1 FFA at Clark
With you not having FFA, you Will need FFA before COA so that’s 11 weeks of training before you can work on the floor.

A lot will depend on what training you already have. Beginning 1/1/24 the minimum requirements are IFSAC SFT FF1 to attend any of the 3 academy’s( Clark, Ione, Redding). If you don’t have that level of training. The unit hiring you is required to get you to that standard at the units expense prior to attending the academy.

Finally, having selected the entire state as a work location opens up places people won’t accept work due to travel distance. I know folks that live in the south and only selected 1 unit they would work in. In the event you get an offer and turn it down for personal reasons. Your name remains on the list, hiring just bypasses you till the next round of hiring. Unfortunately, personal issues are not taken into account due to the needs of the dept. I have known people that barley got 36hr away from the academy for the birth of a child.

Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving


I know a few that had babies on graduation week, and maybe 2 that had them graduation day! 24 hour hall pass


We don’t count “The Pidgin” Woody :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


Thanks for the response. All great information and paints a better picture in my head now. So if I don’t have my state FFT1 a unit would perhaps have to sponsor me to attend a community college or course to that degree?

All these years I spent in the feds waiting to jump ship are about to haunt me I think.


Seems like a New York power outage when you get hired. 9 months later folks be naming there babies Ax and Halli~G


I had one guy who named his three sons at birth, Chase, Smokey, and Chief. :smiley:


1 dept, 21 different ways of doing business.

Units that have a large Sch A presence have a deep training bureau. I know Riverside, San Bernardino & San Diego units have the ability to teach and test IFSAC SFT FF1 in cooperation with a Local ARTP (Community College Academy) Riverside will be starting a New Hire Academy on Jan 8th for 50 that includes Paramedics, FAE & FC. Most Community College Academys have room to enroll 1-5 students to their max at 40. But I know of several colleges in So Calif that have partnerships with the local county workforce development or Native American tribes that have full scholarships for 100% cost for a 15-18 week academy.

Ultimately, there are still more jobs than qualified people to fill and the NFPA/SFT training requirements for FF1 & FF2 are getting harder and harder as time passes.

If you can get into a CC academy, even a part-time academy, that is the way to go.

Lastly, there are a total of 19 FFA/COA combined Academy’s scheduled for 2024.
11 in Ione
4 in Redding
4 in Riverside


I aged out of feds before I could go perm. I made the transition this year. I miss the feds but my family appreciates the blue pants more. It was kind of a sucker punch to the the gut. As a ff1/IC5/B faller jumping ship I became a little guy with more experience than some giving direction over on this side. Spent last year with feds dropping c trees and now I can’t take anything bigger than a soda can haha. And having my EMT I was called for an engine spot and after weeks of talking to folks getting ready to be brought on I was sent to an air base because the lack of a state FF1. Yet I was more qualified for a crew spot that was looked over. And when I went through the hire academy the crew guys keep asking why I didn’t go crew after hikes and felling knowledge. So idk. Don’t think the Hiring officials really pay attention to much.


Totally understand the frustration however, as I’m sure you know, the agencies and certification process isn’t the same. Especially the full alignment with SFT that CF is doing. Plenty of dudes go to LG from CF that have vastly more experience and knowledge and it don’t mean s***.

Hiring side of the things, too many hiring needs with too few to process. FFI hiring coordinators have to individually vet potentially hundreds of candidates and things will just get lost. Remember
CAT 1 Turnkey for anything
CAT 2 They have 1 thing, could be a CPR card and nothing else.
CAT 3 is have nothing.
CAT 2 is the nightmare, someone could have everything but no EMT. That could be a big lift for a unit. Someone else could have everything but at are missing FEMA 700, that’s easy for anyone. Coordinators are overworked. If you do a station/fire center visit, do some pt with them, or anything else, leave a detailed resume and hopefully they forward to the coordinator. Oso, be patient and humble, it will all pay off!


Very humble, Sir and appreciate the reply. Just crazy how much is similar yet agencies don’t accept other agencies trainings. Just don’t appreciate being big dicked is all.


Sonoma Lakew Napa, San Mateo Santa Cruz, Butte and Placer all uae FF-2’s too. They are always looking for good experienced help. But that comes during the interview phase.


I’d like to point out that I came over from the USFS in 2019 with 12.5 fire seasons under my belt and almost 10 of which I spent on a hotshot crew, running lead saw being a huge part of burn operations Yada Yada yada.

I came to CAL FIRE as a FF1 and chose not to apply for a permanent position until my 4th year. I understood there was things I needed to learn and that simply being a competent wildland fireman was not enough to make me comfortable starting out in charge of people and a piece of equipment sent to every 911 call imaginable.

You can however utilize your knowledge and experience to steer operations that seem destined to fail, you will find plenty of situations on incidents where inexperienced leaders are either simply saying yes to whatever DIVISION or STL or BC is asking when it’s not always the correct or safe. So input is sometimes greatly appreciated if it sheds some light on an overlooked tactic or danger. Just always do so with discretion and timing.

If you are competent at least in my experience in the UNIT I came to it did not take long to be noticed by superiors as someone they could trust to alleviate some of the responsibility at the lower level so they can focus on other things during incidents. It is important to have FFs that you can rely on to do a job safely and not need to baby sit all the time. I say that because with this promote quick new framework we seem to be living in its easy to see that plenty of company officers show up at scene and sort of look for direction instead of taking control. I believe you should be able to take control at the FF level before you move up.

That’s not to say you need 10 years in before you promote but there something to be said about proficiency and actual experience with an agency before you expect them to recognize you for your experience and qualifications. Just remember to stay humble and work hard, before long if you act right and handle yourself with integrity the right people will notice and opportunity follows.

I’d also like to add that not everyone’s experience is the same and as we share our stories about how qualified we are and how what certs are ignored or not recognized we’re simply complaining about a process we chose to be a part of. It might behoove us to simply keep working 2 more chains finish the tie in.

Please note I’m not trying to pick a fight here I just see alot of people transferring or young FFs with little experience promoting and along the way boasting how qualified they are but on actual incidents I’m not seeing the competence I was used to from my leaders coming up.


Well said!


Soooo how bout them phone calls, anyone committed to the I5 Hi5 yet. :beers:


This is some of the best advice I’ve seen on this site in a long time. This mentality will take you far in whatever agency you decide to work for and life in general. Be proficient, be competent, be reliable, stay humble, and enjoy what you do.