Cal Fire mid season hire


Hey guys I just received a job offer for a seasonal FF1 position with Cal Fire in North Ops a few days ago. I accepted but I haven’t heard from anyone in the unit, I am surprised I got the offer considering I dont have my Cal fire basic cert. Can anyone give me a run down on what to expect, I’ve heard that I will probably be placed on one of their new handcrews? Also how much of a pay difference does cal fire make than the feds? Im currently a GS-4 in So Cal, just trying to get some financials in order, thanks in advance.


Expect at least a week long fire academy (re-hire academy) gear will be issued, come in full uniform. Start looking for the new CAL FIRE tactical pants you’ll get issued some though. Start getting an out of county bag ready. Start getting a station bag ready with extra uniforms undies socks pants shirts. Listen and learn the department. There will be a-lot thrown at you and you’ll forget 90% of it just take notes and find where you can plug in. Be a starter and a hard worker and you’ll be just fine.


The current plan is a two week fire crew class. Pretty much the same they give to cdc crews. You will be issued gear and 3 sets of pants and get a couple later when more come in. You get payed once a month and work a 72 hr work week and in that you make 1/2 time after 53 hours a week so you get a good sized ot check while working your normal shift. The folks that don’t have the basic cal fire fighter training can’t work on engine until that happens. You get rehire rights and portal to portal. Your meals come out of your check usually 3.00 or so a meal unless your on an assignment or staffing pattern (held on Duty) then they are free. You get motels if available. The state also provides medical, vision, dental for you and family. I don’t know the exact pay but I’m sure it’s more than a gs4. The housing and crew strength are being worked out. The state is closing 9 camps next year due to lack of inmates. So that’s around 36 - 40 crews. The Firefighter handcrews I believe are here to stay. Hope that helps


Did a little math CDF Firefighters make 15.92 per hour for 288 hours a month ( three days a week at 24 hours a day. = around 4500.00
You get about 8 dollars an hour extra for any time after 53 hrs each week so that adds up to about 600:00 a month additional check for what is called half time check. Also you make about 23.00 an hour overtime so a day of ot will get you around 550.00 per day on overtime.
These are my best estimates for other folks this info isn’t ment to slight any other agency just wanted to help those getting the call thanks


Congrats! Pay may not be a huge difference as a FF1, it’s all about retirement. On a side note, just 5 hours away from a 48/96. Will it happen ever?

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So, a little clarity. It’s not a “half time” check (hasn’t been for awhile). Its now “Extended Duty Week Compensation” (EDWC).
FFI will get a normal salary check plus OT (not half time) for 76 hours per work period (288 hours) roughly 19 hours of OT per week. This is in addition to any unplanned OT worked. All OT is based on a 53 hour clock. EDWC pay every month is roughly 1500.00 in addition to regular salary.

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So you can go to the CA HR website and look up BU 8 for the MOU. But be prepared to listen and learn from the Captains teaching classes and know that things may change as the season rolls on. KVE 80


All units are short on Turnouts, web gear and SCBA masks. They have been ordered, but are out at least 30+ day. Can’t hire FFs without safety gear, so don’t expect the Academy’s to start until the end of Aug or early Sept.


Work week is 3 days straight/72hr no going home
Pay period is 4 weeks or 288hr

Base pay 1st year is $3273.00
EDWC is $1625.64 (this is guaranteed OT paid separately)
Total gross is $4898.64 for working 12 days in a 28 day pay period
OT rate is $21.39 and hour so an OT day(24hr) is $513.36

Taking a SWAG but I’m guessing SUBSTANTIALLY more than a GS4. Plus medical, dental, vision, and retirement

As others have said, come prepared to learn and WORK HARD.

Good luck and Stay Safe


My buddy is supposed to start AEU Aug.10… Sounds pretty confident that it’s a go.


Also. There is talk of the new late hires not even going through basic. Essentially “Wildland FF” members.

Going to be interesting.

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Units have to hold a 2 week bridge Academy of those with FF1 but no basic or a full basic depending on their needs. There is no difference between a FF on a crew, Airbase or Engine. They have to have the same training and gear so they can work interchangeably throughout all programs. It would be a huge Union Issue if we didn’t hold that standard.

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It would be a huge issue. However that’s the word around base camp. Rumors are the best

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Lets not spread rumors. Its a huge mess, thats for sure. 2881 already said you can’t hire a FF and limit from OT outside Crew. They won’t (and shouldn’t) bend on safety gear.

Region is polling the units to see if we need a regional or what Units can support their own BFF Academy. Units will hire Surge FFs in phases. We have enough gear for several candidates who have the training, we will hire them soon and do another round as soon as we can.


I really hope they do put us through the Basic Academy. Been waiting to get selected for a long time and getting that coveted Cal Fire basic cert.


I was at the meeting with Director both region chiefs and the union executive board. The Director said that we will be hiring people with out basic firefighter training. They will get two weeks training. The Director said no Crew firefighters could work on engines. I asked the question to him myself. The units will try to mix the crews with more experienced firefighters and new hires. The folks with the training to work on engine will be able to. The people with out will not. As a long time union member and officer sometimes during an emergency we have to make it work. I don’t speak for all union officers our President does that. The Department and union are working together on this. I surly don’t want to staff the camps next year with Ccc corps members instead of Cdf Firefighters. The Department is trying there best with what they were given. Remember they asked for about 350 firefighters because that’s what they had on the list with Basic training and were given 850.


Have I missed something? “Crew FF’s”?
Sarcastically, I don’t think that is a classification,… unless there has been a new one developed in the last week.
Therefore, I don’t think the 2881 will restrict folks in the same classification from working on a crew or engine.

But hey, if there IS a new classification, guess that’s the writing on the wall for CF crews and the future.
Did I just read between the lines on an internal information leak or?


I spoke with one of the training chiefs a few days ago, he said they’re planning on rotating FF1S from engines and crews throughout the rest of the season. Right now I have my state firefighter 1 and emt but no basic, Would love to get some engine time but just trying to get my foot in the door with Cal Fire so I don’t mind doing crew time.


Its available. Just gotta put in the time and dime now. Community Colleges, stand alone training academies, just sucks now that there is so much more required. Oh, to harken back to the 40-ish and 67 hour cert days, and that still didn’t teach you crap. Again, suck that the bar seems to be raising but the more training and experience you get is gold once that call comes. Keep at it.