The need for volunteer firefighters in California has never been greater. As the local population grows, so does the demand for firefighting and emergency services. With your help, California volunteer fire departments can continue making a difference in the lives of others. Do you have what it takes to become a volunteer firefighter and give back to your community?
If you are thinking about applying for a position as a volunteer firefighter, please take a few moments and review the information on this website. When you are ready to apply, you can do so online.
CSFA - California State Firefighters Association
CSFA strives to foster a better understanding of the fire service among members, elected and appointed officials, and the public; to promote the general welfare of CSFA members; to support the observance of high standards of conduct for firefighters; to work for the enactment and maintenance of laws and regulations which benefit fire service personnel; and to encourage laws and regulations that protect life and property.
Mission Statement & Core Values
We are dedicated to ensuring our members a strong and united voice in the evolution of of the fire service through unity in leadership, political action, education, training and quality member services.
Identify current & future trends for the Fire Service and seek relevant solutions.
Commitment to serving our membership with integrity and transparent communication.
Affecting positive change through practical, creative, and flexible services, partnerships and political action.
CSFA will continually strive to be the premier Fire Service Trade Association serving our membership and the public.
Although local governments and departments establish different selection criteria, many departments require that volunteers:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Be healthy and in good physical condition
- Complete basic fire & EMS training
- Live in close proximity to the fire district
- Have a clean criminal record
- Meet the minimum ongoing training requirements
- Respond to a certain percentage of calls
Time requirements vary by department. Time commitment will depend on several factors, such as the number of calls the department receives, training requirements, shift versus on-call structure, and community activities in which the department requires volunteers to participate.
Volunteer departments prefer that volunteers have the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day, although most departments still accept volunteers who are unable to leave work or other obligations to respond to a call.
Typically, departments pay for training and firefighting equipment. Volunteer firefighting is an unpaid position; however, some departments may provide stipends or reimburse volunteers for certain expenses.
*Volunteer requirements differ by department. If you have a specific question about requirements in your area, Contact Us
The insurance branch of CSFA, California State Firefighters' Employee Welfare Benefit Corporation (CSFEWBC) has been fortunate enough to receive a $2.2 Million SAFER Grant. This grant was awarded by the Department of Homeland Security to increase the recruitment and retention of additional Volunteer Emergency Responders. The grant is designed to offer benefits to Volunteer Emergency Responders in the State of California that meet the designated Standards of Performance.
The benefit plan will include up to $50,000 in Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit and a $200 per week disability benefit payable for up to 104 weeks for each Volunteer. There will also be additional coverage for injuries resulting in brain damage, coma, critical burns, (see attached sheet for additional details).
It gets better! The benefit enrollment process is simple. Complete the roster below with some basic information. This roster needs to be updated at least once per year. Enrollment forms are to be returned to CSFEWBC's broker Myers-Stevens & Toohey. Coverage will become effective the first day of the next calendar month following receipt of your completed enrollment form. Coverage remains in effect for one year and as noted above, a new updated enrollment form must be completed annually in order for coverage to continue.
A volunteer will be considered covered under the SAFER Grant if they meet one of the following four items.
- Volunteers who receive no compensation or a stipend per call.
- Paid-On-Call personnel who receive a payment or stipend only when involved in an incident or mandatory operational activity such as a drill.
- 3.Part-time firefighters under DHS guidelines are firefighters who work less than 40/week. If they receive a salary or hourly wage then they would not fall under either item 1 or 2 above and would not qualify for our coverage, unless the part-time firefighters is paid less than 20% of a local career firefighter. The 20% earnings test is established by US Department of Labor & the International Association of Chief's Bright Line Determination.
- Explorers - Explorer Scouts cannot become volunteers or be covered under the SAFER grant, unless they have turned 18 and actually become a card carrying member of the volunteers.
In addition to the above, the Volunteer must be in good standing with their department, respond to at least 25% of the department's calls or operational activities, and attend 50% of the department's training.CSFEWBC Benefits Explanation
CSFEWBC SAFER Grant Enrollment Form (Fillable)
CSFEWBC SAFER Grant Enrollment Form
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