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I'm writing to find some information about reserve programms or volunteer programms in los angeles.

I am currently taking a couple fire science courses and an EMT course. I would like to get some more hands on work...I've heard of Explorer programms but I called and the information I received was that it only applies to people 21 and under.

Anyone have any suggestions or rec's.


In southern California, almost every department has some form of volunteer/reserve program. So, based on that, you should directly contact each fire department, starting with your local fire department. Ask them what their requirements are, do they have a living requirement, etc.

If you go to the links page on the website for the Chabot College Fire Technology program, and scroll down to FIRE DEPARTMENTS - LOS ANGELES COUNTY and then ORANGE COUNTY, you will see I have most of the fire departments websites listed there. That link is

I would start clicking on each of them. Even if they don't have any information on their volunteer/reserve program, they will have a primary phone number for the fire department administration office. I would call that number and let them know you're interested.

Many of the reserve or volunteer programs in southern California seem to require EMT and/or Firefighter 1 academy certifications to get in (based on my observation), so that gives you something to strive for if you don't have them. Some departments might not require anything; however to compete with every other candidate, you need to properly market yourself by getting the EMT and academy certs.

Hope that helps, good luck!

Chabot is correct in that most every FD in Southern California (LA Basin) has volunteer opportunites (Not Fire suppression).
As for Paid Call/Auxillary/Volunteer FF opportunities,it gets a bit thinner. EMT and FF1 gets you looked at but does not mean you have a position waiting.
Most departments in the greater LA County area have sufficent paid staffing and do not have a need for non-paid staff. Orange County FA no longer has the paid-call program it once had but still have a very limited number of stations that are PFC or staffs the second engine at some stations with PFC's.
With all the above in mind, here are a few good places to start your search with. Cabot has put together an excellent resouce list so that should save you a lot of time.

Possible Reserve/Aux/Volunteer programs:

Santa Fe Springs
La Habra Heights (Not La Habra FD)
Pepperdine University

There may be a program with some of the South Bay city FD's but I am not sure.

LA County FD has a paid call program for local residents out of the High desert.

You can also check with classmates and instructors for referals and stop by the fire science department offices at the college you attend for pointers too.

A few departments that do patient transportation hire Ambulance/FF interns, but again, you need to be an academy grad and have an EMT. La Habra FD, Downey FD and Huntington Beach FD are a few that do have this program.

Best wishes

This message was edited by tomdeltazulu on 3-24-03 @ 2:38 PM

I am currently working as a Reserve firefighter for 29 Palms Fire Department. It is about a two and a half hour drive from LA, but the experience has been incredible. As a Reserve, you are the frontline firefighter on a 2-person engine crew. It's a small rural department that covers a large area (88 sq miles). There is a wide variety of types of calls, and you are expected to know not only your fireground techniques and skills, but your EMT skills as well as transport times can be quite long. Training is a high priority as well. This has been a great place to get a tremendous amount of hands-on experience.

You can check out the jobs posted or respond to this posting if your interested.

. . . my two cents anyway.

Thank you for your help...and over the past couple of days I have been calling firestation after fire station to only be turned down b/c I have not been through an academy. I do plan on going through an academy as soon as I get accepted. But at the moment I am completing my pre-req's for the academy. I just have ants in my pants I guess. I want to learn as much as possible and get experience. The Explorer program sounds great but again I'm 2 years too old.

Does anyone know of volunteer positions for the upcoming wildfire season in SoCal? I ask because I've heard of positions like this where I'd be be called on...Is it some sort of list??

I know I know lots of questions
Thanks again :)