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Fire Equipment Operator

Salary: $33.68-$41.11 hourly / $5,857-$7,150 monthly / Range: 6384

DEFINITION: Under direction, operates a bulldozer in clearing and constructing fire breaks and fire trails; assists in fighting fires; and performs related work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This Class is distinguished from other classes involving equipment operation by the assignment to firefighting duties and the operation of the equipment during emergencies.


1. Transports bulldozer to fire areas using a tractor semi-trailer; operates bulldozer to construct, clear, and widen fire breaks and fire trails, and improve access to high fire danger areas; operates skip loader, road grader, and backhoe for flood control, emergency response and road improvements; and maintains driving log.
2. Assists in controlling fires in inaccessible areas by constructing fire breaks, fire trails, and roads by operating bulldozer to clear vegetation and combustible materials; assists in regular fire prevention activities by constructing fire breaks using bulldozer on planned burn projects; assists in disaster response and mitigation, and hazardous material containment by removing debris, clearing flood channels, delivering sand, and constructing containment dikes; administers first aid in field during emergency operations; responds to out-of-county requests for mutual aid as directed; completes forms for reimbursement from other agencies for services.
3. Services bulldozers, skip loaders, road graders, trailers, and forklifts by checking fluid levels and changing filters; and performs minor repairs and preventive maintenance, including welding and fabrication of parts; maintains records of equipment inspections and minor maintenance performed.
4. Helps maintain fire station and surrounding areas; participates in fire drills and classes.


1. Two years of experience in the operation of heavy vehicles and equipment, with major emphasis on the operation of a bulldozer and semi-tractor trailer; or,
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Applicants hired after December 26, 1988 shall be disqualified from further employment consideration if they use tobacco products in any form, on or off duty.

Possession and maintenance of a valid California Class A Driver License. Appointees to this classification will be subject to mandatory testing for drugs prior to beginning work; once on the job, incumbents will be subject to mandatory testing for drugs and/or alcohol on a random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up basis.

Knowledge of: the operation of heavy equipment and vehicles, including bulldozers and semi-tractor trailers; minor maintenance and repair of heavy equipment; basic math to compute vehicle and hauling weights.

Ability to: skillfully and safely operate heavy equipment and vehicles including bulldozers and semi-tractor trailers; read and understand equipment maintenance manuals and schematics to make minor repairs; write legibly to record work performed on equipment and assignments; communicate one-on-one to understand verbal directions; establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers; follow written and verbal instructions; work independently and without close supervision.


Knowledge of: basic firefighting techniques including fire behavior, weather conditions, safety hazards and precautions; basic fire suppression methods in open and mountainous country; local geography, roads, and water supply systems; and basic first aid.

Ability to: operate a skip loader, road grader, and fork lift skillfully and safely; repair equipment and fabricate parts; and make tactical decisions in emergency situations regarding use of equipment.

Possession of a basic Emergency Medical Technician certificate.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Emergency operations require working 16 to 24 hours shifts under difficult conditions such as fire and floods. Transporting heavy equipment requires the ability to move loading ramps weighing 125 pounds onto and off a trailer.

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