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Fire Equipment Operator Assistant

Salary: $17.96-$21.93 hourly / $3,124-$3,814 monthly / Range: 5124

DEFINITION: Under supervision, performs routine maintenance and minor repair of fire department heavy equipment; performs a variety of unskilled and semi-skilled work in the prevention and control/suppression of wildfires; performs a variety of maintenance tasks within and around fire department facilities; assists Federal Excess Property program; and performs other duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is distinguished from Maintenance Worker and Equipment Service Worker by its assignment to the Fire Department's construction unit and by its exposure to hazardous fire conditions. Fire Equipment Operator Assistant is further distinguished from Fire Equipment Operator in that it services heavy equipment, such as bulldozers and motor graders, while the latter operates heavy equipment.


1. Fuels and services heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, skip loaders, motor graders, dump trucks, water trucks, stake-side trucks, trailers, and forklifts, by checking fluid levels, lubricating moving parts, and changing oil and oil filters; performs preventive maintenance and minor repair of heavy equipment and power tools, including replacing hydraulic lines, tightening belts, and welding/fabricating parts; operates heavy equipment, as necessary, while it is being repaired; reports the need for major equipment repair to supervisor; maintains equipment inspection and maintenance records; and washes and/or waxes heavy equipment and service vehicles.
2. Provides logistical support to the construction unit during fire prevention and control activities; secures heavy equipment to trailers and moves heavy equipment loading ramps onto trailers for transport to fire ground; drives service vehicle containing tools and spare parts to and from fire grounds; reads topographic and road maps; operates two-way radios; drives service truck to pick up and deliver equipment, food, supplies, and equipment replacement parts to operators in remote locations; secures transport vehicles and heavy equipment at fire grounds and operates them, if necessary, to move them out of the path of fire; uses hand and power tools such as shovels, axes, chain saws, and portable generators to clear firebreaks, trails, and emergency access roads; watches for spot fires or other hazardous fire behavior situations; provides first aid as needed to co-workers and general public; and upon authorization, lights backfires and burnouts.
3. Cleans and maintains fire construction facilities and surrounding areas, including sweeping, dusting, mopping, mowing, weeding, painting, carpentry, paving, plumbing, and fence repair.
4. Drives light and heavy trucks to pick up federal excess property from other government facilities, transports excess property to fire department warehouse, and distributes property to fire stations throughout the County; sorts, categorizes, and repairs newly obtained excess property; assists and/or conducts physical inventories; and inputs inventory records into computerized database.
5. Attends basic fire fighting training classes, to learn topics including fire behavior; weather conditions; safety hazards and precautions; basic fire suppression methods in open and mountainous country; operation of heavy equipment, including bulldozers, motor graders, and front-end loaders; local geography, roads, and water supply systems; first aid; and physical fitness; and applies them to work practices.


1. One year of experience servicing or maintaining vehicles AND some experience operating chain saws and power tools; 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.

Possession and maintenance of a valid California Class B Driver's License is required. 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.

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.

Knowledge of: equipment, methods, materials, and tools related to servicing and maintaining vehicles; fuels and lubricants; motor vehicle laws; and general safety practices.

Ability to: read and understand equipment maintenance manuals and schematics to make minor repairs; use the equipment, materials, and tools required in the maintenance and repair of motorized equipment; operate chain saws; write legibly to record work performed on equipment and assignments; read road maps; communicate one-on-one to understand verbal directions; establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers; follow written and verbal instructions; and work independently.


Knowledge of: fire behavior and heavy equipment servicing practices.

Ability to: read topographic maps.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Emergency operations require working 16-to 24-hour shifts under difficult conditions such as fire and floods and the ability to walk steep terrain. Transporting heavy equipment requires the ability to move loading ramps weighing 125 pounds onto and off of trailers.

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