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Fire Equipment Operator, Supervising

Salary: $37.02-$45.20 hourly / $6,439-$7,861 monthly / Range: 6574

DEFINITION: Under general direction, operates and supervises others in the operation of heavy equipment for fire prevention and suppression work; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is distinguished from that of Fire Equipment Operator in that the latter is responsible for operating the equipment while the Fire Equipment Operator, Supervising assigns, trains and evaluates the Fire Equipment Operators in addition to operating the equipment.


1. Directs the use of heavy equipment during fire control activities, taking into consideration such factors as soil conditions, terrain, type and movement of equipment, time requirements and fuel management; and checks out terrain in order to facilitate fire control.
2. Assigns, reviews, and evaluates work of fire equipment operators; trains and/or arranges for staff training in the safe and effective operation of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, tractors and motor graders; plans staff work schedules; completes incident response forms; maintains necessary records and schedules of activities; and ensures departmental policies and procedures are followed by staff.
3. Operates heavy equipment to control fires and to construct fire lines, fuel breaks, roads and trails; services heavy equipment; and performs minor repairs and preventive maintenance, including welding and fabrication of parts.
4. Confers with property owners and schedules fire road maintenance and construction of fuel breaks.
5. Advises department of projected costs for equipment replacement and repair; and ensures preventive maintenance plan for equipment is completed as scheduled.


1. Four years of experience in operating bulldozers and other heavy equipment in fire control work under emergency conditions, including the control of wildland fires; or,
2. four years of experience as a Fire Equipment Operator with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. 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 Drive's License. Appointees to this classification may be subject to mandatory testing for drugs prior to beginning work; once on the job, incumbents may 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: firefighting sciences including fire behavior, weather conditions, safety hazards and precautions; fire suppression methods in open and mountainous country; the operation of heavy equipment and vehicles in fire control activities; minor maintenance and repair of heavy equipment; vegetation management methods and practices; soil types, erosion control, and road construction related to fire control; laws regarding the transportation of heavy equipment over State highways; and basic math to compute vehicle and hauling weights.

Ability to: skillfully and safely operate heavy equipment and vehicles including bulldozer, semi-tractor trailer, skip loader, road grader, and fork lift; make tactical decisions in emergency situations regarding use of equipment; 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 and give verbal directions; establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers and staff; follow written and verbal instructions; work independently and without close supervision.


Knowledge of: basic supervisory techniques; local geography, roads, and water supply systems; and basic first aid.

Ability to: repair equipment and fabricate parts.

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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