Fire Division Chief

City Of Patterson   Patterson, CA   Full-time     Law Enforcement / Security
Posted on February 6, 2024
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Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.

Under direction of the Fire Chief, directs, manages, supervises, and coordinates the activities and operations of the department. The Division Chief may be responsible for any or all divisions within the Fire Department, including Operations, Training, Support Services, and Prevention; other duties will include planning, organizing, and directing activities within these divisions. The Division Chief for the City of Patterson will respond to emergency incidents within the city limits as well as participate in the Stanislaus County Mutual-Aid program and provide overhead duties when requested by other agencies or when delegated by the Fire Chief.


Division Chiefs report directly to the Fire Chief and in his/her absence, to the City Manager of the City of Patterson.

Division Chiefs exercise direct supervision of subordinate-level supervisors, career/volunteer personnel, and technical and administrative support personnel.


The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may or may not perform all of the listed duties and/or be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

Examples of duties:

  • Participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for assigned programs.
  • Recommends and administers policies and procedures; oversees and participates in the development of new fire/life-safety related programs.
  • Prepares specialized budgets related to assigned activities; assists in budget implementation; participates in forecast of additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; administers the approved budget.
  • Supervises personnel including provision of timely performance evaluations; recommends and implements approved discipline; provides staff development; and maintains high standards necessary for efficient, professional operations.
  • Conducts and documents formal and informal counseling sessions with subordinates; corrects work deficiencies and develops work skills; anticipates and resolves potential problems that may affect job performance.
  • Assists in developing and implementing short and long-term strategic plans in support of Department goals and objectives.
  • Responds to major alarms; personally, directs activities as necessary; participates in On-Call Chief Officer program, providing City coverage
  • Models appropriate professional conduct; maintains appropriate confidentiality of sensitive information; complies with and supports City policies and procedures, labor laws, and MOU provisions.
  • Represents the Department to outside groups and organizations; participates in outside community and professional forums; provides technical assistance as necessary; serves as staff on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence as needed.
  • Assures City personnel/volunteers work in a safe manner; follows safety requirements; monitors and assures compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and other legal requirements.
  • Assists and supports emergency planning and response programs.
  • Assists with emergency planning and emergency operations center functions during emergencies and Emergency
  • Operations Center (EOC) activation.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Operations/Training Division Duties:

  • Directs, oversees, and participates in the development of the Department's work plan; assigns work activities, projects, and programs; monitors workflow; reviews and evaluates work products, methods, and procedures.
  • Evaluates levels of staffing for proper response, station locations and coverage policies.
  • Develops and oversees Special Operations; Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), trench, confined space, and water rescue programs; coordinates responses and participates in Cal-EMA mutual-aid deployments.
  • Identifies, recommends, manages, develops, schedules, and coordinates long and short-range training programs for shifts, engine companies, volunteers, and departmental staff including In-Service trainings; task and performance measurement; new personnel/volunteer training; proficiency and performance testing; Federal and/or State mandated safety training; and other departmental training needs required to address anticipated emergency conditions.
  • Participates in recruitment and selection activities; makes recommendations for appointment of new personnel/volunteers; assists with orientation and training.
  • Provides planning, direction, and development of training facilities for current and future uses.

Support Services and Prevention Division Duties:

  • Assures all equipment, safety clothing, apparatus, and supplies are specified, purchased, received, inventoried, and distributed in an effective manner, consistent with City policies, State/Federal laws, and related recognized industry standards.
  • Maintains City apparatus and equipment, ensuring a constant state-of-readiness; conducts needs assessment for apparatus/equipment; oversees and participates in design, planning, and implementation of new apparatus/equipment; coordinates with City Fleet Services and outside vendors; maintains accurate apparatus/equipment maintenance records.
  • Conducts inspections at City fire facilities, ensuring facilities are maintained; oversees repairs; coordinates with vendors; maintains facility records; oversees and participates in design and planning of new City/District fire facilities.
  • Reviews and processes applications, plans, reports, records, and other related material assigned to the fire prevention division.
  • Interprets and enforces codes, laws, and City ordinances related to implementation of an effective community fire prevention program; upgrades local codes and ordinances based on changes in the Fire Code; meets with the general public, contractors, and business owners on the interpretation and application of codes.
  • Supervises Fire Prevention Bureau and Code Enforcement personnel.
  • Promotes public education safety and develop community ties; speaks at clubs, schools, and other community events.


In general, a Division Chief will need the following skills, knowledge, and attributes to be successful in fulfilling the responsibilities of the position:

Knowledge of:

  • Principles, practices, methods and techniques of modern fire and life safety, fire suppression, fire investigation, emergency medical services and disaster preparedness activities; hazardous materials response, and associated programs, services, and operations.
  • Operational characteristics, maintenance and uses of firefighting apparatus and equipment.
  • Principles and practices of leadership, motivation, team building and conflict resolution.
  • Laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations related to City and autonomous fire districts.
  • Organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs.
  • Principles and practices of organization, administration, and personnel management.
  • Principles and practices of budget preparation and administration.
  • Incident Command System (SEMS/NIMS).

Ability to:

  • Plan, direct and manage activities within a division of the Fire Department, including fire suppression, fire and life safety code compliance, training, apparatus/equipment maintenance, emergency medical services and mitigating hazardous materials incidents.
  • Assist in the preparation and administration of department/district budgets.
  • Develop and administer department policies and procedures.
  • Supervise, train, and evaluate assigned personnel/volunteers.
  • Gain cooperation through discussion and persuasion.
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals.
  • Interpret and apply Federal, State, local and department policies, procedures, laws, and regulations.
  • Meet the physical requirements necessary to safely and effectively perform assigned duties.
  • Identify and respond to issues and concerns presented by the public and the City.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Seven years of increasingly responsible command and supervisory experience in an organized fire department or fire district.

Associate's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in fire science, fire administration, business or public administration, or a related field; Bachelor’s degree preferred. Two years of additional work experience as a Captain or two years as a Battalion in an organized fire department/district may substitute the educational requirement.

California State Board of Fire Services, Fire Officer Certification
California State Board of Fire Services, Fire Instructor-I Certification
California State Board of Fire Services, Fire Prevention Officer Certification

License or Certificate:
Possession of a valid California driver’s license in compliance with California Department of Motor Vehicles regulations and requirements related to the driving and operating of fire apparatus. Maintenance of a valid California driver’s license with the appropriate endorsements, qualifications, and medical clearances is required as a condition of employment for the position of Division Chief.


  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Must be a non-smoker.
  • Must successfully pass a pre-employment medical examination, including a drug screen, fingerprint, background check, and reference check.
  • Must be able to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal right to work in the United States.


Environmental Conditions:
Work is performed in a standard office with frequent travel to various locations to attend meetings and/or perform Department activities in responding to emergency scenes, disasters, or critical incidents; the employee occasionally works near moving mechanical parts; occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions and wet and/or humid conditions; occasionally works in high, precarious places; occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, extreme cold, extreme heat, risk of electrical shock, risk of radiation, and vibration; the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate; however, the noise level is occasionally very loud due to sirens, etc; wear protective apparel including goggles, face protector, aprons, safety shoes, and self contained breathing apparatus; incumbents may be required to work extended hours including evenings and weekends and may be required to travel outside City boundaries to attend meetings.

Physical Conditions:
Primary functions require sufficient physical ability to work in an office setting; walk, stand, or sit for prolonged periods of time; occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; occasionally climb and balance; regularly push, pull, lift, and/or carry light to moderate weights; frequently lift and/or move moderate to heavy weights; perform arduous and prolonged tasks under adverse and dynamic conditions; occasionally lift and/or move heavy weights; operate office equipment including use of computer keyboard; requires a sense of touch, finger dexterity, and gripping with hands and fingers; ability to speak and hear; ability to operate a vehicle to travel to various locations; ability to operate and use specialized vehicles and equipment.

Working Conditions:
Must be willing and have the ability to work such hours as are necessary to accomplish the job requirements, remain awake for long periods of time (including 24 hour periods) under strenuous situations, remain on-call 24 hours a day, attend meetings, seminars and conferences during or after work hours, travel out of town or out of state for several days at a time, work under adverse conditions such as those inherent in emergency firefighting situations, consistently follow through with duties/assignments and work harmoniously with subordinates and superiors, wear approved uniform. Report for work on a regular, consistent basis and maintain an acceptable attendance record in accordance with Department policy.