Become a Firefighter

Become a Firefighter

What are the benefits of being a volunteer firefighter or EMT?

Volunteer first responders help their fellow citizens in times of need. Volunteers enjoy a sense of accomplishment, achievement, and pride in the work they do. In addition, volunteers get to learn new skills, make new friends, be a part of a team, give back to their community, and make a real difference.

As a volunteer firefighter with the Zayante Fire Protection District, benefits include a sense of community, pay per call/paid annually, specialized/technical training, tax exemptions or deductions (see your tax professional for qualifications), the possibility for tuition assistance for prioritized training, live-in programs for qualified volunteers, seasonal strike team pay for qualified personnel, uniforms and department paraphernalia aka swag. For many candidates this experience becomes a catalyst toward future career opportunities within the profession. 

What are the minimum requirements I need to meet to be a volunteer firefighter or EMT?

Our department has a few minimum requirements one must meet before joining.

  • Minimum age requirement – 18
  • Minimum education requirement- High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Having a valid Class C driver’s license
  • Successful completion of an oral interview
  • Passing a Live Scan background check
  • Completing a physical evaluation
  • Proof of residency within certain geographic boundaries

If successful in completing and passing the above items, you may be extended an invitation based on available roster positions and district funding. A desired next step is attendance and graduation of a 16 week fire academy.  This fire academy runs during the months of February – April.  The fire academy may include all fire agencies currently recruiting in Santa Cruz County with volunteer fire fighters.  The fire academy is rewarding but time and energy intense. Not everyone can attend and alternative training strategies will be incorporated to provide critical baseline training prior to engaging in emergency response. 

What will I do as a volunteer?

These are some of the many and varied activities of a volunteer firefighter;

  • Fire Suppression
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Response
  • Search and Rescue
  • Public Information and Education
  • Fire Safety Inspections
  • Fundraising
  • Public Events

What are the next steps?

We highly recommend you come down to Station 1 and join us on several of our Tuesday night drills. This gives everyone an opportunity to experience what we do and who we are. Drills start at 7 pm and it’s best if you arrive a little early and introduce yourself. We have regular visitors, so chances are you won’t be the only one. If it still looks good to you, then download our application (link below) and drop it off at Station 1. Once the application is reviewed, we will call you and schedule an appointment.