Firefighter Career Paths

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Hiring 9The Poudre Fire Authority offers many career opportunities. Combine motivation, experience, study and successful testing, and you can hold a variety of positions during your career at PFA.

The position of Firefighter is defined as one who performs his/her duties in protecting life and property while assigned to an engine, truck, or squad company. The Firefighter plays an important, hands-on role in fire suppression, medical emergencies, extrications and other rescues. Firefighters are considered the "lead Emergency Medical Technician" when dispatched to medical calls. Firefighters also perform pre-fire planning surveys, fire prevention and public education programs, and fire code enforcement. In addition to these duties, Firefighters are responsible for fire station maintenance. Firefighters also perform other activities as directed.

See our requirements page for details about the qualifications needed to become a firefigher.

Driver/Operators are responsible for safely getting their crew to and from the scene of emergency situations. The Driver/Operator also operates the engine's fire pump during fires, and assists with hose deployment, ladders, ventilation and other duties. The Driver/Operator is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and operation of fire apparatus. These duties are performed in addition to those duties performed by firefighters.

Fire Captain
The Fire Captain administers the operations of a fire company and is responsible for the control, direction, management and discipline of the company and for the care, operation and maintenance of all assigned fire apparatus, the fire station and equipment under his/her command. The Fire Captain is also responsible for the protection of citizens from fire or other dangers within the area assigned. The Fire Captain responds to and is in command of all incidents in his/her area until relieved by a superior officer. The Fire Captain supervises the fire fighting and fire prevention activities, and station and equipment maintenance. The Fire Captain organizes company training, and is responsible for writing and overseeing reports and records.

Hiring 14Shift Battalion Chief
The Shift Battalion Chief (BC) oversees the operations of a shift; he or she is responsible for the control, direction, management and discipline of the shift. The Shift BC is also responsible for the care and operation of all assigned fire apparatus, fire stations and equipment under his/her command and for the protection of the lives and property of citizens from fire or other dangers. The Shift BC responds to and establishes command for all structure fires and major calls for aid. The Shift BC inspects personnel, stations and equipment, and completes reports and records. With other Battalion Chiefs, Division Chiefs and the Fire Chief, Battalion Chiefs help plan the direction of PFA.

Training Battalion Chief
The Training Battalion Chief is responsible for the coordination and control of all training activities, and coordinates activities in research and development. The Training Battalion Chief will provide input into the emergency response systems within the Poudre Fire Authority, including refinements and changes in the incident command system. The Training Battalion Chief also oversees new-hire recruitment and testing, and supervises several Training Officers (Captains who work in the Training Division for 2-3 years).

Fire Marshal
The Fire Marshal, under direction of the Fire Chief, is responsible for compliance with and enforcement of the Uniform Fire Code. The Fire Marshal, assistant fire marshals and fire inspection coordinators oversee fire inspection services, fire protection systems, investigations, new construction, Youth Fire Awareness, hazardous materials regulation, PFA information systems, and public education.

Hiring 6Special Operations Battalion Chief
Under the general direction of the Operations Chief, the Special Ops BC is responsible for occupational health and safety, construction of major facilities, and special teams including wildland and Haz-Mat.

Operations Division Chief
Under the direction of the Fire Chief, the Ops Division Chief is responsible for operation of fire suppression, training, and the office of emergency management.

Director of Administration
The Director of Administration operates under the general supervision of the Fire Chief and is responsible for providing administrative assistance to all PFA Divisions in the areas of financial management, payroll, personnel records, policies, insurance, PFA Board and Council reports, and coordination of the department's legal matters.

Fire Chief
The Fire Chief operates under the direction of the PFA Board of Directors and is responsible for the operations, policies and procedures of the department. The Fire Chief supervises the acquisition, management and maintenance of Poudre Fire Authority facilities, equipment and personnel, and maintains positive relations with all necessary public and private entities.

PFA Divisions

The Poudre Fire Authority utilizes several divisions, or areas of specialty and responsibility, to achieve its service goals.

Operations Division
The Operations Division is responsible for providing timely and effective emergency services to all citizens and businesses within the Poudre Fire Authority response area. These services include fire suppression, emergency medical services (basic life support and automatic defibrillation), hazardous materials response, specialized rescue and other emergencies. The division is composed primarily of professional/career emergency personnel, but also utilizes volunteer firefighters in rural areas to improve response and service in low-population areas.

HIring 11The Training Division, which operates under Operations, is responsible for the training of personnel. The Training Division organizes training activities and assists employees in company and individual training needs.

Fire Prevention
Fire Prevention administers all Poudre Fire Authority fire prevention programs. These programs include fire protection systems, inspection services, investigations, new construction, Youth Fire Awareness, hazardous materials regulation and public education. The Fire Prevention Division uses a combination of full-time and part-time personnel, cross-trained Operations Division personnel and program teams in pursuing program objectives.

PFA Committees
The Poudre Fire Authority offers 50 committees composed of employees from all areas of the department, to help guide all aspects of the department. Every committee operates under the direction of a Chief Officer. Committee members are involved in everything from health and safety, to assisting in the implementation of new hoses and nozzles.

The Poudre Fire Authority offers a multitude of opportunities for all members of the department, from the introductory firefighter to the Chief Officer level.

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