INFORMATION: 206-772-1430 | EMERGENCY: 911

Entry Level Firefighter

Nature of Work:

This is general duty firefighting work performing emergency and non-emergency tasks in the areas of fire suppression, hazardous materials, technical rescue, fire prevention, emergency or disaster preparedness, as well as responding to emergency medical calls and performing skilled Basic Life Support (BLS).

Under the supervision of a Company Officer, Firefighters are responsible for responding to a variety of fire calls that involve firefighting, fire prevention, and emergency medical assistance. The work also involves responding to and dealing with manmade and natural disasters that pose a threat to public safety. Incumbents often work in unpleasant, stressful, and hazardous conditions that generally require strenuous physical exertion for extended periods of time. Workplace hazards may also include emergency driving situations, exposure to chemicals, bloodborne and airborne pathogens, smoke, fumes, gases, extreme heat, working on ladders, and working in fire-induced weakened structures.

Firefighters may also spend substantial amounts of time engaged in the routine inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of equipment, apparatus, and quarters, and in supervised firefighting, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or other related training. The work is performed according to detailed oral and/or written instructions and to specified policies, procedures, and practices learned on the job. Work methods and results are subject to continual inspection for accuracy and conformance to established departmental policies, procedures and certification requirements. Field performance reviews may be required.

$78,690 to $112,415 Annually

Job Type:
Regular Full-Time

Reports To: Fire Captain or Lieutenant
Supervises: None

Illustrative Examples of Work

Perform skilled firefighting work.

Respond to the actual, possible, or potential occurrence of fire, explosion, uncontained contamination (e.g. hazardous or volatile materials, chemical spills, etc.), or other property and/or life-threatening emergency conditions; to suppress, control, remove, contain, or otherwise mitigate the hazardous situation or materials.

When required, lay fire hose; operate pumpers, hoses, hooks, fans, pumps, and auxiliary equipment such as saws, rope lines, portable extinguishers, breathing apparatus, and hose nozzles; raise and climb ladders; perform ventilation work in burning buildings; combat and extinguish fires.

Perform non-emergency, routine duties such as cleaning and servicing assigned apparatus to ensure constant readiness for emergency response; conduct inventories of associated tools, equipment, and accessories, etc.; submit written reports and inform superiors of actual or potential equipment deterioration, malfunction, or failure.

Perform salvage tasks such as covering furnishings, removing debris, pumping, sweeping, and vacuuming water.

Perform rescue work such as surface water rescue, freeing victims from automobiles, burning buildings, and other hazardous situations; render emergency first-aid services within the scope of practice for an EMT.

Participate in continuous training, fire drills, and classes in firefighting, technical rescue, surface water rescue, disaster response, hydraulics, medical EMT training, hazardous materials, and fire equipment maintenance and operation.

Perform general maintenance work on fire suppression equipment and facilities; clean, polish, and perform minor repairs of apparatus and accessories; test equipment, clean and wash walls, floors, and windows; wash, hang, and dry fire hose; check and replenish disposable supplies.

Safely operate and maintain firefighting equipment including hoses, ladders, safety equipment, air-packs, hand and power tools, smoke ejectors, and other related ventilation equipment.

Perform non-emergency routine duties such as fire prevention inspections and review of geographic location reviews of businesses, schools, and buildings.

Operate radio communication equipment.

Maintain records of activities; prepare and submit accurate reports as designated or required.

Respond to emergency medical incidents to provide BLS, identify the extent of the illness or injury; and initiate and administer continuous medical treatment and emergency care at the scene and during transport and delivery, utilizing department Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and King County EMS Protocols.

Some in this classification may perform wildland fire suppression. Perform related work as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Mechanical and spatial relationships and operations, and some knowledge of the building
  • Principles, practices, and techniques of modern firefighting
  • The Incident Management System according to Blue Card Incident Command
  • Rules, regulations, and procedures of the department, pertinent federal and state laws.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and other sources of information regarding firefighting methods and
  • Geography of the District including important buildings; major traffic arterials; maps, plans, and diagrams; and the location of hydrants.
  • Operation and maintenance of the various types of apparatus and equipment used by the fire

Skill and Ability to:

Skill and Ability to:

  • Cope with situations firmly, courteously, tactfully, and with respect for the rights of all citizens.
  • Provide high-quality customer service when serving the public.
  • Drive emergency vehicles safely and satisfactorily.
  • Work effectively as a team member.
  • Perform assigned tasks with integrity, ingenuity, and inventiveness.
  • Learn about the principles, practices, and techniques of firefighting.
  • Work safely and in compliance with federal and state laws, and District policies, laws, and standards.
  • Work within a command structure requiring adherence to orders.
  • Exercise judgment and remain calm in stressful and/or demanding situations.
  • Apply interpersonal skills using tact, patience, courtesy, composure, and good judgment.
  • Maintain a work environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Work independently when appropriate.
  • Multi-task.
  • Be discreet and maintain a high degree of confidentiality, accountability, responsibility, and accuracy.
  • Use departmental computers and related software applications.
  • Read, write, and speak the English language with sufficient proficiency to communicate effectively in person, over fire radios, and through written reports.
  • Work effectively in a hazardous and/or unpleasant environment.
  • Understand and follow complex oral and written instructions.
  • Utilize deductive reasoning to make critical decisions.
  • Maintain composure and self-control under adverse conditions.
  • Remain calm in stressful and/or demanding situations.
  • Maintain physical ability required to perform demanding tasks and to perform effectively in critical emergency situations.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, other District staff, and the public, and relate to others in a courteous and respectful manner even under stressful conditions.
  • Support diversity and multi-cultural understanding in the workplace and the community.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

 Entry-level Firefighter:

  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalency.
  • Attainment of the age of 18 years by closing
  • Excellent physical
  • Ability and willingness to successfully complete the mandated course of instruction at the South King County Fire Training Consortium and subsequent department field training
  • Submission to a thorough background check; psychological, physical, and medical check; employment reference check; and verification of all applicable certifications.
  • Attainment of Department standards of physical
  • Possession of a Washington State Driver License and maintain such license for the duration of


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

The work is performed under often physically demanding, stressful, and environmentally diverse conditions, and requires the ability to adjust quickly to changing priorities and demands.

Maintain physical condition necessary for running, walking, crawling, climbing, stooping, and lifting; work in inclement weather conditions; wear heavy protective equipment while working; handle stressful and emergency situations.

Work in emergency and firefighting situations that may involve proximity to fire, dangerous persons and animals, hazardous emergency driving, hazards associated with traffic control and working in near traffic, and natural and man-made disasters.

Firefighters will be required to:

  • Sit, stand, walk, run, stoop, kneel, crouch, and
  • Climb or crawl through open windows, ladders, over rooftops, and over and under other building
  • Carry heavy equipment or lift and move people in emergency
  • Listen, hear, and understand radio and phone communications.
  • Identify addresses, street signs, and other markings in all lighting

Supplemental Information

The statements contained in this job specification reflect general details necessary to describe the principal functions of this classification, the scope of responsibility, and the level of knowledge and skill typically required to perform this work. Statements in this specification should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements for the classification. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief or to otherwise balance the workload. Regular and reliable attendance is an essential responsibility of each employee, and the ability to work regularly is a requirement for continued employment.