Fireground Duties
Fire Reserve Academy
Additional Training



  Fireground Duties
A major responsibility of the Fire Reserve is to assist the SFFD at third-alarm or greater fires. Fire Reservists are alerted by SFFD computer-assisted dispatch via text message and report to the incident in their  own vehicles.

At the fire, arriving Fire Reservists muster at the Mobile Air Unit where they receive duty assignments from the Incident Commander (IC).



Duties on the fireground can vary widely depending on the size of the incident and the needs of the IC. 

Common Fire Reserve tasks include refilling and running SCBA bottles for the Mobile Air Unit, running equipment and supplies,  assisting with ladders and hose lines, salvage and overhaul, and breaking down and loading hose.

Fire Reservists are also trained to work with specialized SFFD apparatus including the 5"-portable hydrant system and the fire boats.



All Fire Reservists are issued complete personal protective equipment (PPE) including turnout coats and pants, boots, helmets, gloves, and Nomex hoods.

Fire Reservists are readily distinguished on the fireground by their yellow helmets and the yellow lettering on their turnout coats.

The Fire Reserve is assigned use of a Relief Apparatus (RA) triple combination pumper. Currently the FR operates and drills with Station 35's Relief Engine, a 1988 1500gpm 3-D pumper on a Mack CF chassis with a 1500gpm Hale pump and a 500 gallon booster tank powered by a 350hp Mack-Scania Diesel engine.


Thursday evening Fire Reserve training session featured on webisode #18 of
The Battalion: 24hrs with the SFFD (used with permission from
Tule Fog Productions).

Fire Reserve Training Academy
Because of the breadth of responsibility as well the uniqueness of SFFD equipment and protocols, all San Francisco Fire Reservists must complete a six month FR training academy before being allowed to work at an emergency incident.

The FR academy offers training in the basic equipment, skills, and protocols used by the SFFD.

The FR academy follows an abridged curriculum of the regular SFFD basic fire academy. Topics covered in the academy are shown below.




SFFD Fundamentals

1) SFFD & SFFD Fire Reserve organization & operations
2) Basic fire science including fire behavior & building construction
3) SFFD apparatus
4) City of San Francisco water supply systems
    A) Low and high pressure hydrants
    B) Emergency water supply systems
5) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) operation, use, & maintenance
6) SFFD fire extinguisher operation & maintenance
Engine Company Training

1) Hose
    A) Small and large line hose loads
    B) Small and large line leads
    C) Standpipe leads
    D) Hose rolls
2) Fittings and nozzles
3) Hydrant connections
    A) Low pressure hydrant connections
    B) High pressure hydrant connections including Gleason valve
4) Live fire training
Truck Company Training

1) SFFD wood ladders
    A) 22'-fire escape
    B) 24'-straight and
    C) 35'-extension ladder
2) Forcible entry tools
3) Ropes and knots
4) Search and rescue


  Additional Training
Upon the successful completion of the academy, Reserve Trainees join FR Companies as probationary Reserve Firefighters.
Weekly drills strengthen and build upon topics covered in the academy. As part of a regular company, Fire Reservists learn more advanced fire tactics, practice search and rescue, participate in regular EMS refresher training, and visit specialized SFFD facilities and apparatus such as the fireboats and airport division.


Fire Reservists have access to additional training including: pump operations, 5"-portable hydrant drills and deployment, aerial truck operations, and occasional specialized classes such as surf rescue. 

Fire Reservists are provided with an invaluable opportunity to participate in regular ride-alongs with SFFD medic, engine, and truck companies.



  Fire Reserve Eligibility
New members of the San Francisco Fire Reserve (FR) must attend the FR training academy. The six month FR academy consists of two-hour long training classes held every Thursday evening. The academy meets at the Division of Training, and 100% attendance is required. For admission to the academy, applicants must meet the following criteria:
1) Possession of a valid California Driver's license;
2) Proof of San Francisco residency;
3) Achieve a passing score on the Fire Reserve oral interview;
4) Pass a SFFD background investigation;
5) Must be able to perform the duties required as a member of the Fire Reserve;
6) Must have current  EMT-1 certification as well as a current CPR card (American Heart Association BLS Healthcare Provider Course or the Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer course).
Though not required, coursework in Fire Science/Technology programs is also encouraged.

Please check the contact page of this website for announcements of membership openings.