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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

First Responder Heroes - Volunteer Firefighters Needed in Napa County!

We need more volunteer firefighters and be assured, you can make a huge difference!

You can volunteer at any age. This is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have and the skills you learn are invaluable. There are calls every day of the year ranging from medical aides, vehicle accidents to fire suppression.


You can choose to become a Firefighter, an Emergency Medical Responder or both. You don’t need experience because you get all the training you need. All the gear is provided: uniforms, boots, rain jacket, helmet, etc. Some volunteers may become certified to drive fire engines or operate a water tender. And yes, you are considered a “first responder.”

You learn personal safety. You also receive safety/first aid training and hazardous materials awareness. There is a stipend to help cover basic expenses. There’s a volunteer academy in January and a graduation ceremony at the end when you receive your certification.

What’s the Incentive?

“It’s all about protecting your own community,” said Fire Captain, Justin Hartman. “Volunteering can potentially position you for a job with Napa County Fire/CAL FIRE. You learn the jobs and the work to be done.” Captain Harman started as a volunteer firefighter at 18. He advanced to seasonal work with CAL FIRE in the summertime, and took advantage of the training, learned basic skills, and then more advanced skills.

He was promoted to engineer and then to the Fire Marshall’s office, where he is now a Captain. “You learn protocol and procedures and how to work through situations. You learn the first priority is to save a life, then property, then the environment. It takes courage. I am a fourth generation fireman, so I grew up around it. My biggest thing is to help the public,” explained Captain Hartman.

The Process/What to Expect

A Volunteer Training Academy is held once a year on weekends from the first weekend in January to the middle of May. You also have some weeknight classes during the training.

Tests are difficult. You have to study a lot! There are very firm procedures to ensure safety. There are two mandatory drills every month that last about three hours. The number of required hours per month depends on how many incidents happen in the county.

What’s the Difference between CAL FIRE and Napa County Fire Department?

Napa County Fire Department and CAL FIRE is a cooperative fire protection. Napa County has contracted with CAL FIRE, which means Napa County pays CAL FIRE to be its fire department. CAL FIRE employees are State employees contracted to serve as Napa County’s Fire Department. They oversee the volunteers for every station in Napa Country.

What it Takes to be a Firefighter…

Firefighters learn to do their best. They have a can-do attitude and a relentless work ethic. Most firefighters have a plan. They outline what they need to know, what classes and certifications they need to obtain, what skills they need to master, and then, they work the plan. Firefighters work hard to stay mentally sharp and physically strong. They invest long hours training and practicing the skills that go into being a great firefighter. They know it takes discipline to maximize potential. Self-control and persistence are cornerstones to building a career. Firefighters must always be prepared with a back up plan. They surround themselves with other great firefighters who help them advance their career.

Firefighter Motto:

Working together for your safety: Proudly serving our community with courtesy, integrity and compassion. Our FIRST RESPONDER HEROES stay motivated in the pursuit of excellence!

Application Process

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter, the first thing you do is download an application from in the Napa County Fire Department documents or obtain one from any of the stations.

Complete and Mail to:

CAL FIRE/Napa County Fire

1199 Big Tree Road

St. Helena, CA 94574

Or Email to:

Justin Hartman, Fire Captain

CAL/Fire Napa County Fire Department


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