Job Description - Volunteer Fire Chief

The following is a sample Job Description for the position of Volunteer Fire Chief. You are encouraged to copy and alter to meet your requirements.

Job Description - Volunteer Fire Chief

Purpose of the Job:

Reporting to the (name of position), the fire chief will administer, plan , direct and control all aspects of the fire department including administration, fire suppression, fire prevention and rescue activities of the department as authorized by the (name bylaw - Fire Department Establishment and Control Bylaw). The fire chief will also administer applicable local, provincial and federal fire regulations.  Administrative duties comprise planning, directing, and controlling all fire department activities including recruitment of personnel, purchase of equipment, control of expenditures, preparation of budget estimates and the assignment of personnel and equipment. The fire chief consults with the (name of position) on issues of policy and planning, but works independently in supervising technical operations.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Plan direct and supervise through subordinate officers the activities of the fire department as specified in the Fire Department Establishment and Control Bylaw.
  • Establish and implement Operational Guidelines based on best practices and OH&S regulations.
  • Have training programs developed and implemented in accordance with accepted standards to improve the understanding and skill of all staff in fire fighting and rescue procedures. (Add additional topics to meet the service provided by the jurisdiction; e.g. medical first responder)
  • Ensure adequate records are kept of all required maintenance and training.
  • Prepare and submit an annual budget and long-range plan and make expenditures within approved limits.
  • Develop and revise a long-range capital plan to keep pace with development.
  • Liaise with and advise planning, engineering and other departments on development implications for fire fighting as part of the development approval process.
  • Ensure that all local government policies and processes are adhered to.
  • Maintain an effective working relationship with all local government departments and carry out such additional duties as requested by the (name of position).
  • Ensure that inquiries and complaints regarding fire department activities or responsibilities are handled promptly, efficiently, effectively and with courtesy.
  • Liaise with representatives of neighbouring fire departments to ensure adequate mutual aid agreements are made for mitigating major emergency incidents.
  • Participate in the local and regional emergency planning process.
  • Participate in Fire Chiefs' Association at the provincial or regional level.

Organizational Relationship:

  • The fire chief reports to (name of position).

Recommended Qualifications:


  • Secondary School graduation
  • Completed or participating in a training program based on IFSTA Essentials of Fire Firefighting
  • Completed or enrolled in a recognized Officer Training Program.

Recommended Experience:

  • A minimum of five (5) years with a fire department.
  • Progressive responsibility level within the fire service.
  • Previous experience as a fire department officer.
  • Previous management experience is an asset.

Occupational Certification:

  • Valid driver's license for the (name of jurisdiction), (appropriate class with endorsements) preferred.


  • Knowledge of Fire Department Operational Guidelines, policies, procedures and applicable local bylaws, provincial codes, regulations, acts and standards.
  • Knowledge of the NFPA 1001 and 1002 Firefighter Training Standard and OH&S regulations.
  • Knowledge and training in Incident Command System (ICS) minimum ICS 200.
  • Knowledge of the community and fire protection area.

Skills & Abilities:

  • Ability to be an effective leader
  • Ability to organize & delegate
  • Ability to effectively administer the operations of a volunteer fire department
  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing and maintain positive public relations for the fire department and the governing body.
  • Ability to supervise and participate in the preparation of all necessary reports, records and correspondence.
  • Willingness and commitment to participate in training programs and workshops.

I have read and understand this job description.

Employee signature ________________________________
Date ____________________

This job description is the minimum requirements of this job's assigned duties, tasks and responsibilities.

District Official Signature (title) ________________________________
Date ____________________