Defensive Structural Firefighter, DFF1

Position Category: 
All-Hazard Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
AD Class: 


The purpose of this basic position is to serve as a Structural Defensive Fire Fighter.  Performs firefighting duties from a defensive position, and participates in salvage and overhaul activities.


  • Utilizes a variety of basic firefighting tools and equipment to attack and extinguish fires from a defensive position.
  • Operates hydrants, hose lines, pumps, and other related equipment.
  • Utilizes all required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including self-contained breathing apparatus, but are not allowed to enter an environment that presents an immediate danger to life and health.
  • Provides emergency medical care within the scope of training and certification.
  • Participates in cleanup, salvage, and overhaul operations.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Basic knowledge of the Incident Command System (ICS).
  • Knowledge of firefighting operations and procedures gained through direct experience and/or completion of the requirement to meet minimum standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA 1001) or equivalent.
  • Ability to provide basic emergency medical care such as first aid for minor injuries, and CPR.
  • Knowledge of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and its appropriate use in firefighting operations.
  • Knowledge of situational awareness fundamentals including personal equipment, essential firefighting equipment, and general all-risk hazards.

Supervisory Controls

Work direction is provided by a Supervisory Firefighter or other designated supervisor who makes assignments and procedures to be followed.  Most defensive firefighting duties are performed under close supervision with specific instructions provided for unfamiliar or unusual situations.  Completed work is reviewed for operational effectiveness and compliance with instructions.


Procedures for doing the work have been established and a number of specific guidelines or standard orders are available such as oral instructions, manuals, health and safety codes, and OJT or formal training.  Assistance is provided for problems encountered not specifically covered by guidelines.

The incumbent works in strict accordance with the guidelines, references and procedures.  Deviations or questions are referred to the supervisor or higher graded firefighter for resolution.


The incumbent performs a variety of firefighting assignments which require defensive firefighting skills, and assisting with emergency medical situations.  Emergency responses often involve action in extremely adverse physical and emotional conditions and ability to function effectively in sensitive situations.

Work requires application of established firefighting practices in areas of assignment.  Individual discretion and judgment is limited to defensive firefighting situations.

Scope and Effect

The purpose of this position is to act as a team member in implementing defensive firefighting objectives for a safe operation while effectively performing fire suppression operations.  The effectiveness and timeliness of the decisions and actions taken impacts the efficiency of assignments and the safety of operations performed.

Personal Contacts

Personal contacts are with local agency firefighting personnel or incident management team personnel during the duration of the incident.  The incumbent may also interact with media operations, family members, special interest groups, and others with interests in the incident.

Purpose of Contacts

The purpose of contacts is to obtain briefings and orders, as well as to relay incident information to and from the incident management team and other fire team members, and to provide general and specific information and assistance.

Physical Demands

Firefighting work routinely involves physically rigorous assignments and strenuous activity.  Incumbent must maintain excellent physical condition to carry out responsibilities including the ability to pass an arduous duty physical, and handle a variety of heavy and cumbersome firefighting equipment.  Emergency firefighting situations often require clear reasoning and decisive action under conditions of extreme mental and physical stress.

Work Environment

Work environment is predominately outdoors in all types of weather, night or day, for extended periods of time.  The incumbent is subject to cold, hot, windy, wet, or snowy conditions, and subject to extreme heat, burns, falling objects, exposure to smoke and noxious fumes.  Wearing of PPE used in firefighting operations is mandatory.


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