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What does a Fire Captain do?

Learn all about Fire Captain duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Fire Captain.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A fire captain is a leader in the fire department. They are in charge of a crew of firefighters and are responsible for their safety and the effectiveness of their work.

Fire Captain job duties include:

  • Coordinates and supervises the activities of a group of firefighters
  • Trains new firefighters in station procedures and safety protocols
  • Oversees the maintenance of firefighting equipment and vehicles
  • Inspects buildings for fire hazards and ensures that fire safety codes are met
  • Investigates the cause of fires
  • Develops and implements fire prevention programs
  • Responds to emergency calls and provides leadership during firefighting operations
  • Works with other agencies to ensure coordinated response to major incidents
  • Keeps accurate records of shift activity

Fire Captain Job Requirements

A fire captain is the leader of a firefighting crew. He or she is responsible for the safety of the crew and for coordinating their activities during an emergency. A fire captain must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and must be certified as a Firefighter I and II by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He or she must also have at least five years of experience as a firefighter, including two years as a lieutenant or higher.

Fire Captain Skills

  • Fire suppression
  • Fire prevention
  • Emergency medical services
  • Hazardous materials
  • Rescue
  • Building construction
  • Incident command
  • Public relations
  • Budgeting
  • Training
  • Safety

Related: Top Fire Captain Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Fire Captain

In order to become a fire captain, one must first become a firefighter. The process of becoming a firefighter varies depending on the department, but generally includes completing an application, passing a written exam, physical agility test, and oral interview. Some departments may also require candidates to have a minimum amount of experience as a firefighter. Once hired, firefighters must complete a period of probationary training before being eligible for promotion to captain.

The process of becoming a fire captain generally includes taking and passing a promotional exam. The promotional exam usually consists of both a written and oral component. The written component often tests the candidate’s knowledge of fire service management, fireground operations, and fire safety. The oral component typically consists of an interview with a panel of senior firefighters and officers. During the oral component, candidates are typically asked questions about their experience, leadership style, and how they would handle various situations that could occur on the job.

Once promoted to fire captain, the individual is responsible for the supervision of firefighters and other personnel assigned to their shift. They are also responsible for the day-to-day operations of their assigned fire station. Fire captains typically work rotating shifts that include days, nights, weekends, and holidays.

Related: Fire Captain Resume Example

Related: Fire Captain Interview Questions (With Example Answers)