The Fire Cadet Program is, and has been for decades, an important outreach to the community. Program participation provides high school students an opportunity to gain an introduction and exposure to the fire service profession. For some this experience may be the foundation to a future career, but that desire is not a requirement for participation. The opportunity does place high school students directly into the working arena of a dynamic occupation, unlike the regular secondary education environment. This is a work exposure program with the intent to couple education with exposure.
The depth of the experience and extent of instruction will depend on the desire and commitment of the student. We want our Cadets to be enthused about their position and engage with company members to create a great experience. Our company officers and personnel will assure two things to our Cadets; 1. Provide for a meaningful education and work experience exposure to occupational situations and 2. Provide for the safety of the student in training and emergency environments. In all cases the safety and welfare of the student is to be the first consideration.
The Cadet Program is conducted on a semester basis in conjunction with the respective school district. At the request of the Company Officer, the program may be extended to encompass the entire school year. Interested students should contact their school counselor early in their junior year of high school and ask to be placed on an interest list. Around mid-May, District members will visit schools and collect completed applications. Applications for participation shall only be accepted from those students who will be high school seniors during their participation in the program and maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or higher with a good attendance record. Interviews will be conducted for all applicants meeting the criteria. The interview board will be looking at maturity and interest as prime considerations for the selection of Fire Cadets to participate in the program. Prior to the beginning of the semester, the Cadets will be assigned to participating fire companies and the Battalion Fire Cadet Coordinator will conduct an orientation for the new Cadets and at least one parent or guardian.
- The District does not provide any compensation to the Cadet for participation in the program.
- Fire Cadets will be advised of and shall abide by all administrative policies that apply to conduct and daily operating procedures of the Ventura County Fire Protection District. The continuing enrollment in the cadet program shall be contingent upon good behavior
- Fire Cadets shall obtain the required uniform and it shall be worn at all times during the hours of duty at the Fire Company.
- Fire Cadets may eat meals with the company at the discretion of the on-duty Company Officer
- Fire Cadets may accompany on-duty personnel on emergency responses with restrictions to protect the student.
- Fire Cadets shall be under the direct supervision of District personnel at all times
- Following successful completion of the Fire Cadet Program, the Company Officer and the Battalion Fire Cadet Coordinator shall analyze the performance of the Fire Cadet and assign a letter grade commensurate with that performance. The letter grade shall coincide with the grading system of the school attended by the Fire Cadet
- Selection into and completion of the Cadet program no way insures the future employment within the Ventura County Fire Protection District. Many of our past Fire Cadets however, have been successful in life after their term is complete either in the fire service, military, advanced education and careers outside the fire service.