Career Pathways & Phases

FIRE Foundry provides multiple career pathways and supports participants through their career development journey beginning with FIRE Foundry Vegetation Management crews, then to firefighter academy and AA/AS completion, then seasonal firefighting jobs and/or paramedic or nursing programs, and finally to full time firefighter employment. Upon completion of a year in the FIRE Foundry crew, the participants will have credits from College of Marin to facilitate progress towards a full AA/AS and/or entry into firefighter 1 academy. Our equity-centered collaboration model will support participants through a smooth and inclusive transition between employment and training with each of our partner institutions.

Recruits New to Fire

Category I recruits have no prior experience in fire service but are motivated, passionate, and curious to learn what a career in fire service might entail. They work with Conservation Corps North Bay  on a crew supervised by a Firefighter from Marin County Fire Department for forty hours per week conducting clearance work, home hardening, and public fire prevention education throughout Marin County to earn a sustainable wage as they work through the pre-requisites required for local Firefighter 1 Academies. They will earn their certificates in Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) by the end of the year.  In addition to EMT and FF1 pre-requisites, they take on a rigorous level of additional coursework at College of Marin taught by experts in Ecology, Fire Behavior, Remote Sensing, GIS, and Computer Science in order to give them a strong understanding of emerging fire science and best available technologies in fire prevention and suppression.

Taking on Academy

Category II recruits are already enrolled or are preparing to enroll in a Firefighter 1 Academy in Northern California. Category II recruits may have graduated from Category 1 of FIRE Foundry, or may not have gone through Category 1, but be enrolled or planning to enroll at Santa Rosa Junior College Fire Academy, City College of San Francisco Fire Fighter 1 Academy, or any of the other regional fire academies.  They will have access to our weekly workshops, mentor connections, events, tutoring, and wrap-around services to ensure they thrive as they take on the challenges entailed in successfully completing FF 1 academy. Recruits will also receive help applying for financial aid and have access to stipends to help cover the cost of materials required to participate in the academy. They will receive workshops on resume building and interviewing as they prepare to apply for their first job as a seasonal firefighter with Marin County Fire Department or another local department.

New Seasonals

Category III recruits have completed firefighter 1 academy and are applying for seasonal fire fighter positions or are actively working in a seasonal crew already. They'll have access to a network of mentors, regular technology workshops, and career guidance/interview prep as they apply and interview for full-time positions. Category III recruits get support in finding and applying to local paramedic programs to make them as competitive as possible for landing a full-time position. Recruits give back to Category I II students by acting as mentors themselves and speaking to their experience of how they worked through academy and achieved their current position as seasonal fire fighters.

Full-time Firefighting

Category IV recruits have recently earned positions as full-time firefighters either in Marin County or elsewhere in California. They have access to technology workshops, networking events, and mentorship as they take their first steps into full-time fire service. They will also utilize their acquired knowledge to work with innovative firefighting technologies coming out of academia to help them test, validate, and improve their products for the purpose of firefighting and prevention. Lastly, Category IV recruits will act as mentors to all the recruits coming after them and serve as role models for the FIRE Foundry.