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City of Torrance
Class Code: 7115

Class Designation: Civil Service

June 2009

Unit Representation: Torrance Fire Chief Officers' Assoc. 


Fire Battalion Chief


Under general direction, manages a major unit of the Fire Department; to direct the staff, equipment and activities of that unit and perform related work as required.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The Fire Battalion Chief is distinguished from the Fire Division Chief in that the incumbent is not responsible for managing the activities of all Operations Divisions platoons and distinguished from Fire Captains in that the incumbent is responsible for a major unit of the Fire department.  Work is performed within a broad framework of general policy and requires creativity and resourcefulness to accomplish goals and objectives and to apply concepts, plans and strategies that may require non-traditional methods to achieve established goals and objectives.  The incumbent exercises broad judgment in defining work objectives and determining methods and systems to meet objectives.  Work is reviewed for overall results.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives general direction from the Fire Chief or the Fire Division Chief, provides direct supervision to Fire Captains and support staff. 

Examples Of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all inclusive.
  • Directs the activities of fire personnel and equipment on an assigned shift engaged in lifesaving and fire suppression activities;
  • Responds to alarms and details personnel and fire-fighting equipment to achieve the most effective fire suppression;
  • Directs rescue, ventilation, first aid and resuscitation, fire extinguishment, covering of exposures and salvage operations;
  • Has full command at fires until relieved by a superior;
  • Makes thorough inspections of all companies, their personnel and equipment;
  • Assumes responsibility for the efficient performance of companies, cleanliness of quarters, and for the operation of all fire apparatus and equipment;
  • Enforces all rules and regulations and special orders;
  • Supervises, instructs and assists in the work of fire inspection and the enforcement of all ordinances, laws and codes pertaining to the prevention and control of fire and fire hazards;
  • Inspects or details subordinates to inspect places where fire hazards may exist, and abates hazards found;
  • Reports arson cases and locates and preserves evidence of arson;
  • Inspects and approves multiple occupancy dwellings and business establishments;
  • Checks building plans for conformance to fire code sections;
  • Issues fire clearances;
  • Formulates and conducts programs of basic in-service training;
  • Sets up, supervises and instructs advanced training courses in fire-fighting methods and equipment; prepares training manuals and guides;
  • Prepares written tests to determine the effectiveness of training and areas of deficiencies;
  • Establishes and maintains current and up-to-date running cards and running maps;
  • Maintains detailed training records;
  • Plans, assigns, and manages, through supervisors, the activities of the division;
  • Develops and monitors the division budget and establishes budgetary controls;
  • Manages the work of staff including: coaching staff for improvement and development, training, assigning, reviewing and evaluating work performance; coordinating activities, maintaining standards, allocating personnel, selecting new employees, acting on employee problems and recommending and implementing employee discipline;
  • Administers safety and training programs;
  • Prepares and/or reviews correspondence;
  • Acts as division liaison with internal and external teams, committees, along with outside agencies including local and State officials, utility companies, the community and other interested groups;
  • Coordinates projects with other City departments and agencies;
  • Stays abreast of current developments in legislation and trends, which may affect the City and/or division;
  • Implements and maintains Federal, State and local mandates;
  • Prepares reports and recommendations for City Council and commission agenda items;
  • Attends and conducts meetings as required.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties.
  • On request, trains or sets up training programs for industrial plant fire forces;
  • Receives and responds to inquiries and requests for information and assistance and takes appropriate action to resolve problems;
  • Develops and reviews reports and other documents submitted by subordinates;
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Minimum Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Modern principles and practices of fire department administration;
  • Modern fire-fighting procedures, techniques and equipment;
  • Local, state and national safety codes, ordinances and laws;
  • Building materials and construction and of the principles of combustion;
  • Project management methods and practices;
  • Management and supervisory principles and practices;
  • Budget preparation and administration principles and practices
  • Applicable Federal, State and local regulations;
  • High quality customer service methodology and principles;
  • Safety regulations as required by OSHA and other regulatory agencies;
  • Hazards and generally accepted safety standards;
  • City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations and personnel matters;
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to
  • Plan, organize and direct a major unit of a fire department;
  • Analyze emergency situations and direct emergency operations;
  • Assess situations quickly and adopt effective courses of action;
  • Manage the work of subordinates including coaching staff for improvement and development, training, assigning, monitoring and evaluating work performance, counseling and disciplining staff and resolving grievances;
  • Evaluate, develop and implement division policy and programs to improve operations;
  • Develop and monitor the division budget and establish budgetary controls;
  • Negotiate project or maintenance contracts on behalf of the division;
  • Analyze complex issues, evaluate alternative solutions, develop sound conclusions, and recommend a course of action;
  • Plan, organize, assign, coordinate and manage the activities of professional and support staff;
  • Interpret and apply Memoranda of Understanding, City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations and personnel matters;
  • Develop, understand, interpret laws and execute rules, regulations, policies and procedures;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the City Council, public officials, other department heads, staff, private community organizations, and others encountered in the course of work;
  • Present proposals and recommendations effectively in public meetings;
  • Develop clear, concise, and comprehensive studies, reports, and agenda items;
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • Ensure safety and professional work standards are met;
  • Operate a computer and other office equipment.
  • License and/or Certificate

    Must possess and maintain an appropriate, valid California driver's license.
    Education and/or Experience
    Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way of obtaining the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities is:
    Equivalent to graduation from high school; and eight years (8) of service on the Torrance Fire Department and completion of probation as a Fire Captain.
    The possession of an AA in Fire Science, or an AA degree in another field plus 20 units of Fire Science may be substituted for one year of the required experience.  The possession of a BA in Fire Science or Fire Administration, or a BA degree in another field plus 40 units of Fire Science may be substituted for two years of required experience.
    Special Requirements

    The work is performed primarily indoors in an office environment and requires working under varied conditions when engaged in lifesaving and fire suppression activities.  In the event of an emergency, must be able to work indoors/outdoors under adverse conditions for an extended period of time.

    Physical Ability: Tasks involve the ability to exert physical effort in sedentary work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials up to 60 pounds.  Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.

    Sensory Requirements: Some tasks require the ability to perceive and distinguish colors or shades of colors.  Some tasks require the ability to perceive and distinguish sounds. Some tasks require visual perception and distinction. Some tasks require oral communications ability.

    Environmental Factors: Some tasks may risk exposure to dirt, dust, pollen, odors, wetness, humidity, rain, fumes, and traffic hazards.