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City of Torrance
Class Code: 7116

Class Designation: Civil Service

September 2009 (Revised) 

Representation Unit: Safety Management Employees



Deputy Fire Chief


Under direction from the Fire Chief, plans, organizes and directs the activities of the Operations Division of the Fire Department which is responsible for preventing and extinguishing fires; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Distinguished from the Fire Chief in that the incumbent is not responsible for managing the entire Fire Department.  Distinguished from the Fire Battalion Chief in that the incumbent is responsible for the coordination and direction of the activities for all three Operations Division platoons. 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, provides direct supervision to the Operations Division, Fire Battalion Chiefs and support staff.  Provides technical supervision over the directors for each program within the Fire Department.

Examples Of Duties

  • Plans, organizes, and directs Operations Division personnel and activities in preventing and extinguishing fires; handling hazardous situations/materials; saving lives and property; and providing emergency medical services;
  • Provides strategic command during major emergency incidents by managing the personnel, facilities and equipment of the Operations Division;
  • Implements and enforces Departmental rules, regulations, policies and procedures to meet current and future needs of the City;
  • Coordinates comprehensive training programs for Fire Department personnel to ensure departmental readiness in all situations;
  • Recommends and reviews purchase of equipment and supplies;
  • Provides Fire Department related information to the news media;
  • Represents the Fire Department to other City Departments and at public functions;
  • Prepares and maintains technical, budgetary, personnel and activity reports and records;
  • 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;
  • Prepares and/or reviews correspondence;
  • Acts as Department 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;
  • Serves as Acting Fire Chief in the absence of the Fire Chief;
  • Prepares reports and recommendations for City Council and commission agenda items;
  • Attends and conducts meetings as required.
  • Example 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.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Principles, practices and techniques of fire department administration, organization and operation;
  • Advanced methods and techniques of fire fighting, fire suppression and prevention, and handling of hazardous materials situations;
  • Rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the Torrance Fire Department;
  • Local, State and Federal safety codes, ordinances and laws;
  • Management and supervisory principles and practices including the selection, training, evaluation and discipline of employees; and laws governing employee relations matters;
  • 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 Department policy and programs to improve operations;
  • Develop and monitor the division budget and establish budgetary controls;
  • 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 City employees, 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.
  • Licenses and Certifications

    Must possess and maintain an appropriate, valid California driver's license.  Certification as a Chief Officer issued by the California Office of the State Fire Marshal is highly desirable.
    Education and Experience
    Any combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities is:
    Ten years fire service experience and current rank of Fire Battalion Chief or Fire Captain following the successful completion of the probationary period; and equivalent to high school graduation. The possession of an AA degree in Fire Science or a related field from a college of recognized standing may be substituted for one year of the required experience.  The possession of a Bachelor's degree in Fire Science/Public Administration or a related field may be substituted for two years of the required experience.  Master's degree in Fire Science/ Public Administration or a related field may be substituted for three years of the required experience.
    A Bachelor's degree in Fire Science/Public Administration or a related field is highly desirable.
    Special Requirements 
    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.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Fire Chief.