City and County of San Francisco

Pilot of Fire Boats (#H120)

$82.16-$82.16 Hourly / $14,242.00-$14,242.00 Monthly / $170,898.00-$170,898.00 Yearly


Under general supervision is responsible for the safe piloting and navigation of a fire boat in response to fire alarms, emergency incidents, public service activities, training, and other activities requiring the support or services of the vessel; maintains the vessel’s equipment in top operational condition; keeps up-to-date logs and other records in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations; ensures that personnel aboard the fire boat adhere to safety standards; and performs other related duties as required.

Distinguishing Features

An H120 Pilot of Fire Boats is distinguished from H110 Marine Engineer in that the H120 is responsible for piloting and navigating the fire boat, and the H110 is responsible for the mechanical and electrical systems, and engine room of the fire boat.

Supervision Exercised


Examples of Important and Essential Duties

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

  1. Operates the vessel’s pilot house and bridge equipment while responding to an emergency or service, or in preparation to get underway.
  2. Takes the helm, gives engine orders, and operates propulsion controls, radar, compass, radio, and other communications and navigation equipment.
  3. Navigates the fire boat in all weather conditions and at all hours of the day in response to all calls requiring fire boat support and services.
  4. Participates in fire suppression duties as necessary and practicable.
  5. Maneuvers fire boats in position to enable crew members’ maximum effectiveness to fight fires and protect life and property.
  6. Takes effective damage control measures to save personnel and equipment in case of casualty or emergency caused by collision, grounding, foundering, explosion, or fire.
  7. Inspect fire boats and equipment and performs or arranges for required maintenance of a variety of deck and navigation equipment.
  8. Participates in cleaning, scaling and painting duties, performs minor repairs and alterations to topside areas, holds, and deck equipment.
  9. Maintains up-to-date log books and other records in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.
  10. Ensures all personnel aboard the fire boat adhere to safety standards.
  11. Participates in inspections of occupied and unoccupied buildings and other structures in the area of the San Francisco Bay for fire suppression planning purposes.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of: navigation rules and regulations; safety procedures in hazardous conditions; seamanship; nautical terms; applicable piloting and navigation instructions and directives; operational and tactical maneuvering of fire boats during emergency response; aids and hazards of navigation in the Bay; depths of water in the Bay; characteristics of local waters, tides, currents, winds, weather, and general hydrographs; locations of all berths, anchorages, and other facilities in the area of the San Francisco Bay; local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to the operation of vessels in the Bay, ocean, and inland waters; use and care of a fire boat navigation system; Fire Department communications system related to fire boat operations; fire boat command structure and how it relates to the Incident Command System; sources of information relating to laws, rules, and regulations affecting navigation of vessels in the Bay; objectives, principles, and practices of waterfront pre-fire planning; Fire Department organizational functions, rules, regulations, and procedures; and principles of supervision and training.

Ability or Skill to: Effectively operate and maneuver a fire boat in emergency situations in all types of weather and at all hours of the day; work effectively with others; properly and effectively use Fire Department equipment; think quickly and use good judgment in making decisions under stressful circumstances or under adverse situations; communicate effectively both orally and in writing to members of the department, the public, or representatives of other agencies; establish and maintain good working relations with employees and the general public; complete all necessary reports, correspondence, and documentation as required in the performance of assigned duties (e.g., journal entries, log books, etc.); navigate a fire boat using radar, radios, signal equipment, etc.

Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.



Experience operating a vessel of more than 200 gross tons in close quarters and under constantly changing circumstances on the San Francisco Bay and nearby inland waters.

License and Certification:

  1. Possession of a current license of more than 200 gross tons issued by the United States Coast Guard in any of the following categories:
    • “Master’s license valid for ocean, coastwise, or inland”
    • “Master Freight and Tow”
    • “Master (Operator), Un-inspected Towing Vessels”
  2. Above license must include radar endorsement.
  3. Pass federally mandated random drug screening.







AMENDED DATE: 10/23/07; 12/11/20


To accurately reflect the current tasks, knowledge, skills & abilities, and minimum qualifications.

Business unit(s): COMMN

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

CLASS: H120; EST: 10/11/2007; REV: 12/11/2020;