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Class Description and Minimum Qualifications for A5A - Firefighters

Class Description

Valid as of: July 1, 2024

This class series uses nine levels in the Enforcement and Protective Services Occupational Group and describes fire management, preparedness, and protection work with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) as authorized by CO Rev Stat § 24-33.5-1201 — § 24-33.5-1239, CO Rev Stat § 29-22.5-103 (2017).

The purpose of this class is to perform fire preparedness, response, suppression, coordination, and fire management duties include provision of a wide range of fire programs and activities including administrative, technical assistance, planning, training, certification, prevention, education, mitigation, fuels treatment, hazardous materials (hazmat), rescue operations, investigations and prescribed fire functions. Firefighters are public safety officers as defined by §42 U.S.C. § 3796b (9).

State Firefighters provide assistance and support to local governments, and coordinate with federal, state, local, and other entities on state-wide fire programs. The Firefighter definition is found in§ 24-33.5-1202, with specific authorities found in agency statute and delegations made by the division director of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC). The agency may assign working titles within this series similar to traditional Fire Department rank. For example, rank may include Lieutenant, Captain, Chief, etc.

FIREFIGHTER TRAINEE A5A1TX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter Trainee class describes the Trainee level. Trainee positions perform work that is designed to prepare an employee with no related experience for entry into the class series. This level’s primary function is to train and become familiar with duties within a class series. Positions in this classification may participate in formal classroom or field training in methods and procedures related to the series.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Not Applicable.

Complexity --Not Applicable.

Line/Staff Authority --The direct field of influence the work of a position has on the organization is as an individual contributor. Positions have no supervisory accountability, however may explain work processes and train others, serve as a resource or guide by advising others on how to use processes within a system, or serve as a member of a collaborative problem-solving team.

FIREFIGHTER I A5A1XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter I class describes the intermediate level Firefighter. Intermediate positions operate independently in performing assignments that are limited to phases of a fully operational assignment or which may be designed to provide continued training and experience. Work requires determining solutions to practical problems using specified standards and established criteria. Judgment is used to select and apply existing guidelines to solve problems and accomplish the assignment.

This class differs from the Firefighter Trainee class on Decision Making and Complexity.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Defined. There is a choice in selecting alternatives that affect the manner and speed of a decision, but there is typically only one correct way to carry out the operation.

Complexity --Prescribed. Applies established, standard processes which cover work situations and alternatives. Chooses the correct action from specific guidelines that permit little deviation or change as tasks are repeated.

Line/Staff Authority --Individual Contributor. The direct field of influence the work of a position has on the organization is as an individual contributor. Positions may explain work processes and train others, serve as a resource or guide by advising others on how to use processes within a system, or serve as a member of a collaborative problem-solving team.

FIREFIGHTER II A5A2XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter II class describes a fully operational Firefighter. Fully operational positions operate independently in performing the full range of professional tasks. Work requires the use of discretion within the limits of theory and principles of the profession, management’s objectives, laws and regulations, and general systems and guidelines.

This class differs from the Firefighter I class on Decision Making and Complexity.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Operational. In carrying out the process, there is a choice as to what and how operations will be completed. Although limits are set by the specific process, work requires reasoning to produce practical courses of action that are within the guidelines of the process. Decisions are made without prior approval however the focus is still on practical solutions.

Complexity --Patterned. Studies and utilizes information to determine its meaning and identify practical solutions. Although guidelines exist for most situations, this level typically involves multiple choice situations where the guidelines are not as clear.

Line/Staff Authority --Individual Contributor. The direct field of influence the work of a position has on the organization is as an individual contributor. Positions may explain work processes and train others, serve as a resource or guide by advising others on how to use processes within a system, or serve as a member of a collaborative problem-solving team.

FIREFIGHTER III A5A3XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter III class describes a fully operational Firefighter or Work Leader:

  • Fully operational positions operate independently in performing the full range of professional tasks. Work requires the use of discretion within the limits of theory and principles of the profession, management’s objectives, laws and regulations, and general systems and guidelines.
  • The Work Leader concept is described below under Line/Staff Authority. 

This class differs from the Firefighter II class on Decision Making and Line/Staff Authority.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below. 

Decision Making --Process. There is a choice in determining the process to accomplish the work. This choice includes designing the set of operations. Limits are set by professional standards, program objectives, and policies established by higher management. Process level decisions are more theoretical in the sense that positions must evaluate and apply theories and models as part of the assignment.

Complexity --Patterned. Studies and utilizes information to determine its meaning and identify practical solutions. Although guidelines exist for most situations, this level typically involves multiple choice situations where the guidelines are not as clear.

Line/Staff Authority --Work Leader. Partially accountable for the work product of at least two subordinate FTEs. This includes assigning tasks, monitoring workflow, and scheduling work. Work Leaders provide input into supervisory decisions but do not have direct authority for hiring, terminations, or performance management.

FIREFIGHTER IV A5A4XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter IV class describes a Unit Supervisor or Staff Authority. These class concepts are described below under Line/Staff Authority.

This class differs from the Firefighter III class on Complexity and Line/Staff Authority.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Process. There is a choice in determining the process to accomplish the work. This choice includes designing the set of operations. Limits are set by professional standards, program objectives, and policies established by higher management. Process level decisions are more theoretical in the sense that positions must evaluate and apply theories and models as part of the assignment.

Complexity --Formulative. Evaluates the relevance and importance of theories, concepts and principles, and tailors them to develop a different approach or tactical plan to fit specific circumstances. Guidelines typically exist but are inadequate. Judgment and resourcefulness are needed because guidelines are relevant only through approximations or analogies to fit particular circumstances.

Line/Staff Authority --Unit Supervisor. Positions are accountable, including signature authority, for actions and decisions impacting the pay, status, and tenure of at least three subordinate FTEs. Positions must include providing documentation to support corrective and disciplinary actions, signing performance plans and appraisals, and resolving informal grievances. Positions at this level start the hiring process, interview applicants, and recommend hire, promotion, or transfer.

OR;

Staff Authority. Staff Authorities are experts on the application of a program or system in a state agency or to its clients. Positions possess a unique level of knowledge and expertise in a field that is critical to the success of an agency’s objectives.

FIREFIGHTER V A5A5XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter V class describes a Manager or Senior Authority. These class concepts are described below under Line/Staff Authority.

This class differs from the Firefighter IV class on Decision Making and Line/Staff Authority.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Interpretive. There is a choice in determining the tactical plans to achieve the objectives established by a higher management level. This degree of decision making establishes what is to be done in similar circumstances in the future which includes inventing and changing systems or designing processes, policies and guidelines.

Complexity --Formulative. Evaluates the relevance and importance of theories, concepts and principles, and tailors them to develop a different approach or tactical plan to fit specific circumstances. Guidelines typically exist but are inadequate. Judgment and resourcefulness are needed because guidelines are relevant only through approximations or analogies to fit particular circumstances.

Line/Staff Authority --Manager. Accountable for multiple units through the direct supervision of at least two subordinate Unit Supervisors. Positions must include providing documentation to support corrective and disciplinary actions, signing performance plans and appraisals, and resolving informal grievances. Positions at this level start the hiring process, interview applicants, and recommend hire, promotion, or transfer.

OR;

Staff Authority. Staff Authorities are experts on the application of a program or system in a state agency or to its clients. Positions possess a unique level of knowledge and expertise in a field that is critical to the success of an agency’s objectives.

FIREFIGHTER VI A5A6XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter VI class describes a Manager or Senior Authority. These class concepts are described below under Line/Staff Authority.
This class differs from the Firefighter V class on Complexity and Line/Staff Authority.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Interpretive. There is a choice in determining the tactical plans to achieve the objectives established by a higher management level. This degree of decision making establishes what is to be done in similar circumstances in the future which includes inventing and changing systems or designing processes, policies and guidelines.

Complexity --Strategic. Develops guidelines to implement programs that achieve the agency’s mission. Guidelines do not exist in many or most situations. Judgment and resourcefulness are needed to interpret circumstances in a variety of situations and establish guidelines that direct how agency programs will be implemented.

Line/Staff Authority --Manager. Accountable for multiple units through the direct supervision of at least two subordinate Unit Supervisors. Positions must include providing documentation to support corrective and disciplinary actions, signing performance plans and appraisals, and resolving informal grievances. Positions at this level start the hiring process, interview applicants, and recommend hire, promotion, or transfer.

OR;

Senior Authority. Senior authorities possess a unique level of knowledge and expertise in a field that is critical to the agency’s overall mission. Agency management routinely relies on the essential consultation of the authority before deciding broad, critical program and policy direction.

FIREFIGHTER VII A5A7XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter VII class describes a Senior Manager. This class concept is described below under Line/Staff Authority.

This class differs from the Firefighter VI class of Line/Staff Authority.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Interpretive. There is a choice in determining the tactical plans to achieve the objectives established by a higher management level. This degree of decision making establishes what is to be done in similar circumstances in the future which includes inventing and changing systems or designing processes, policies and guidelines.

Complexity --Strategic. Develops guidelines to implement programs that achieve the agency’s mission. Guidelines do not exist in many or most situations. Judgment and resourcefulness are needed to interpret circumstances in a variety of situations and establish guidelines that direct how agency programs will be implemented.

Line/Staff Authority --Senior Manager. Accountable for multiple units through the direct supervision of at least two subordinate Managers. Positions must include providing documentation to support corrective and disciplinary actions, signing performance plans and appraisals, and resolving informal grievances. Positions at this level start the hiring process, interview applicants, and recommend hire, promotion, or transfer.

FIREFIGHTER VIII A5A8XX

Concept of Class

The Firefighter VII class describes a Senior Manager. This class concept is described below under Line/Staff Authority.

This class differs from the Firefighter VII class on Decision Making and Complexity.

Factors

Allocation must be based on meeting all of the three factors as described below.

Decision Making --Programmatic. In determining strategic plans, overall purpose, and staffing, there are choices in formulating or adjusting programs, specifying program objectives, and allocating human and fiscal resources among constituent programs. The degree of decision making involves proposals for long-term policy and integration with other programs and overall strategy.

Complexity --Strategic. Develops guidelines to implement programs that achieve the agency’s mission. Guidelines do not exist in many or most situations. Judgment and resourcefulness are needed to interpret circumstances in a variety of situations and establish guidelines that direct how agency programs will be implemented.

OR;

Unprecedented. Originates models, concepts, and theories that are new to the field and where no prototype exists in state government. Guidelines do not exist.
Line/Staff Authority — Senior Manager. Accountable for multiple units through the direct supervision of at least two subordinate Managers. Positions must include providing documentation to support corrective and disciplinary actions, signing performance plans and appraisals, and resolving informal grievances. Positions at this level start the hiring process, interview applicants, and recommend hire, promotion, or transfer.

Entrance Requirements

Minimum entry requirements and general knowledge, skills, and abilities for classes in this series are contained in the class minimum qualifications document. National Incident Management System, National Wildfire Coordinating Group, and other fire service qualifications are required for each different position within this class series. For purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the essential functions of specific positions are identified in the position description questionnaires and job analyses.

History of Changes Made to Class Description

The​ ​following​ ​is​ ​a​ ​summary​ ​of​ ​changes​ ​made​ ​to​ ​this​ ​class description.

July 1, 2024

Effective 7/1/24: Class codes, job evaluation factors, and levels updated as a result of the Firefighter system maintenance study.

July 1, 2018

Effective 7/1/18: Update the Class Code of A5A1TX to A5A1XX per administrative updates.

July 1, 2016

Effective 07/01/2016 (SMS) Creation of the Firefighter series in the Enforcement and Protection Services Occupational Group.

Effective 07/01/2016 (SMS) General Professional Study; deconsolidation and abolishment of General Professional series.

Summary of Factor Ratings

Class LevelDecision MakingComplexityLine/Staff Authority
Firefighter TraineeN/AN/AIndividual Contributor
Firefighter IDefinedPrescribedIndividual Contributor
Firefighter II OperationalPatternedIndividual Contributor
Firefighter IIIProcessPatternedWork Leader
Firefighter IV ProcessFormulative Unit Supervisor or Staff Authority
Firefighter V InterpretiveFormulativeManager or Staff Authority
Firefighter VI InterpretiveStrategicManager or Senior Authority
Firefighter VIIInterpretiveStrategicSenior Manager
Firefighter VIIIProgrammaticStrategic or unprecedentedSenior Manager

Minimum Qualifications

Valid as of: July 1, 2024

This​ ​document​ ​includes​ ​the​ ​following​ ​levels:
 

Class TitleClass Code
Firefighter TraineeA5A1TX
Firefighter IA5A1XX
Firefighter II A5A2XX
Firefighter IIIA5A3XX
Firefighter IV A5A4XX
Firefighter V A5A5XX
Firefighter VI A5A6XX
Firefighter VIIA5A7XX
Firefighter VIIIA5A8XX

FIREFIGHTER TRAINEE (A5A1TX)

Education/Licensure/Certification/Experience:

None.
 

FIREFIGHTER I (A5A1XX)

Education/Licensure/Certification/Experience:

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

Substitutions:

None

FIREFIGHTER II (A5A2XX)

Education/Licensure/Certification/Experience:

One (1) year of experience in an occupational field related to the work assigned to the position.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

Substitutions:

None

FIREFIGHTER III (A5A3XX)

Education/Licensure/Certification/Experience:

Two (2) years of experience in an occupational field related to the work assigned to the position.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

Substitutions:

None

FIREFIGHTER IV (A5A4XX)

Education/Licensure/Certification/Experience:

Five (5) years of experience in an occupational field related to the work assigned to the position.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

Substitutions:

None
 

FIREFIGHTER V (A5A5XX)

Education and Experience:

A combination of related education and/or relevant experience in an occupation related to the work assigned equal to eight (8) years.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

FIREFIGHTER VI (A5A6XX)

Education and Experience:

A combination of related education and/or relevant experience in an occupation related to the work assigned equal to nine (9) years.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

FIREFIGHTER VII (A5A7XX)

Education and Experience:

A combination of related education and/or relevant experience in an occupation related to the work assigned equal to ten (10) years, one (1) of which must have been at the level of a work leader, staff authority, unit supervisor, or equivalent.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

FIREFIGHTER VIII (A5A8XX)

Education and Experience:

A combination of related education and/or relevant experience in an occupation related to the work assigned equal to eleven (11) years, two (2) of which must have been at the level of a work leader, staff authority, unit supervisor, or equivalent.

Any required certifications as needed for the position.

History of Changes Made to Minimum Qualification

The​ ​following​ ​is​ ​a​ ​summary​ ​of​ ​changes​ ​made​ ​to​ ​this​ ​minimum​ ​qualification.

March 1, 2017 (Whole Document)
  • Part of the 2017 MQ Project 
  • New Format
April 4, 2017 (Whole Document)
  • Conditions of employment (COEs) have been removed from the minimum qualifications statement. COEs are position specific, and should be documented in the position description (PD) and job analysis. Further, all COEs should be placed in the Conditions of Employment section of the job announcement
  • Removed Special Requirements. Special Requirements should be documented in the Position Description and appear in the job announcement
  • Removed optional substitution, (at the agency’s discretion language,) for military experience/training because it was redundant. All relevant experience and training will count toward requirements, therefore, this is not a substitution
  • Made language consistent with a year-for-year approach to substitutions for both education and experience
     
April 4, 2017 (A5A5XX, A5A6XX, A5A7XX)

Removed ‘additional higher level and/or special experience’ language. Special qualifications can appear as a Special Qualification in the job posting, if justified in the position description and job analysis

Oct. 16, 2017 (A5A1TX, A5A2XX, A5A3XX)

Made grammatical changes

July 1, 2018 (A5A1TX Changed to A5A1XX)

Review and correction of the classification codes to align with the 2018-19 pay plan and compensation grades approved by the CHRO

July 1, 2024 (Whole Document)
  • New format (updating to adhere to accessibility standards)
  • Minimum qualifications were updated and levels were added per the 2023-24 system maintenance study