The purpose of the Kern County Fire Department Ride-Along Program is to foster community involvement, understanding, and education by providing an opportunity for the public and county employees to gain first-hand experience of the duties and responsibilities of Fire Department personnel.
PROGRAM APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:
- All persons wishing to participate in the Ride-Along Program must be at least 18 years of age and be subject to a background review.
- A completed Application for Ride-Along shall be submitted at least two (2) weeks in advance of the preferred ride-along date. Submitting a request does not guarantee approval. Applicants shall be notified in writing if the request is denied.
- Approval is determined by any of the following criteria:
a. Required mandatory continuing education for public service providers
b. Kern County EMS required educational development of emergency services students
c. Approved by the Fire Chief
- Prior to the approval and scheduling of the Ride-Along, you will be required to sign the Ride-Along Program Rules, Hold Harmless, and Confidentiality Agreements. Participants must have a valid photo ID or current driver’s license with them when reporting for their scheduled ride-along.
- Applicants who are currently in the Kern County Fire Department application or pre-employment screening process are NOT eligible.
- Date, time, and station preferences shall be accommodated when possible.
- Participants shall be limited to one ride-along per year unless otherwise specified by Kern County EMS requirements.
WHO DO I CONTACT IF I WANT TO PARTICIPATE?
Complete the on-line Application for After the application has been submitted, our Investigation Bureau will conduct a background check and interview. At that time you will be asked to sign the Ride-Along Program Rules, Hold Harmless, and Confidentiality Agreements. The Ride –Along shall be scheduled no less than two weeks after all of the forms are signed.
HOW LONG CAN I RIDE AT A TIME?
Ride–along tours will generally be limited to a two (2) hour minimum, up to a maximum of 12 hours, subject to the discretion of a chief officer or his designee. The hours shall be between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.
COULD I GET HURT?
Firefighter duties are inherently dangerous and emergency scenes can be chaotic. Department personnel shall emphasize efforts to ensure the safety of program participants at all times and such efforts require the participants to follow the orders and directions of the Fire Department Officer in Charge (OIC) exactly, and without question. Upon any concern for the safety of the participant, the OIC shall determine the best course of action which may require the participant be dropped off at a safe location and the Ride-Along be terminated. In such an occurrence, the participant shall be provided clear instructions of the arrangements for them to be picked up and transported to the appropriate location.
WHAT ABOUT MEALS?
Meal arrangements will be the participant’s responsibility. You should bring enough money for food/drinks, snacks, etc.
CAN I BRING A CAMERA?
Due to questions of “Right to Privacy”, no cameras or tape recorders are allowed during emergency activities. Exceptions may be made for non-emergency working environments but only with specific approval and direction from the OIC.
A criminal record may be cause to have your application denied.