Fire Explorer Program

Message from the Fire Exploring Coordinator:

The Oceanside Fire Department is proud to offer this exciting opportunity to reach out to the youth members within our community. We are looking for highly motivated young men and women with whom to share our passion for public service. Thanks to the continued vision of many fine individuals the Oceanside Fire Explorer Program is now a reality!

~Captain Blake Dorse

The Oceanside Fire Explorer program is a hands-on training program designed for young men and women ages 15-20, who are interested in a future career in the fire service.


The purpose of the Fire Explorer Program is to expose Oceanside’s youth to various aspects of the fire service while developing character, citizenship and responsibility. The program prepares participants for the competitive path to a career in the Fire Department.


The Oceanside Fire Explorer program is comprised of 30 young men and women from within the community. Firefighters from the Oceanside Fire Department instruct and oversee program activities with an emphasis placed on youth safety.   At no time do Explorers enter burning structures, and they are never used in place of paid firefighters.


  • 15 - 20 years old
  • 9th grade or above
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Preference points are given to residents of Oceanside
  • Physically capable of performing basic fire service tasks (ex. running, lifting, climbing, crawling)


Drill nights are every other Tuesday 6:00 - 9:00 pm: Explorers are taught basic fire and life-saving related skills. Drill Nights combine physical fitness routines, classroom learning, and manipulative skills practice.

Fire Department, Charity and Fundraising Events:  Explorers are expected to participate in volunteer activities in addition to the weekly drill nights.

Explorer Academy:  Explorers will participate in a mini-fire academy where they will be taught and tested on a variety of basic skills. The explorer academy is held every other Saturday for a total of eight Saturdays beginning in February; 100% attendance is required

Ride Along Program: After six months of program participation, and completion of two task books, Explorers are given the opportunity to ride along on fire engines, trucks, and ambulances. Explorers have a unique experience, to observe first-hand what is required of firefighters operating in real emergencies.


Explorers will be expected to purchase their own boots (approx. $125-$200) and pay an annual $25 registration fee. Accommodations can be made for applicants experiencing financial hardship.

The remainder of the uniform and equipment will be loaned to the Explorer as long as they remain a participant of the program.


Eligible candidates may turn in an application to the Human Resources Department, located on the second floor of City Hall South. It is recommended that applicants attach a resume to their application. Applications will be accepted year round; however, selections will only be made once annually. Oral interviews will be scheduled for all applications received prior to September 1st of each year.

Applications may be obtained in person at the Human Resources Department, or online.

For more information, contact: Fire Explorers Email, or call (760) 435-4100.