BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Whenever a wildfire breaks out, fire crews have to quickly mobilize their resources in order to save lives and property.
In Kern, that responsibility falls on the fire department’s battalion chief. Before a crew member can be promoted to battalion chief, candidates must first complete a simulated high-stress emergency.
Seven candidates for Kern County Fire Battalion Chief took part in the emergency test to see if they had what it takes to do the job.
KCFD Battalion Chief Jason Schillinger said, “As we go on these big incidents we have helicopters, dozers, crews, water tenders, a lot of different equipment that we actually have to manage at one time. The big grass fires we get in Kern County, these are managed by battalion chiefs in the initial action of making sure the resources are assigned properly and that we have enough resources assigned.”
According to officials, the test to becoming battalion chief is not an easy one and the pass level is usually 50-percent or lower.