On The Job


A photo of seven Huntsville Fire & Rescue team members in front of two fire trucks

Learn more about the various roles at Huntsville Fire & Rescue:

No two days are the same for a Huntsville Fire & Rescue firefighter. Firefighters combat and prevent fires, execute rescues, respond to emergency medical calls, and maintain equipment, apparatus and quarters daily. The day begins at 8 a.m., with each shift lasting 24 hours. One day might be spent on the roof of Huntsville’s tallest building and the next in a cave under the Madison County Courthouse. Firefighters are often in dangerous environments requiring intellect, composure and good judgment. A firefighter must maintain peak physical condition to complete tasks in restricted and confined spaces, climb and balance on ladders at fatal heights, and perform in more than 1000°F temperatures with zero visibility all within a moment’s notice. Firefighters must reason and communicate effectively, maintain awareness while multi-tasking, remain calm, manage stress and, most importantly, function as a team member. Firefighting is a time-honored career steeped in tradition and built around a sense of comradery. Firefighters risk it all to save lives and property to serve their community.


To be a fire driver engineer, you must be a firefighter for at least five years before being promoted. In addition to firefighting duties, the driver engineer takes on more responsibility within the department to better serve Huntsville. Their most visible responsibility is to safely transport crews and equipment to emergency scenes. He or she must have extensive knowledge of the assigned district and must be able to efficiently navigate an emergency vehicle to the scene under ever-changing conditions. When pumping on a fire scene, the driver engineer is continually calculating and maintaining appropriate water pressure for each hose line in use by their respective crew. Each morning at the start of their shift, a driver engineer must meticulously review each and every tool and function of their assigned fire truck, plus be familiar with several types of emergency vehicles in our fleet, including ladder trucks and fire engines. This daily inspection includes starting chainsaws, checking fluids, ensuring lights and sirens are functioning properly, and confirming the fire pump or ladder is operational. Due to the abundance of responsibility, driver engineers are constantly training and preparing for every situation that might come their way.


The fire captain position requires you to be a driver engineer for at least three years with a college degree or six years without a degree. You can also promote from assistant fire marshal to the fire captain position. The fire captain plans and schedules work assignments of fire personnel assigned to truck(s) on an assigned shift. They also ensure equipment and crew members are always ready no matter the situation. They make crew assignments involving fire suppression, rescue, vehicular extrication and HAZMAT releases and are generally the first boots on the ground at these incidents. Upon responding to these alarms, they make initial decisions to establish strategies and methods for fighting fires, providing medical care and requesting additional resources if needed. The fire captain directs personnel on the scene until relieved of command by a superior officer based on the incident.


The district chief role requires you to be a fire captain for at least three years to successfully promote to this position. The district chief is tasked with creating work schedules and managing personnel for the fire stations under their command. They’re also responsible for planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and supervising activities of an assigned shift, which includes managing personnel, training activities, pre-fire plans, plug maintenance, hose testing and oversight of major programs.
The person in this role must maintain discipline and ensure personal follow department rules and regulations and operate safely on an emergency scene. They also fill the role of incident commander for all fire scenes and wrecks with entrapment. This involves developing an incident action plan and directing subordinate company officers and fire crews to appropriate assignments to ensure the plan of action is followed in a safe and efficient manner.


The deputy chief position requires you to be district chief for at least three years. Deputy chiefs plan, coordinate and supervise the City’s fire suppression, prevention, training, communications, special operations and emergency medical services. They also review overall emergency and non-emergency operations of the major areas of the department. They assist the fire chief in preparing the annual budget, monitoring the department’s expenditures and assisting in budget control. The selection and hiring process for cadets is also a critical role of the deputy chief.


The hazmat/special operations chief position requires you to be a fire captain for at least three years to successfully promote to this position. This person develops and directs the planning and implementation of comprehensive programs to train Fire & Rescue employees in the standard operating procedures related to hazmat emergencies, confined space rescue, heavy rescue and other special operations. The hazmat/special operations chief also assists the incident commander on hazmat emergencies, confined space rescue, heavy rescue and other special operations. They also pre-plan target hazard spots as needed in Huntsville/Madison County response area and act as a liaison for planning emergency response between Huntsville Fire & Rescue and other departments/agencies involved in joint response to special operations incidents.


The chief of the department is the only position that is appointed by the Mayor. The fire chief is responsible for all aspects of Huntsville Fire & Rescue and sets the vision for the department’s future. Ensuring that Huntsville Fire & Rescue is adequately staffed, equipped and trained to safely mitigate emergencies within the City is the chief’s ultimate goal. They hold regular staff meetings to identify shortfalls to keep Huntsville Fire & Rescue on top of any emergency that may arise. Strategic planning is an ever-evolving component as the City of Huntsville continues to burst at the seams with growth in population and industry. Constantly in the public eye, the fire chief presents a calm reassurance to the public that help is on the way in their time of need.
Questions? Contact:
  • Phone:
    (256) 975-9447
  • Address:

    Huntsville Fire & Rescue
    2110 Clinton Ave W
    Huntsville, AL 35805

  • Email:
    Cory Green, HFR RecruiterCory.Green@huntsvilleal.gov

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