For over 20 years, the City of Auburn has operated a Student Public Safety Program. The program initially included only the Student Firefighter Program; however, the City has built on that program's successes by expanding to include Public Safety Student Communications Officers who perform E911 dispatcher duties and Public Safety Specialists who assist the Police Department with tasks not requiring sworn officers to execute.
These student program members are given exacting training and professional supervision. They are expected to perform their assigned duties and are held accountable for doing so. Graduates of the program are now working in careers and locations throughout the world. Some of the graduates are serving as military officers. Many are successful business persons, teachers, and current City of Auburn employees. While others are attending or have recently completed professional schooling. In each case, they carry knowledge about how local government works, an appreciation for having materially contributed to their own education costs, experience in demanding yet rewarding work, and the feeling of having successfully done important work in making their college town a better as well as safer place to live.
Program members are university or college students attending the accredited school of their choice as a full-time student. Depending on the division they work in, they may be required to work days, evenings, weekends, and/or regular shifts. They are given time off to attend their classes, provided required uniforms and equipment, trained to exacting standards, and are supervised by career personnel. Student program members are paid for all hours worked and are eligible for step increases based on certifications as well as their years of service. They may live in a fire station dormitory if space permits.
Auburn's Student Public Safety Program is a recipient of the Exemplary State and Local Government Innovation Award - National Center for Public Productivity at Rutgers University & Public Performance and Management Section, American Society for Public Administration.
- After training, Student Public Safety Program members must be full-time (minimum hours determined by school) college students for all but one academic term of any academic year.
- Student Public Safety Program members must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).
- Fire program candidates must display levels of physical fitness required to perform firefighting duties. Communications candidates must be able to make rapid, accurate data entry using a keyboard.
- Students are restricted to six years in the program as undergraduate students.
- Pay for hours worked and training.
- Paid tuition if assigned to a shift and earning a 2.5 GPA (semester) or higher.
- Step raises for longevity and acquiring advanced proficiencies/technical skills.
- Gain valuable workplace experience.
- Dorm space for living in a fire station if space is available.
- Uniforms and equipment are furnished for those whose duties require them.
- Training for required skills and advancement.
- Other benefits established by City policy.
Student Communications Officer Positions
Student Communications Officers work under the supervision of career Communications Officers. They receive and route calls for fire, police, and emergency medical services to the appropriate agency. During the calls for service, they maintain radio contact with responding units to pass information and requirements between units. They perform data input, maintain warrant files, make computer inquires, and generally assist medics, police officers, and firefighters in the performance of their duties. Student Communications Officers work varying shifts, ranging from six to twelve hours, and average about 30 hours per week. More work is usually available based on individual qualifications. For more information, please view our brochure.
Student Public Safety Specialist Positions
Student Public Safety Specialists are used to supplement City of Auburn Police Department staffing. They free sworn officers from many duties by undertaking the following tasks: writing tickets for handicapped zone and parking violations, giving directions, assisting with traffic control, data entry, assisting in records, etc. Student Public Safety Specialists are trained by career police officers and spend time working with field training specialists before being released to work independently. Shifts are primarily in the afternoon and evening hours. For more information, please view our brochure.
Student Firefighter Program
This is the longest running of our student programs. Student Firefighters are responsible for much of the staffing of Auburn's municipal fire protection system.
Student Firefighters are required to pass Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and interview for the position. Selected candidates will then attend a 14-week recruit-training academy, which includes Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Basic as well as Firefighter I and II. The academy is rigorous, demanding superior academic, hands-on, and physical fitness performance.
Students who graduate are assigned to fire companies based on order of merit of graduation and need of the Fire Department. Upon assignment to a fire company, Student Firefighters are responsible for fire suppression, rescue, prevention activities and other duties as assigned. They work under the direct supervision of an experienced Lieutenant. Student Firefighters typically work 24-hour shifts every third day, with time off during the shift to attend class, for a maximum of 96 hours worked every two weeks. Periodically, Student Firefighters are required to take a semester off from school and work Monday through Friday (7:00 AM to 4:00 PM) so staffing can be maintained while other Student Firefighters leave for class. During their tenure in the program, Student Firefighters receive training and education to further qualify them for greater responsibilities. For more information, please view our brochure.
Student Public Safety Positions Pay Table
|SFF Step I
|Entry Level, Recruit School
|SFF Step II
|Completion of Recruit School & Firefighter I Cert.
|SFF Step III
|Firefighter II Cert. with one year of service
|SFF Step IV
|Apparatus Operator Cert. with two years of service
|SFF Step V
|Firefighter II and A/O Cert. with three years of service
Student Public Safety Specialist
|SPSS Step I
|Entry Level, Basic Training
|SPSS Step II
|Three months and successful completion of basic training
|SPSS Step III
|One year of successful service
|SPSS Step IV
|Two years of successful service
|SPSS Step V
|Three years of successful service
Student Communications Officer
Higher hourly rate increases with foreign language proficiency Steps II - V
|SCO Step I
|Entry Level, Basic Training
|SCO Step II
|Completion of Basic Training and assigned to shift
|SCO Step III
|Completion of NCIC certification with one year of service
|SCO Step IV
|Completion of NCIC and APCO certification with two years of service
|SCO Step V
|Completion of NCIC and APCO certification with three years of service