Santa Clara County Fire Department

  • Senior Program Specialist - assigned to Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

    Job Location US-CA-San Jose | US-CA-Los Gatos
    Job ID
    Emergency Management
    Regular Full-Time
    Step 1
    USD $9,554.87/Mo.
    Step 5
    USD $11,614.00/Mo.
    FLSA Status
  • Overview and Responsibilities

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    Senior Program Specialist assigned to CERT


    Submission Deadline Extended:  Noon on Tuesday, May 29, 2018




    The Senior Program Specialist is a supervisory position that performs the more difficult and complex assignments including program management. The position of Senior Program Specialist assigned to Community Emergency Response Teams (Sr. PS CERT) organizes and directs activities related to community-based volunteer programs such as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and acts as a liaison between the Department jurisdictions and government agencies.


    The work performed by the incumbent is under the direction of the Deputy Director of Emergency Management.


    The incumbent may temporarily assume the duties of the Deputy Director of Emergency Management as determined by the Director of Emergency Management.


    The Sr. Program Specialist is a Fair Labor Standards Act non-exempt, represented position in the Classified Service.




    Appointment for the Sr. PS CERT is generally made at the first step of the salary range. Retirement benefits will conform to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Currently, classic miscellaneous employees pay 8% of employee contribution, which is tax-deferred. Public Employee Pension Retirement Plan (PEPRA) employees currently pay 6.5%, which is tax-deferred. 


    Current benefits include: Full Department payment of medical and dental premiums; paid life insurance of $40,000; vision plan; education reimbursement plan; direct deposit plan; personal leave; sick leave; vacation; 13 holidays per year; 9/80 Alternate Work Schedule upon request; voluntary deferred compensation plan; and credit union service. 


    Please click here to view a summary of benefits. 


    This classification is represented by International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1165.




    Please refer to the Senior Program Specialist job specification located at for more information.


    Depending upon assigment, duties may include but are not limited to the following:

    • Supervise, train, and evaluate the work assignments of the Program Specialist I and Program Specialist II.
    • Develop, prepare, plan, schedule, coordinate, and conduct training, and provide community-based volunteer support.
    • Ensure programs are in compliance with government requirements and ensure program goals and objectives are accomplished.
    • Prepare and develop community education, community-based volunteer programs, outreach programs, plans, drills, and exercises.
    • Develop, maintain, review, and revise elements of community risk reduction education programs, and/or community based volunteer programs.
    • Assess and evaluate local jurisdiction training needs; recommend and develop appropriate training exercises and programs.
    • Collaborate, liaison, and provide assistance to representatives from local government jurisdictions, businesses, homeowners, and volunteer groups.
    • Act as the Department’s representative to city, county, regional, and state working groups to include multi-jurisdictional coordination and planning.
    • Research and prepare written documents including correspondence, reports, standard operating procedures, evaluations, and recommendations.
    • May be assigned duties in other department programs at the discretion of the Director of Emergency Management and/or the Fire Chief.
    • Work irregular or protracted hours and respond promptly to call-backs.
    • May be assigned to the Emergency Operations Center during activations.
    • Perform other duties as assigned.

    Employment Standards


    Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work related to emergency management, education, public administration, business, communication or a field of study that is related to the work and a minimum of two (2) years in a full time supervisory position or three (3) years in a lead capacity in emergency management, emergency response, program development and coordination, training, community outreach, or any related field to the work.




    An associate’s degree and a minimum of four (4) years of which two (2) of these years are in a lead capacity in a broad and increasingly responsible full time position in emergency management, emergency response, program development and coordination, training, community outreach or related field to the work.


    Highly Desirable

    Certifications or training related to program management and development, CERT Train-the-Trainer certification, CERT Program Manager certification, CERT specific certifications and qualifications, certifications in emergency management, fire science, domestic preparedness, education and community-based volunteer programs.


    Knowledge and Abilities


    Knowledge Of:

    • Principles, practices, and procedures of emergency preparedness.
    • Federal, state, and county regulations pertaining to fire prevention, life safety, and emergency preparedness and response.
    • Department regulations and operational procedures.
    • Training principles, curriculum development, training design, teaching methods and instructions regarding emergency preparedness and fire/life safety programs.
    • Exercise design, delivery and after action reporting process.
    • Communication and dissemination techniques and methods; creative ways to communicate information via written, oral and visual media.
    • Computer software programs including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel to prepare statistical data, correspondences, written reports and presentations.
    • Basic budget management and development.
    • Ensure legal compliance of applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations as they relate to home, school and workplace fire safety, injury prevention and emergency preparedness.

    Ability To:

    • Supervise, mentor, and train subordinates.
    • Plan, promote, coordinate, and implement programs.
    • Use media production, audio-visual equipment, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods including alternative ways to inform and communicate via written and oral; use other training aids.
    • Assist with managing and developing the program budget.
    • Assist with emergency preparedness training and community education procurement.
    • Write and prepare clear, concise, and grammatically correct reports and correspondences.
    • Function independently and assume responsibility for decisions and actions on the various aspects of emergency preparedness services.
    • Maintain effective public relations with public safety organizations, city, and county officials.
    • Communicate professionally to both internal and external individuals or groups, and maintain a calm and professional demeanor in difficult situations.
    • Stay well informed on current fire prevention, life safety, human services and emergency preparedness issues and developments.
    • Establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
    • Work irregular or protracted hours, and respond promptly to call-backs.


    Working Conditions/Physical Demands: Requires sitting and standing for extended periods of time, primarily in an office environment; finger dexterity and the ability to grasp objects with the fingers and palm; climb, stoop, crawl, kneel, crouch, push, pull, reach, stand, and walk for periods of time; lift up to 25 pounds. 


    Required License: Possession of a valid state of California driver's license.


    Employment ConditionMust be flexible in work assignments. Assignment location, program assignments, assignment to a specialized function may occur and/or be subject to change based on the needs of the division.


    Pre-Employment Requirements: The candidate must pass a background check, Live Scan fingerprint, and psychological evaluation, and complete a medical examination.

    Application and Selection Process

    Interested applicants must apply for the position online by clicking on the "Apply for this job online" button.  If you have not previously done so, you will need to complete a user profile. As part of the submittal, you are required to upload your résumé where indicated. In the area titled “Additional Documents,” please provide proof of education and the completed answers to the supplemental questions listed below. The submission must be completed by the stated deadline.


    Supplemental Questions:

    Responses should be complete, concise and specific. Your detailed response will enable us to evaluate your qualifications more accurately.  Please address each question separately and be sure to include your name on each page of your document.


    Supplemental Questions:

    1. Describe your understanding of how CERT integrates with emergency management and your experience with program management for CERT and/or other community-based programs.
    2. Describe your experience with multi-agency coordination and collaboration. Describe the organizations you have worked with, the nature of the collaboration, the intended goal and end result of the collaboration, and what you learned from the experience.
    3. Describe your teaching experience with CERT and/or other community based programs including the elements of a successful training program.
    4. Describe your experience of curriculum/lesson plan research, development, and delivery. Include examples and the methodology you utilized.
    5. Describe your understanding of CERT’s appropriate role and function.
    6. Give an example, or examples, of your experience as a leader and/or any type of supervisory experience you may have had. Please be detailed.

    Submission deadline extended to: 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Incomplete or late submittals will not be accepted or considered.


    Based upon a review of the submittals, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the selection process. The selection process will include an oral board and teaching demonstration, which are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, July 11 and 12, 2018.  The final selection interviews are tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 30, 2018.


    Should you have questions regarding the position of Sr. PS CERT or the application and selection process outlined herein, please contact Debbie Kelleher, Management Analyst, Personnel Services at (408) 341-4460 or


    The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed of implied contract. 


    The Department is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



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