Public Safety Programs

For over twenty years, the City of Auburn has operated a Student Public Safety Program. The program initially included only the Student Firefighter Program. Since then, the City has built on that program's successes by expanding to include Public Safety Communicators who perform E911 dispatcher duties and Public Safety Specialists who assist the police division 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, others are successful business persons, some are teachers, some current City of Auburn employees, and others are in 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, 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 for, fire, police, or communications, they may work days, evenings, weekends, or regular shifts. They are given time off for class, provided required uniforms and equipment, trained to exacting standards, and are supervised by career personnel. Student program members are paid for all hours worked, are eligible for step increases based on certifications and years of service, and if space if available, may live in a fire station dormitory.

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.

Program Criteria

  • 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 GPA.
  • Fire program candidates must display levels of physical fitness required to perform firefighting duties. Communication candidates must be able to make rapid, accurate data entry using a keyboard.
  • Students are restricted to 6 years in the program as undergraduate students.


  • Pay for hours worked and training
  • Paid tuition when assigned to a shift if you earn a 2.5 GPA (for the semester) or higher.
  • Step raises for longevity and acquiring advanced proficiencies and 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 Communicator Program

Student Communicators 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, communicators maintain radio contact with responding units to pass information and requirements between units. They perform data input, maintain the warrant files, make computer inquires, and generally assist medics, police officers, and firefighters in the performance of their duties. Student communicators work varying shifts, usually about six hours and average just less than 30 hours per week. More work is usually available based on individual qualifications.

Student Public Safety Specialist

Student Public Safety Specialists are used to supplement City of Auburn Police Division staffing. They free sworn officers from many duties that don't require a POSTC certified police officers to do. Tasks that these specialists undertake include writing tickets for handicapped zone and parking violations, giving directions, assisting with traffic control, data entry, assisting in records, and other similar tasks as assigned. Student 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.

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 Division. 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 Firefirefighters 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.



Student Fire Fighter

SFF Step I Entry Level, Recruit School $7.46 40-01
SFF Step II  Completion of Recruit School & Firefighter I Cert.  $7.67
SFF Step III  Firefighter II Cert. with One Year Service  $7.87
SFF Step IV  Apparatus Operator Cert. With Two Years Service  $8.09
SFF Step V  Firefighter II  and A/O Cert. With Three Years Service  $8.31 44-01

Student Public Safety Specialist

SPSS Step I  Entry Level, Basic Training  $7.46 40-01
SPSS Step II  3 mon. & successful completion of basic training  $7.67 41-01
SPSS Step III  1 yr of successful service and further qualifications that may be developed in the future  $7.87 42-01
SPSS Step IV  2 yrs of successful service and further qualifications that may be developed in the future  $8.09 43-01
SPSS Step V  3 yrs of successful service and further qualifications that may be developed in the future  $8.31 44-01

Student Communications Officer

SCO Step I  Entry Level, Basic Training  $7.46 40-01
SCO Step II  Completion of basic training and assigned to shift  $7.67 41-01
SCO Step III  Completion of NCIC certification w/1 yr of service  $7.87 42-01
SCO Step IV  Completion of NCIC and APCO certification w/2 yrs of service  $8.09 43-01
SCO Step V  Completion of NCIC and APCO certification w/3 yrs of service  $8.31 44-01