The mission of the Santa Cruz County Fire Department is to protect the life, property, and natural resources of its citizens and visitors through effective emergency response, preparedness, education, and prevention.
The County Fire Department is responsible for structural fire protection, first responder emergency medical services, technical rescue, public fire safety education, and fire marshal services including inspection services for unincorporated areas of the County that are not included in an autonomous fire district. Volunteer firefighters make up the bulk of County
Fire Department staffing, with supplemental staffing from the California Department of
Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).
The County provides fire protection for Pajaro Dunes as a discretionary function through a contract with CAL FIRE. The fire station at Pajaro Dunes is financed by County Service Area 4 assessments. Though CSA 4 does not directly employ firefighters, workers compensation and volunteer firefighter stipends for training and shift assignments are funded through the budget.
Mutual aid and automatic aid agreements entered into between fire agencies throughout the County and the State allow firefighters to respond to emergencies across political boundaries.