City of Bakersfield Fire Department City of Bakersfield, Official Municipal Website Join the BFD
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Contact BFD:
Bakersfield FIRE Department
Headquarters & Admin Offices
2101 H Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301


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Operations Division - BFD Swiftwater Rescue Team

The TeamThe City of Bakersfield is located in an area with several lakes, miles of canals and the fast-moving Kern River. The Kern River flows through parks and the city's bike path. These bodies of water are a source of recreational pleasure, but pose immediate danger to those that work and play in and around these bodies of water.


To provide for the safety of the public in the most expedient and cost-effective manner, the Bakersfield Fire Department has trained 158 uniformed personnel to Swiftwater First Responder level. Personnel are provided with shore-based rescue techniques and defensive swimming training in a swiftwater environment. This provides fire personnel with needed skills to protect themselves and the public.

Rescuing a VictimEQUIPMENT

Bakersfield Fire Department apparatus are equipped with personal flotation devices, helmets, and rope-throw bags for the protection of all personnel in and around water-related incidents. Future equipment purchases will include inflatable fire hose connectors and ring buoys to be placed on all apparatus to reach victims in low-head dams and provide flotation to victims in dynamic river/canal rescue incidents.


Bakersfield Fire Department's Swiftwater Rescue Team is in the developmental stages. The team is currently comprised of 12 members; one Swiftwater Rescue Technician 1 Instructor, one Provisional Instructor, and 10 interim instructors trained to First Responder Level.


The Bakersfield Fire Department 's hope is to protect citizens from water-related hazards. We are committed to do this in the safest, most expedient manner while utilizing the most up-to-date and cost-effective rescue techniques and equipment.

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