Be the one fighting fires, saving lives, making a difference in keeping communities safe.
Firefighting is one of the most respected professions in the world. As a firefighter, you are dedicated to helping others and keeping your community safe. You help save lives when people and property are at risk.
Over the years, the Fire Service has evolved and grown to include various roles and responsibilities above and beyond structural fire suppression. In addition to often being first on the scene of a vehicle crash on the road, they are trained to provide emergency medical services, automobile extraction, hazardous materials response, technical rescues, conduct fire investigations and provide fire prevention education.
Depending on the size of a fire department, they may also have additional specialized units. For example, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services also has a marine firefighting unit, a wildland firefighting team, and a specialized urban search and rescue team that is one of four Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) teams in Canada.
There are more than 25,000 career firefighters in Canada, and the fire service is always looking for new recruits as members retire and communities grow. Over the next 10 years, the Fire Service in BC will require new recruits to replace the nearly 60% of firefighters who will be retiring over the next decade.
Fire departments strive to represent the community they serve. Women and visible minorities are encouraged to explore a rewarding and meaningful career as a firefighter.
In B.C. there are roughly 400 individual fire departments protecting communities of various sizes. For career outlook information for firefighters, visit the WorkBC Explore Careers webpage.
Given the competitive nature of firefighting, prospective recruits need to exceed a department’s minimum requirements and demonstrate that they are consistently enhancing their skill sets or experience to become a sought-after candidate. Most career fire departments require recruits to have completed their NFPA 1001 certification from an accredited institution, such as the Justice Institute of British Columbia. It often takes at least two to four years for someone who has completed their NFPA 1001 certification to successfully become a career firefighter.
Commitment to serving your community and supporting public safety
Ability to thrive in a team environment (ex. experience in team sports)
A life-long learner consistently looking for opportunities to maintain or expand knowledge, skills or experiences
Interest in taking care of their physical and mental health
Have a mechanical aptitude or skill
A cultural fit within the organization
A minimum level of formal post-secondary education including specialized training in firefighting
Clean criminal and driving records
Demonstrated mechanical aptitude (ex. training or experience in a trade)
Consistent demonstration of community involvement
Cultural diversity experiences
Experience in the military, and prior experience in the Fire Service, either as a volunteer, paid-on-call firefighter, wildland firefighter, or on a work-experience program, are additional assets
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