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Be the one fighting fires, saving lives, making a difference in keeping communities safe.

 

CAREER OVERVIEW

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.

 

CAREER PROSPECTS

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.

 

PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • 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

 

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • A minimum level of formal post-secondary education including specialized training in fire fighting

  • Clean criminal and driving records

  • Emergency medical training such as First Responder, Emergency Medical Responder, or Primary Care Paramedic

  • 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

 

PROGRAMS

Explore programs in this area of study

Interior Firefighter Operations


Interior Firefighter Operations


If you are a member of the fire service and want to gain the competencies for interior firefighting…

Fire Officer


Fire Officer


For experienced firefighters, JIBC’s Fire Officer program delivers the education you need to…

Fire & Safety Studies


Fire & Safety Studies


This academic program builds on the Fire Officer Certificate Program or the Fire Prevention Officer…

Fire Prevention Officer


Fire Prevention Officer


For those who work in fire prevention, JIBC’s Fire Prevention Officer program enhances your…

Chantal MacLeod didn’t hesitate to enrolJIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program allowed Chantal MacLeod to continue working full-time while pursuing her dream of a firefighting career.

PART-TIME FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM AT JIBC AIDS PURSUIT OF DREAM CAREER

Chantal MacLeod has always been interested in pursuing a career in firefighting but found it difficult to take time off work to do so.

For several years, Chantal has worked full time as a lifeguard and swim instructor at a local community centre.

Thanks to JIBC’s part-time Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program, Patrick Conley was able to pursue his dreams of a career in firefighting while continuing his full-time job as a carpenter.

JIBC PROGRAM HELPS ASPIRING FIREFIGHTER MAKE CAREER CHANGE

While Patrick Conley has a long-established career as a carpenter, he’s always wanted to be a firefighter. 

Thanks to the part-time Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at JIBC, he’s now making that dream job a reality.

Adam Iwama credits his JIBC training with helping him successfully transition from work in kinesiology to a second career as a firefighter. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

BE THE ONE FIGHTING FIRES

Every day on the job with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service, Adam Iwama is reminded of the lessons he learned during his firefighter training at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). Adam was part of a fire crew recently called out to a fire at a rubber mat-manufacturing plant.

Britt Benn, a member of Canada’s 2016 Olympic bronze medal-winning women’s rugby team, is all smiles after completing JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program. (Story and photos by Wanda Chow)

OLYMPIC MEDALLIST SEEKS NEW TEAM THROUGH JIBC FIREFIGHTING PROGRAM

It took years of work and dedication for Brittany “Britt” Benn to earn an Olympic bronze medal as part of Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team at the 2016 Rio Games. Now that her dream of competing in the Olympic Games is complete, she’s looking for another team to join.

Steve Oishi arrived at the scene of a serious crash where the driver was pinned inside. Thanks to his JIBC firefighter training, he knew just what to do.

Steve Oishi - BE THE ONE FIGHTING FIRES

Steve Oishi was working at the Big White Fire Department when the call came in of a car that had crashed head-on into a tree on the side of the road. On arrival, the fire crew found the dash had crumpled and pinned the driver inside.