Firefighter – Canadian Armed Forces – 2019
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Firefighters prevent the loss of life or property due to fire. They perform a variety of tasks including aircraft rescue, structural, wild land and shipboard firefighting, automobile extrication, hazardous material, and confined space/high-angle rescue. Fire investigation, fire prevention and life safety inspection are also areas of expertise.
Duties and Responsibilities
The primary responsibilities of Firefighters are to:
- Perform rescue, extinguishment, ventilation, overhaul, and forcible entry operations
- Drive and operate all types of firefighting vehicles
- Inspect and test fixed fire suppression and detection systems
- Maintain fire department equipment such as ladders, hose, rope, breathing apparatus, extinguishers, personal protective equipment, and all associated rescue equipment and vehicles
- Perform inspector duties, conduct inspections, and project reviews in order to make recommendations and corrective measures
- Provide peer and public instruction and education
- Provide helicopter rescue and damage control services as a member of a firefighting team while onboard ships
- Respond as part of an Airfield Engineering Squadron
- Respond to aircraft cable engagements and provide mobile arrestor gear skills
- Perform emergency medical response
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
The minimum required education for this position is the completion of secondary school (or Secondaire V) with Grade 11 Academic Math (or Math 536 in Quebec) and one Science (Chemistry, Physics, or Physical Science) for Grade 11 or Secondaire V in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
Applicants to the Firefighter occupation must have a valid driver’s licence.
If you already have a college diploma, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Firefighter is a very popular occupation and, as a result, very competitive. Successful applicants often have additional education in a related field or previous experience as a full- or part-time firefighter. Applicants should be physically fit, follow a physical fitness program and pursue an active and healthy lifestyle.
All applicants are required to successfully pass the Firefighter Pre-Entry Fitness Evaluation prior to beginning training at the Canadian Forces Fire Academy.
Firefighters attend the Canadian Forces Fire Academy in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 7 months and includes the following topics:
- Operation of fire apparatus
- Structural operations at the site of a fire
- Fire and life safety practices
- Aircraft rescue firefighting operations
- Rescue during situations presenting special problems
- Operation of portable fire extinguishers
- Operation of fire apparatus ancillary equipment
- Wild land operations at the site of a fire
- Map reading
- Physical fitness standards
- Hazardous material awareness
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