Career firefighter recruitment
Career firefighter minimum qualifications
The requirements listed below must be obtained prior to the application deadline and maintained throughout the recruitment and selection process:
- Eighteen (18) years of age or older.
- Obtained their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (Grade 12) or academic equivalent diploma.
- Legally entitled to work in Canada
- Successful completion of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 Level 1 & 2 and NFPA 1072 or 472 Operations level (proof of IFSAC or Pro Board seal). A Letter of Compliance with NFPA Standards from the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office (Grandfathering) will be accepted in lieu of Seals.
- Successful completion of the OFAI Stage 1 Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test only (as verified by possession of a current and valid CTS Certificate). Please visit OFAI’s website to view the list of available dates to complete the test in Ottawa or Mississauga.
- Possess a valid Ontario Class “D” license with a “Z” air brake endorsement with no more than three (3) demerit points accumulated, or provincial and/or territorial equivalent.
- Possession of a current and valid:
- Red Cross First Responder BLS certificate; or,
- Red Cross Emergency Medical Responder BLS certificate; or,
- Are a current Ottawa Fire Service Volunteer Firefighter.
Please note, BLS (Basic Life Support) requires re-certification annually, visit the Canada Red Cross website for more information.
Candidates will be required to fulfill the following additional requirements during the recruitment and selection process:
- Successfully complete the Candidate Physical Abilities Testing (CPAT)
- Meet the medical standards of the National Fire Protection Association 1582: Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments (NFPA 1582). Ottawa Fire Services has adopted NFPA 1582 as a medical requirement in the evaluation of a candidate. A candidate with a Category A and/or Category B medical condition, as outlined in the NFPA 1582 document, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The examining physician will determine the candidate’s medical eligibility based on a review of all relevant medical information.
- Provide a criminal record check (Level 3 - Vulnerable Sector Check).
Recruitment & selection process
Ottawa Fire Services is committed to recruiting qualified individuals with a diverse set of skills, knowledge, experience, and backgrounds. To ensure that you are properly prepared, please review the minimum qualifications.
Please note: Prior career firefighter recruitment processes included a ranked list that was used for two years, this process is no longer in use. Application processes will now be posted as needed to fulfill staffing level requirements. Each application process is treated separately.
Step 1: Online Application
Complete the online application
Applicants will be required to upload copies of all original supporting documents (refer to the minimum qualifications). If an applicant’s documents are not received on time or are not valid, they will not be considered for the position to which they applied.
Step 2: Screening of Applicants
Applications are screened to determine which applicants are to be considered for an interview.
Step 3: Interview
Applicants who are selected for further consideration will be invited to participate in a panel interview.
Candidates will also complete a Predictive Index (PI) and Culture Fit assessments.
Step 4: Candidate Physical Abilities Testing (CPAT)
Applicants who are selected for further consideration will be invited to complete the CPAT
The cost to complete the test will be paid by the applicant.
For additional information about the CPAT, please view the related sections at the bottom of this page.
Step 5: Post Interview Clearance
- Criminal Record Check (Level 3 – Vulnerable Sector Check)
Applicants must provide an original Criminal Record Check document, obtained from your local Police Service, and receive criminal record check clearance from Ottawa Fire Services.
Should a candidate have a criminal record, a pardon can be requested and must be obtained within a specific agreed upon timeline.
- Background Check
Background checks will be conducted by the City of Ottawa.
- Medical Assessment
The candidate must be medically assessed by a City of Ottawa Physician. The examining physician will determine the candidate’s medical eligibility based on a review of all relevant medical information in accordance with NFPA 1582.
- The City reserves the right to request additional documents and eligibility of an applicant at any time.
Step 6: Job Offer
Successful applicants will be sent a written job offer.
Please Note: The assessment of candidates may include the pre-screening of candidates, resume reviews, interviews, tests or exercises, which may be in addition to any listed in this document or in the job posting.
Career firefighter job profile
The rewards of being a firefighter are extensive. The work is exciting and challenging. Below is a summary of key components of the job.
Summary of Duties
- Responsible to meet all the job performance requirements from the NFPA 1001 Lev I & II Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications and more.
- Responsible for all fire suppression duties necessary to save life and property. Combat, extinguish and/or prevent fires by rapidly and efficiently performing varied duties as required under emergency conditions (frequently involving considerable hazard).
- Provide emergency medical response and aid; perform rescue/extrication operations where necessary to prevent loss of life or further injury from any cause.
- Provide service assistance with respect to, but not restricted to the following: police, paramedics, other public agencies and the public.
- Responsible for maintenance of facilities and firefighting and rescue equipment.
- Responsible for upgrading to current standards and maintaining skills/knowledge and physical requirements of the profession.
- Perform duties in fire prevention, public education and communications as required or assigned.
- Responds to all emergency calls meeting defined standards, as directed.
- Drives and/or operates all fire service vehicles or equipment as assigned.
- Performs a variety of fire rescue related duties to protect the public and lessen severity of injuries.
- Lays and connects hose; holds nozzles and directs high pressure water streams, raises; climbs and works from ladders, and uses or operates all equipment associated with the control and extinguishment of fire or other incidents.
- Wears self-contained breathing apparatus and full protective clothing while working in noxious and/or smoke-filled environments and during extreme weather conditions.
- Ventilates buildings or areas to release heat, smoke, or fumes.
- Places salvage covers to protect property and prevent water damage.
- Performs overhaul operations to ensure that the fire has been completely extinguished.
- Performs a variety of rescue related duties to protect the public and lessen severity of injuries related to confined space entrapment, incidents at height or below grade, water hazards, industrial & machinery accidents, incidents involving hazardous materials, etc.
- Assesses and performs extrication of victim's involved in motor vehicle incidents and collisions.
- Drives, checks safety of immediate area, brings required medical equipment.
- Assesses situation/victim by taking medical history, visual and vital signs.
- Conducts appropriate intervention, including CPR, other first-aid as required.
- Assists paramedics - conveys information, lifts and carries heavy patients, etc.
- Manages crowd/by-standers/victim's relatives, etc.
- Performs various maintenance duties to fire services apparatus, equipment and department facilities.
- Participates in departmental training programs to be proficient, knowledgeable and up to date with respect to equipment and procedures for fire fighting, rescue operations, medical and other emergencies.
- Participates in public relations projects involving visits, demonstrations, parades, etc., as directed.
- Assists with on-the-job training of other firefighters.
- Performs inspections and assessments related to fire prevention duties.
- Provides fire safety and protection related information courteously and effectively to residents during fire safety campaigns, public information sessions and requests for information.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
To be a successful firefighter you must possess
- Effective communication skills (written and verbal)
- Strong physical, mental and emotional health
- The ability to exercise sound judgment and problem-solving skills
- Strong sense of responsibility and motivation to the service, team and public
- Compassion to those in need
- The strong ability to work and live as team member
- Respectful and inclusive of all
- Honesty and integrity
- A strong work ethic
- Physical fitness and be able to perform sustained and intense physical effort
- The ability to work at heights and in confined spaces
Candidate Physical Ability Testing (CPAT)
All candidates will be provided an opportunity to attend two CPAT orientation sessions within the eight-week period preceding a scheduled CPAT.
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) preparation guide
This guide was developed to assist candidates be physically prepared for the CPAT.