Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training
- Ontario College Certificate
- College Code:
- Health & Life Sciences and Community Services
- Program Code:
- Accelerated Delivery:
- Academic Year:
- 2015 / 2016
About the Program
This program, supported by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs/Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, prepares students for a career as a firefighter. This program provides applicants with pre-service level preparation to compete for positions as a firefighter. The curriculum provides the requisite knowledge and skills for commencing a recruit program with a mix of vocational courses in firefighting, generic skills-based courses for enhancing job performance as a firefighter and the required courses in general education.
The program provides the student with the opportunity to consolidate and apply theory through lab and field experience.
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) through the Endorsement Review Board (ERB) endorses the program content of the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program. This curriculum is based on the Ontario Fire Marshal's (OFM) "Ontario Standardized Curriculum for Firefighters (2008)" which meets the body of knowledge and practical skills required to meet the job-related performance objectives specified in the Ontario Fire Services Firefighter Standards. Graduates of the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program are eligible to write the OFM Provincial Firefighter Test.
Length: Three-semester Ontario College Certificate program (also available part-time)
Location: Doon (Kitchener)
Start: September and January
First-Year Capacity: 34 September; 34 January
The three semesters are not consecutive. The September program runs Fall, Winter and Fall, while the January program runs Winter, Fall and Winter.
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or 19 years of age or older with mature student status (See Mature Student definition for details.)
- Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1270)
- Grade 11 or 12 Math, C, U or M, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Mathematics for Applied Arts and Community Services (MATH1405)
- One Science: Grade 11 or 12 Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Exercise Science, C or U, or equivalent; or Grade 11 or 12 Science (SNC3M) or (SNC4M), or equivalent; OR Conestoga College Preparatory Physics (SCIE1020), Chemistry (SCIE1030) or Biology (SCIE1010)
- For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading
Note re: Admission Requirements
- All offers are subject to verification of questionnaire information.
- An academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.
- Ten (10) additional marks are added to each Advanced level, OAC, U, U/C, and post-secondary course used in the calculation of academic strength.
- Applicants meeting minimum academic requirements (70%) are invited to begin the selection process, which requires them to
- complete a pre-service firefighter questionnaire. The questionnaire is intended to evaluate the applicant's understanding of the profession, record of civic involvement, and mechanical abilities. Applicants will be given the opportunity to indicate their academic preparation in the form of courses/training related to firefighting, medical, and other related fields. A passing grade on the questionnaire must be achieved to be eligible for the final selection.
- Final selection is made using a formula which considers academic strength combined with the questionnaire score.
- A sound English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission process. Minimum cutoffs apply.
- Practicum health and/or safety requirements must be completed in order for students to attend the practicum experience. This placement is mandatory for the completion of the program. Students who do not attend field/clinical placement will not be promoted to the next semester, which will ultimately result in non-completion of the program.
To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information which will be provided by the College:
- a clear (no criminal offences) Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS), completed annually
- Standard First Aid and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) HCP (Health Care Provider) certification; CPR is to be updated annually
- completed mask fit testing for self-contained breathing apparatus as required
- Criminal Screening: To be eligible for practicum, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which they have not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical and will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability. Offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada:
- In view of strenuous physical demands of the firefighter, it is strongly recommended that applicants acquire and maintain an advanced level of physical fitness including cardiovascular and upper body strength prior to the start of the program.
- Students are strongly advised to have visual acuity, colour vision and hearing assessed, and to ensure they are free of acrophobia and claustrophobia. A deficit in any of these areas may prevent securing employment in the fire service.
- Students are required to adhere to the code of conduct as found in the Pre-Service Firefighter Program Standards Manual and Procedures Handbook. This includes the need to exhibit professionalism, integrity, reliability, punctuality, maturity and strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- Students are advised that all competencies specified for this program must be met; therefore, attendance in class, lab and field placement experience is essential.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition: Please refer to the previous academic year program fee chart for an approximation as fees for the next academic year are unavailable at this time.
*Fees are higher for international students on a Student Visa. Please refer to the international program fee chart for an approximation as fees for the next academic year are unavailable at this time.
*Books and supplies are additional.
Financial AssistanceThe Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a needs-based program designed to help Ontario students cover the cost of post-secondary education. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies through direct financial assistance for educational costs and living expenses. These interest-free loans are intended to supplement your financial resources and those of your family. The majority of students apply for loan assistance via the OSAP website. Students can also print the application booklet through the OSAP website.
For more information, please visit Financial Services/Awards.
Graduate OpportunitiesGraduates are prepared to become firefighters.
91% of 2012-2013 graduates found employment within 6 months of graduation. Their average starting salary was $38,971.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Pathways & Credit Transfer
Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities for this program.
Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.
For more information on the PLAR process, please visit the testing website.
- Understand how to apply fire sciences theory and suppression techniques to the role of Firefighter.
- Demonstrate how to use the tools and equipment employed by fire services in a safe and efficient manner.
- Apply ethical, legal and safety concepts in a professional manner.
- Demonstrate respect when interacting with diverse communities.
- Communicate effectively making use of fire service terminology.
- Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills in a variety of emergency and non-emergency situations.
- Demonstrate effective teamwork skills in classroom, lab and practicum opportunities
- Apply problem solving and critical thinking skills to the role of Firefighter.
- Demonstrate the ability to co-operate and work effectively with fire services and emergency response personnel.
- Apply effective first responder principles and practices.
- Understand the importance of general education and generic skills courses as they apply to the role of Firefighter in society.
- Demonstrate the culminating role performances for an entry level recruit in such areas as: fire suppression, community education and fire prevention, fire fighter emergency patient care, environmental protection, and special rescue operations.
- Apply fitness training concepts that culminate in successfully passing the physical and endurance testing
Program Advisory CommitteesThe College appoints Program Advisory Committee members for diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs. Committees are composed of employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. College representatives (students, faculty, and administrators) are resource persons. Each committee advises the Board on the development of new programs, the monitoring of existing programs and community acceptance of programs.
For a list of the current members, please visit our Program Advisory Committees.
Apply NowDomestic students should apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.
60 Corporate Court
Canada N1G 5J3
Detailed steps on the application process may help you to apply.
International students should apply online using a Conestoga College International Application Form. Please note: not all programs are open to international students. Interested students should check the listing of open programs on our international students web page before applying.
For program information, call the Information Centre at 519-748-5220 ext 3656.