The moment that you decide to become a firefighter, you’re doing so much more than choosing a career path. This road will require you to take challenging courses, test your physical abilities, and dedicate your life to helping others when they’re in dangerous situations. As a whole, however, this career path is extremely lucrative and rewarding.

At Test Ready Pro, we provide individuals who are passionate about becoming a firefighter with the tools and courses that they need to adequately prepare for this career path. Are you interested in learning more about this career path and what it takes to commit to it? Keep reading to learn more about the firefighter career path and how Test Ready Pro can be a part of your journey.


Becoming a Firefighter

As with many careers, becoming a firefighter isn’t something that happens overnight. In fact, it’s more challenging than people often realize. Once you’ve graduated from high school or have received your GED, you can start working towards pursuing a firefighter career. The first thing you need to ask yourself, however, is whether or not you’re looking to become a volunteer firefighter or a paid firefighter. Both will vary in the requirements, but they’ll also alter the career itself. Let’s look into the differences briefly.


Volunteer Firefighting

Fires are a common part of nature, making it necessary for us to have a large number of volunteer firefighters to tackle them. While fires have always been a concern, they haven’t always been common enough for there to be full-time fire departments or firefighters to take care of them. This is where the volunteer firefighter comes in.

Volunteer firefighters are often training with the end goal of becoming a paid firefighter, though there are many individuals that enjoy being able to be of assistance when needed and have other careers on the side. The main difference between a volunteer firefighter and a full-time firefighter is that they do the job for free and only when their time allows. If you’re looking for a firefighting position that allows you to help others but also offers flexibility, then volunteer firefighting may be the best fit for you.


Full-Time Firefighter

Paid firefighters slowly became a part of town jobs once these areas recognized a need for full-time fire departments and the assistance they offered. While many cities would still like to have a reliable group of volunteers, many towns realized that in order to maintain a group of reliable professionals they needed to start offering payment. Years later, a paid position in a firehouse is what most people work to achieve.

Though having a team of firefighters is something that every town needs, being a full-time firefighter requires much more training and experience than that of a volunteer firefighter. There is a minimum standard that must be reached before an individual is ever able to be considered for a full-time firefighting position.

Depending on the part of Canada that you are hoping to be hired in, the demand for firefighters will vary, as will the responsibilities. If you’re considering working towards a full-time career as a firefighter, then it’s also essential to understand how your responsibilities will differ from those of a volunteer.

Responsibilities of a Full-Time Firefighter

At one point in time, the responsibilities of a firefighter were simply to fight fires. For volunteer firefighters, this is still the case. With full-time positions, however, firefighters have more responsibility than ever. In a given week, a paid firefighter will spend anywhere from 56 to 72 hours working on the job. This is what the typical volunteer will spend in a month, sometimes a year. In the time spent throughout a week, full-time firefighters are expected to help with:

  • Fire Inspections
  • Public Education
  • Hazardous Materials Response
  • Technical Rescue
  • Vehicle Extrication
  • Any Emergency They are Called To

Given that there are so many different scenarios that a firefighter could respond to at any given time, the training and education that come before the career are extremely important. For that reason, it’s crucial that all individuals seeking to find a career in this field are able to learn from a reliable source so that they’re able to be better equipped for the job.

Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter

Determining the level of commitment that you’d like to make to this career path is also going to determine what steps you need to follow moving forward. Given that most individuals we work with are going to be looking at becoming a full-time firefighter, we’re going to touch on the requirements that you can expect to come across when pursuing this career path.

The Bare Minimum

As with any career, firefighters are required to have a bare minimum before being able to even consider this as a career worth pursuing. Keep reading to learn more about the bare minimum that you need to have compiled before you can start working on the other components of this career path.

Highschool Diploma

As we mentioned earlier, one of the first things that you’ll need to have before becoming a firefighter is either your high school diploma or your GED. This is a requirement so before you begin to work on completing other courses, it’s always good to make sure that you’ve locked in this step of the process.

Eligibility of Employment

Becoming a firefighter in Canada is going to require you to prove that you are legally entitled to work in Canada. When you go to apply for the tests and start to apply, you can expect for individuals to ask you to prove that you’re eligible for employment.

Vision 20/30 Uncorrected

Having high-quality vision is important in this job, and it’s something that you’re going to need to have. Most fire departments are going to require you to have 20/30 vision without glasses or contacts.

Drivers License

Ensure that you have a valid Ontario “G” class driver’s license or the equivalent of the providence that you’re applying for. This is a must and can take time to acquire if you do not already have it so make sure to plan accordingly.

First Aid & CPR Level C

Full-time firefighters are first responders in many instances, for that reason Canada requires all firefighters to be First Aid and CPR Level C certified. These courses take place in many recreational centers and facilities, so make a quick search to find one taking place near you if you haven’t already received this certification.

Proof of Age

In Canada, it is required that you are at least 18 years of age in order to become a firefighter. You will need to bring in proof of your age when taking the tests and applying. This should be covered through your driver’s license but is important to mention before you go about completing any courses.

Physical Fitness Assessment

As many can assume, being a firefighter requires you to challenge your body in more ways than one. For that reason, it is required that a physical fitness assessment is completed before you proceed with the firefighter courses. CPAT in acceptable in most areas and can be completed in various locations.

There is a lot of learning that goes into becoming a successful firefighter, and it doesn’t happen overnight. In order to become a firefighter in Ontario or other parts of Canada, you need to complete certain courses. Depending on the area that you’re living in and where you’re hoping to pursue a career, you can expect any firehouse to ask for one or more of the following courses or tests to be asked for:

  • Pre-Service Firefighter Education & Training Program Certification
  • NFPA 1001 Firefighter I & II certified from an accredited program from a recognized institution that has been accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress or the Pro Board
  • OFM curriculum components 1, 2 and 3 with examination certificate
  • Minimum two years experience as a full-time firefighter in a municipal fire department
  • Minimum five years experience as a part-time firefighter in a municipal fire department

As we said before, this is going to differ from one firehouse to the next. If there’s a certain area that you’re looking to get a job in or you’re interested in learning more about the types of qualifications that you’re going to need to get hired on in a certain area — find out in advance. This will help you prepare for all of the necessary tests that you know are going to follow. The good news is, the courses by Test Ready Pro are created so that regardless of which test you’re taking, you’re sure to be prepared!

Taking the Tests

The tests that have been organized for firefighters to take is challenging, but it’s a good way for people to filter through the individuals that are interested in this career path and who is going to be a good fit. The tests are challenging, which is why you want to ensure you’ve properly prepared for this portion of the firefighter entry program.

Becoming an EMT

Depending on where you’re looking to become a firefighter, you may need to go through a few EMT courses so that you’re proficient in these skills in the case that you need to use them. Having this licensure is a requirement in certain areas, and not in others. For that reason, we always suggest looking into the area that you’re planning on becoming a firefighter if you’re looking to fast-track the process. Otherwise, this is just gravy on top when it comes to the application piece.

Attending the Fire Academy

The next part of the process of becoming a firefighter is going to be the fire academy itself. While the testing was a challenging piece of preparing to become a firefighter, the fire academy is a new challenge all in itself. This portion of your career journey is going to help you learn everything that you truly need to do the job. From hands-on learning where you gain an understanding of the truck, equipment, and uniform, to classroom pieces where you practice situational responses, you’re going to gain a lot of knowledge.

There are still, however, certain topics that aren’t covered in the firehouse that could be beneficial for firefighters to know and are, at times, necessary in order for promotional moves. If you’re interested in these types of classes, then you’re going to want to look into additional classes that could help boost your career. We’ll cover that a little more in our next point.

Additional Credentials

After everything that we’ve mentioned, there is still more to take into consideration. With how competitive certain areas can be, it’s important to know what types of opportunities you can take advantage of to make sure that you stand out from other applicants.

Higher Level of EMS Training

First aid and overall EMS training are extremely beneficial for firefighters to have. If you’ve taken courses in EMS prior to applying for a firefighting position, you’re definitely going to stand out from the crowd. These skills are very beneficial in this type of career.

Additional Education

As always, additional education on the subject is never going to hurt an individual searching for a job. The same goes for firefighting. If you’ve chosen to pursue further education on the career and have been able to gain a deeper understanding of the job itself, you’re only going to heighten the chances of you being hired.

Experience

You may have expected it, but having experience with this field is another piece that will help you stand out from the crowd. Whether you’ve worked in an industry that’s related to the field such as fire suppression, emergency medical or fire prevention, or you’ve volunteered prior, you’re going to have an upper hand on the hiring process.

Multi-Lingual

Speaking different languages is a huge benefit to working in just about every industry now. Firefighters come across various types of people and languages on a daily basis in emergency situations. If you’re able to communicate in more than one way, you’ll see that your ability to speak multiple languages is noted.

Other Areas

Now that we’ve mentioned the bare minimum and the different components of courses and tests that need to be completed, it’s time to talk about a few of the changes and steps that you’ll need to take in order to ensure that you’re fit for the job.

Overall Health

Your health and wellness are going to play a big part in your performance as a firefighter. Before you ever begin to work towards this career you should start prioritizing your physical wellbeing. This includes but is not limited to your diet and routine exercise. It’s important that you are ensuring you are in the best shape possible before you start chasing after this dream because it’s going to make a big difference on how well you perform.

Clean Lifestyle

Firefighters are a huge part of society and they have an image to uphold. If you’re working towards becoming a firefighter you will want to make sure that the lifestyle that you’re living fits into the image that you will one day represent. For the most part, make sure that the way you are living your life shows firehouses the type of employee that they would be hiring.

Time Frame

Depending on the position that you’re hoping to achieve, the experience that you’ve already acquired and the amount of work that you still need to do. For some the application could start immediately depending on how much preparation you’ve done. If you’re just beginning to prepare for this career, then the process could take a bit longer. Unfortunately, the process can become even more tedious and drawn out if you’re not passing the tests in a timely manner.

If you haven’t built up a strong foundation before your application process, and you’re anticipating a longer time period of preparation then it’s absolutely crucial that you find a course that can ensure you get all of the information you need the first time around. The firefighter courses by Test Ready Pro are designed so that you can feel confident and prepared regardless of the test that you’re going to be taking. If you want to be as efficient as possible, these types of courses are going to be your best bet.

About Test Ready Pro

Testing for certain careers can be a challenge. Over 80 percent of applicants will fail the first time that they take the written test, and that’s the last thing that you want to hear when the test you’re taking will affect your career. Some of the tests that we see people struggle with are the PATI test, firefighter CPS test, or the CFAT test, all challenging tests — if you’re not properly prepared for them.

Test Ready Pro provides individuals that are passionate about pursuing these career paths with the assistance that they need to prepare for the tests required to proceed. Depending on the route that you’re planning to take, our team will help you find the course that makes the most sense.

Having worked with active Police Constables, Fire Captains, Firefighters, Recruiting Officers and other individuals in all of these fields, we’re able to compose the materials that you need to succeed while ensuring that they’re accurate and will help you become the best firefighter that you can be. Our resources cover everything that these tests will challenge you with and are designed to ultimately ensure that you’re prepared for what this career is going to entail.

Test Ready Pro is currently offering a couple of classes that help individuals who are interested in becoming a firefighter prepare for the tests. The standard course that we offer is going to be our Firefighter Testing & Career Preparation Course. The second course that we offer for this profession is the Hazmat Operations Level 1 Test Review. Learn a little bit more about these courses below.

Firefighter Testing & Career Preparation Course

There are quite a few tests that need to be completed in order to receive your firefighter certificate. From the mental health tests to the leadership certificate courses, Test Ready Pro has designed a firefighter course that prepares you for all of the tests that you can expect to take along the way. If you want to walk into each of your testing dates with confidence, then we strongly suggest signing up for this course.

Our team has designed a curriculum that will help you pass the Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Mississauga and other Canadian fire department testings. Achieve your best score possible by preparing for the course and ensuring that you know what to expect when you walk in on the day of the test. Don’t wait any longer to get started on test preparation.

Enroll Today!

Hazmat Operations Level 1 Test Review

For firefighters that are looking to build a successful career, the hazmat operations test is going to be a must. This test is shown to be one of the harder tests for Ontario Firefighter Certification. If this is something that you’re going to be completing, we always suggest taking the time to sign up for this course and ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the topics and components that will be covered on the exam. Sign up now!

Enroll Today!

The journey to pursuing a career as a firefighter is not an easy one, but it’s worth it. If you’re passionate about becoming a firefighter and you’re ready to get started, let Test Ready Pro help. Enroll in the courses that we have created and prepare yourself for the test that you’ll need to pass to move forward in the hiring process. The team that we have built and the resources that we use allow for us to ensure these courses can provide you with the information that you need to succeed.

Contact our team today if you’re interested in learning more or if you have any questions or concerns regarding the courses that we offer. A member of our team would be more than happy to help you or direct you to the course that best satisfies your career needs.

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