Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training

Program: FIRE
Credential: Ontario College Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Length: 1 Year
Duration: 3 Semesters
Effective: Fall 2017, Winter 2018
Location: Barrie


In this program, students gain the knowledge and skills of basic fire science, fire suppression principles and practice, first responder emergency care, and fire prevention and public education. This program also provides students with specialty knowledge in confined space and water and ice rescue.

This three semester program meets the following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards:

NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications: Firefighter I and Firefighter II,

NFPA 472, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents,

NFPA 1006, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents.

Career Opportunities

Successful graduates may find employment opportunities in the following areas:

  • professional firefighting,
  • fire inspection,
  • fire prevention and public education,
  • private fire service,
  • Ministry of Natural Resources, and
  • as volunteer firefighters.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • outline and perform the safe operation and wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • describe and practice the proper use of firefighting and emergency response tools and equipment;
  • define and apply safe operating principles and practices when responding to emergency situations;
  • utilize effective communication skills, both verbally and in writing, using common fire service terminology;
  • incorporate social entrepreneurship skills and volunteerism to foster positive social change in the community;
  • practice environmental sustainability.

External Recognition

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) endorses the content of this curriculum.

The Program Progression

Fall Intake 

  • Sem 1: Fall 2017
  • Sem 2: Winter 2018
  • Sem 3: Summer 2018

Winter Intake

  • Sem 1: Winter 2018
  • Sem 2: Summer 2018
  • Sem 3: Fall 2018

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.

Additional Information

Applicants must have an up-to-date immunization record. Also, a CPR Basic Rescue Certificate (Level C or higher) and Standard First Aid certificate must be maintained throughout the program. Students are required to submit a copy of both certificates prior to program start.

Applicants are expected to attend a group orientation session prior to the beginning of the first semester in September or January semesters.

Physical Fitness: Students must be physically fit to participate. A waiver and informed consent indicating the ability to perform the physical fitness and physical duties is required for firefighter training. During the orientation process students will be required to confirm that they are not affected by acrophobia (fear of heights) and claustrophobia (fear of confined space). If you are unsure of your health status or phobias, you should consult your doctor prior to entering the program as these may preclude you from gaining employment in firefighting. Students must successfully complete the requirements of the York Firefighter Fitness test or CPAT prior to graduation.

Special Considerations

Vision: Uncorrected Visual Acuity should be at least 6/12 (20/40) binocularly (both eyes). Corrected Visual Acuity should be at least 6/6 (20/20) binocularly. There are additional minimum requirements regarding refractive surgery farsightedness (hyperopia), colour vision, depth perception and peripheral vision. No marked degree of color blindness is permitted. Hearing requirements are normal unaided hearing at frequencies of 500 to 4000 Hz measured by audiometer.

A hiring municipality or fire department may have additional special requirements for those entering a career as a firefighter. Students wishing to pursue such careers should ensure that they will be able to meet the physical and educational requirements before enrolling. Potential students with a criminal record will need to discuss their personal situation with college counsellors before enrolling in the program.

Graduation Requirements

32 Mandatory Courses
1 Communications Course

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, a student must attain a minimum of 70% for each theoretical fire course and a letter grade of P (Pass) for each practical Fire course. 

To graduate from non-fire courses in the program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.


Mandatory Courses
FIRE 1067Career Preparation 1
FIRE 1068Introduction to Fire Service
FIRE 1069Firefighter Fitness 1
FIRE 1070Fire Protection Systems and Public Education
FIRE 1071Protective Equipment and Rescue Theory
FIRE 1072Protective Equipment and Rescue Practical
FIRE 1073Ladders, Ropes and Illumination Theory
FIRE 1074Ladders, Ropes and Illumination Practical
FIRE 1075Emergency First Responder 1 Theory
FIRE 1076Emergency First Responder 1 Practical
FIRE 1077Fire Grounds Practice and Testing 1
FIRE 1078Firefighter Fitness 2
FIRE 1079Fire Control Theory
FIRE 1080Fire Control Practical
FIRE 1081Hazardous Materials Awareness Theory
FIRE 1082Hazardous Materials Awareness Practical
FIRE 1083Emergency First Responder 2 Theory
FIRE 1084Emergency First Responder 2 Practical
FIRE 1085Fire Streams and Hoses Theory
FIRE 1086Fire Streams and Hoses Practical
FIRE 1087Loss Control and Fire Cause Determination Theory
FIRE 1088Loss Control and Fire Cause Determination Practical
FIRE 1089Technical Rescue Theory
FIRE 1090Technical Rescue Practical
FIRE 1091Fire Ground Practice and Testing 2 Practical
FIRE 1092Hazardous Materials Operations Theory
FIRE 1093Hazardous Materials Operations Practical
FIRE 1094Vehicle Rescue and Extrication Theory
FIRE 1095Vehicle Rescue and Extrication Practical
FIRE 1096Career Preparation 2
FIRE 1097Fire Safety Inspections for Firefighters
FIRE 1098Fire Ground Practice and Testing 3
Communications Courses
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.