Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training

Program: FIRE
Credential: Ontario College Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Length: 1 Year
Duration: 3 Semesters
Effective: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Location: Barrie


Immersed in a dynamic and challenging learning environment, students develop the the ability to perform the duties of a firefighter. Through a blend of both theoretical and hands-on experience, students develop skills and knowledge of fire dynamics, building construction, fire suppression principles and practice, personal protective equipment, emergency medical response and fire prevention and public education. Students also explore theoretical concepts and safety considerations in technical rescue disciplines such as confined space, water and ice water rescue, rope rescue, and trench rescue. 

The Pre-Service Firefighter Education & Training program meets the following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards:

  • NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications: Firefighter I and Firefighter II
  • NFPA 1072, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents

Career Opportunities

Successful graduates may find employment opportunities in the following areas:

  • professional firefighting
  • volunteer fire service
  • fire prevention and public education
  • private fire service
  • Ministry of Natural Resources
  • military firefighting
  • private emergency response companies

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. apply safe practices and techniques in the use of firefighting and emergency response tools and equipment;
  2. perform activities necessary to ensure life safety, fire control and property conservation;
  3. demonstrate the ability to safely operate fire department communications equipment, operating procedures, and personal protective equipment;
  4. communicate effectively using verbal, non-verbal, written, or electronic methods including recognized and appropriate fire service terminology;
  5. identify and use personal and professional development activities conducive to growth and lifelong learning;
  6. meet the ethical, legal and safety requirements of professionals in the fire service;
  7. interact with others in various emergency and non-emergency situations with confidence, professionalism and sensitivity to others and to the circumstances;
  8. demonstrate respect when communicating effectively with diverse communities and their members;
  9. use effective, appropriate problem-solving and decision-making skills in emergency and non-emergency situations;
  10. work efficiently with the other members of the fire service team, pre-hospital emergency care providers, and other emergency services related groups to provide comprehensive service in emergency and non-emergency situations;
  11. demonstrate the culminating role performances in the following areas: fire suppression, community education and fire prevention, emergency care provided by firefighters, environmental protection and special rescue operations;
  12. incorporate social entrepreneurship skills and volunteerism to foster positive social change in the community;
  13. practice environmental sustainability.

External Recognition

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

Program Progression 

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake 

  • Sem 1: Fall 2024
  • Sem 2: Winter 2025
  • Sem 3: Summer 2025

Winter Intake

  • Sem 1: Winter 2025
  • Sem 2: Summer 2025
  • Sem 3: Fall 2025

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology or Chemistry (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 for Prior Learning 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

Pre-Service firefighter students are required to provide a current Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC) from a recognized police service before the start of their program. Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned, will have limited participation in volunteer opportunities with local fire services.

Applicants must have a Standard First Aid and CPR Level C certification prior to beginning the program. Students are required to submit a copy of the certificate 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 medical clearance form must be completed by a physician prior to semester 1. 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.

Special Considerations

The fire service has very specific standards for vision and hearing requirements. Although not a requirement of the program, students should understand that the below vision and hearing standards are a requirement for employment as a firefighter. 

Vision: Uncorrected Visual Acuity should be at least (20/30) binocularly (both eyes). Corrected Visual Acuity should be at least (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.

Medical requirements

Firefighting possesses a unique set of medical requirements in order to be hired. Although each service may have specific requirements (which you should research), there are general guidelines within Ontario. We highly suggest that you ensure that you can meet these requirements before entering into the program.

View full details regarding medical requirements.

Graduation Requirements

21 Program 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.

Program Tracking

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
FIRE 1070 Fire Protection Systems and Public Education 42
FIRE 1077 Fire Ground Operations 1 14
FIRE 1099 Introduction to the Fire Service 42
FIRE 1100 Firefighter Fitness 1 42
FIRE 1101 Fire Techniques 1 Theory 42
FIRE 1102 Fire Techniques 1 Practical 84
FIRE 1103 Hazardous Materials Theory 42
Communications Courses  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
FIRE 1091 Fire Ground Operations 2 42
FIRE 1104 Firefighter Fitness 2 42
FIRE 1105 Emergency Medical Responder Theory 42
FIRE 1106 Emergency Medical Responder Practical 42
FIRE 1107 Fire Techniques 2 Theory 42
FIRE 1108 Fire Techniques 2 Practical 84
FIRE 1109 Hazardous Materials Practical 42
Semester 3
Program Courses  
FIRE 1110 Incident Management System and Communication 42
FIRE 1111 Fire Safety Inspections 42
FIRE 1112 Fire Techniques 3 42
FIRE 1113 Fire Ground Operations 3 42
FIRE 1114 Career Preparation 42
FIRE 1115 Technical Rescue Awareness 42
FIRE 1116 Vehicle Rescue and Extrication 42
 Total Hours980

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of one year (as stated above) may take a maximum of two years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document 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. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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