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Need Some Advice!!

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  • Need Some Advice!!

    As i am a newbie and this is my first post I would first like to say hi to everybody. I'm currently living in Canada and am trying to get on to the local fire department. However I would like some advice on what is the best possible way to go about doing this. Currently I have 2 options that i'm looking at. My first option is to be a volunteer firefighter for a town, just on the outskirts of the city where i live. The service last 4 years and in that time you are tought the NFPA 1001 course at no cost. My other option is to take a year long course which also gives me the NFPA 1001 as well as a EMT-A. This course would cost about $20,000 to take. Putting cost aside would the volunteer service be the better route to take or the extensive course which gives little experience working for a fire department. Any suggestions or comments would be very good. Thanks very much.

  • #2
    Free is always better than paying in my book.


    The volly certification is not always looked kindly upon by big depts. Even though you must attend and pass the same final exam at a registered fire school (in your case the JIBC Fire Academy), some people think the training received with a small volley crew is sub-standard. Many Dept's would prefer you have a "real" ticket under your belt.

    In my opinion, that's just politics. The volley crew should be good training provided the instructors are well certified, and if you border a medium to large city, you may see a good call volume all the way through your training. You may not get the EMT cert, but you will probably get exposure to a wider variety of skills not included in the basic FF1 program.

    You should probably consider your final goal. Are you looking to become a Career FF quickly? Do you want to work in the big city? Many big cities now require an EMT cert in addition to the FF1 to qualify. If you want to stay in BC, the OFA Level III First Aid ticket is a good cert for under $1000, beats the Fire Dept First Responder Program, and is the minimum required to work with the BC Ambulance.

    Your best bet may be to decide where you want to work, and call someone to see what they prefer in an applicant.

    But again to re-iterate, free is good.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



    • #3
      Welcome to Firehouse....

      Yes, anything free is a good. There are a few schools throughout Canada that offer good training. JIBC in BC as Mcaldwell suggested, there is Vermillion in AB, and MESC in Manitoba (which is the one I went to). Althought I did take a couple of courses at the JI. Like I really need deep sea tanker f/f in Saskatchewan?????? It was a small course to give me some hands on with the gear,etc....

      I will tell you about MESC(Manitoba Emergency Services College) The program is about 8 1/2 months long gives you 1001 & 2,EMT, Hazmat Ops, Driver Operator, Intro to Fire Inspections, Fire Service Instructor and a bunch of other little things. When I took the course it was $8200(tuition) but that included Hazmat tech and Airport Crash Rescue. It was a requirement for the dept I applied for. All in all it probably cost me about 15,000, but it was worth it. Everyone from my class got hired within 6months of completion. I was lucky and got hired a week after I graduated.

      The usual entrance exam and interview to get into the college as well as the CPAT(fitness test). Throughout the year the college puts out all job offers across Canada and some from the US. They continue for a year after you finish college. Although free is good, the certification is better if you want to go professional. I agree with Mcaldwell, talk to the local dept and see what they prefer.

      Hope this helps a little, email me if you like. [email protected]



      • #4
        I feel that the volenteer department is the way to go. School doesn't give that real world fire exp. Thats just my appinion....


        • #5
          I say start as a vollie. I got on a dept that paid for my schooling. and when i went and applied at a dept and they seen that not only did I have all the certs, that I had 2 yrs fightin' the devil they hired me. And I have progressed faster through the ranks than ohters that started with me. Thats just an idea.
          AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

          IAFF Local 3900

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          ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

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          • #6
            Why not do both.


            • #7
              I would do both if you can, it gives you the proper training with some experience.


              • #8
                welcom to the fire service

                hey welcome to the fire service and i will agree with the fellas that are telling you too do both if you have the want to you will accomplish your goals
                use your s.c.b.a. live another day
                [email protected]


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