Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training
Practise ice water rescue. Work on Class A fires. Our program meets NFPA standards so you can work anywhere in Canada.

General information

Program code
1 Year (3 Semesters)
Ontario College Certificate
Academic area

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2021 Barrie
Winter 2022 Barrie

Program description

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 acquire expertise in technical rescue operations 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.

Starting in fall 2021, this program will require proof of Grade 11 or 12 Biology or Chemistry (C or U). See program outline for more details.

For the fall 2021 and winter 2022 intakes of the Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training program, fitness testing requirements will not apply.

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.

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 Resource,
  • military firefighting, 
  • private emergency response companies

Admission information

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 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.

Admission details

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.


Program-specific Courses

  • FIRE 1070 - Fire Protection Systems and Public Education
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1077 - Fire Ground Operations 1
    (Semester 1 / 14 hours)
  • FIRE 1099 - Introduction to the Fire Service
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1100 - Firefighter Fitness 1
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1101 - Fire Techniques 1 Theory
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1102 - Fire Techniques 1 Practical
    (Semester 1 / 84 hours)
  • FIRE 1103 - Hazardous Materials Theory
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1091 - Fire Ground Operations 2
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1104 - Firefighter Fitness 2
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1105 - Emergency Medical Responder Theory
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1106 - Emergency Medical Responder Practical
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1107 - Fire Techniques 2 Theory
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1108 - Fire Techniques 2 Practical
    (Semester 2 / 84 hours)
  • FIRE 1109 - Hazardous Materials Practical
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1110 - Incident Management System and Communication
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1111 - Fire Safety Inspections
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1112 - Fire Techniques 3
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1113 - Fire Ground Operations 3
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1114 - Career Preparation
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1115 - Technical Rescue
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)
  • FIRE 1116 - Vehicle Rescue and Extrication
    (Semester 3 / 42 hours)

Communications courses

  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
    (Semester 1)