A group of Georgian College firefighting students in uniform holding a hose and spraying water on a fire outdoors

Prepare for a career in firefighting and public safety

Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training Ontario College Certificate program

Practise ice water rescue. Work on Class A fires. Our program meets NFPA standards so you can work anywhere in Canada.

Program code FIRE
Duration 3 Semesters
Credential Ontario College Certificate
Delivery Full-time

Program information

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.

Intake information

Start date Campus
Winter 2022 Barrie
Fall 2022 Barrie

Tuition and fees

What are the admission requirements for the Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training program?

Please note:

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

Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training 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: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

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.

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.

What career paths can I take in firefighting?

Your Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training certificate gives you many 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

What courses are included in the Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training certificate program?

Course overview

21 Program Courses
1 Communications Course

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training program outline.

  • FIRE 1070 – Fire Protection Systems and Public Education
  • FIRE 1077 – Fire Ground Operations 1
  • FIRE 1099 – Introduction to the Fire Service
  • FIRE 1100 – Firefighter Fitness 1
  • FIRE 1101 – Fire Techniques 1 Theory
  • FIRE 1102 – Fire Techniques 1 Practical
  • FIRE 1103 – Hazardous Materials Theory
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.

Do you have questions about Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training? Contact us!

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