The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Endorses the Pre Service Firefighter Education and Training Program

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    Sep 01, 2014
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The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Endorses the Pre Service Firefighter Education and Training Program Photo by Jason White

According to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) "there are numerous candidates applying for firefighter positions with the full-time service throughout Ontario. As a result, candidates possessing qualifications including theory and basic firefighting skills have a better chance of being successful in the hiring process." More specifically, this prep can be completed through a program such as Centennial College's Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training. This program was developed through a partnership with the OAFC, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM,) and the fire service.

As the OAFC sees it, Pre-Service graduates receive: a respected community college certificate upon successful completion of the program; standardized training from a recognized college program within the Ontario provincial educational system; and general education credits transferable to other programs. They are also eligible, upon successful completion of the course and upon being hired by a fire service in Ontario, to apply for and receive the Ontario Fire College "Firefighter Certificate of Achievement."

Centennial College's firefighter program is completed in three semesters that are full of practical training from qualified instructors, in smaller group-teaching scenarios that allow for one-on-one time. The reason hands-on training is so essential to future firefighters is that their job in the field requires them to be ready for any scenario.

For example, students of this program learn to suppress fire, understand the role of the firefighter in emergency patient care, environmental protection and special rescue operations; safe practices and techniques with fire department apparatus, tools and equipment; communicate effectively using verbal, non-verbal, written or electronic methods including recognized and appropriate fire service terminology; use effective and appropriate problem-solving and decision-making skills in emergency and non-emergency situations; and work effectively with other members of the fire service team, pre-hospital emergency care providers and other emergency service-related groups to provide comprehensive service in emergency and non-emergency situations.

As mentioned due to the nature of the industry, each firefighter course contains hands-on elements and many are completed in Centennial's state-of-the-art patient care lab. This facility contains the tools that firefighters use to rescue and revive people as well as dummies on which students practice. To take the practical application a step further, students participate in a range of various activities and live fire training at the Toronto Fire Academy and other Toronto Fire Services training facilities.

Among the specific courses in this program are: Introduction to Fire Service, Fire Ground Operations, Fitness, Fire Equipment, Fire Safety Inspection, Professional Preparation and more.

Author's Profile

Authors article about Centennial College's Pre-service Firefighter Education and Training program documents that the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs recognizes that students who partake have an advantage when launching their careers.

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