What it Takes to Becoming a Fire Fighter?

  • Added:
    Aug 05, 2014
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What it Takes to Becoming a Fire Fighter? Photo by Jason White

Firefighting is one of the most respected professions in Canada. This is because of the important role of firefighters in saving lives, property and environment, by carrying out emergency rescue operations.

Firefighting is a rigorous job and is certainly not for faint-hearted. Therefore, if you're considering a career in this field, make sure that you're physically fit, capable of handling immense pressure and dedicated to serve the community.

As said earlier, the job of a firefighter is not easy and neither is the process of becoming one. Hiring process is really tough. So, you must know beforehand what you're getting into. The job of a firefighter is to work effectively with other members of the fire service team and pre-hospital emergency care providers, in order to save lives, suppress fire and protect environment from further destruction. Most often, they are the first emergency personnel to arrive at the scene of fire and perform emergency rescue operations.

The job may include working at odd hours. The professionals are required to work in myriad of settings, including metropolitan areas, rural areas, forest, gas stations, airports, chemical plants and other industrial sites. During their regular work hours, they work at fire stations and make preparations to respond immediately to fires and other emergencies.

Becoming a Firefighter

If you're interested in becoming a fire fighter, you will have to meet the knowledge and skill outcomes required by the Ontario Office of Fire Marshal (OFM) curriculum in the areas of community education, fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency patient care, environmental protection and special rescue operations.

In order to gain the knowledge and skills required to build career in this field, you will need to have undergone at least a post-secondary pre-service firefighter program in Toronto. The one-year program provides you with theoretical and practical understanding in all aspects of fire fighting. The program runs for three semesters and covers a wide range of subjects, including Communications, Introduction to Fire Service, Fire Ground Operations, Emergency Patient Care, Fire Equipment, Fire Suppression, Fitness, Rescue Operations, Environmental Protection, Fire Safety Inspection, and Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action.

The course also includes professional preparation through firefighter pre-graduate experience. They receive practical training under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Studying Firefighting in Toronto

Numerous colleges in Toronto offer pre-service firefighter courses. But it's important to choose a college that is recognized and offers strong employment prospects. Centennial College's program in pre-service firefighting is delivered in partnership with Toronto Fire Services. Moreover, the program is in accordance with the approved curriculum developed by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal.

It combines theory and practical, preparing you to work effectively in a team to save lives and suppress fire. Simulation training is also provided to you under the guidance of qualified instructors. In addition to this, you also gain practical experience in ‘live fire burns' at the City of Toronto's Fire Training Academy and the Emergency Patient Care at college's Healthcare Simulation Centre.

Author's Profile

The author of the article discusses the role and responsibilities of firefighters in the first part of his article. He also writes about Centennial College's one-year pre-service firefighter course in Toronto that prepares students for employment in this field.

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