Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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Unit Group

4312 Firefighters

Firefighters carry out firefighting and fire prevention activities, and assist in other emergencies. They are employed by municipal, provincial and federal governments and by large industrial establishments that have internal firefighting services.

Example Titles

airport firefighter
fire captain
firefighter
firefighter, shipboard
industrial firefighter
lieutenant, firefighters

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Main duties


Firefighters perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Respond to fire alarms and other calls for assistance, such as automobile and industrial accidents, bomb threats and other emergencies
  • Rescue victims from burning buildings and accident sites
  • Control and extinguish fires using manual and power equipment, such as axes, water hoses, aerial ladders and hydraulic equipment and various firefighting chemicals
  • Administer first aid and other assistance
  • Ensure proper operation and maintenance of firefighting equipment
  • Prepare written reports on fire incidents
  • Inform and educate the public on fire prevention
  • Train to maintain high level of physical fitness
  • Assist the public, the police and emergency organizations during times of major disasters
  • May participate as members of a trauma or emergency response team and provide paramedical aid to accident victims or ill persons
  • May supervise and co-ordinate the work of other firefighters
  • May conduct building inspections to ensure compliance with fire code.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a college program in fire protection technology, fire science or a related field may be required.
  • Firefighting and emergency medical care training courses are provided and vary in length depending on the requirements of different fire departments or services.
  • An apprenticeship training program for firefighters and voluntary trade certification is available in New Brunswick.
  • Experience as a volunteer firefighter may be an advantage.
  • Physical agility, strength, fitness and vision requirements must be met.
  • Several years of experience are required for senior firefighters, such as lieutenants and captains.

Additional information

  • Progression to senior positions such as fire chief is possible with additional training and several years of experience.

Classified elsewhere

  • Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers (0432)
  • Forest firefighters (in 8422 Silviculture and forestry workers )
  • Paramedics (in 3234 Paramedical occupations )

Classification Structure - 4