Contrary to the general belief, Firefighting is one profession that involves attending and responding to many emergencies and not just managing, fighting, and preventing fires. These other emergencies include performing rescue and search operations, cleaning up hazardous material spills as well as giving urgent medical attention to all injured persons.
Since firefighting is a business, it needs the expertise of people who can work tirelessly round the day leading, managing, organizing, planning, and performing administrative duties in their industry. Although, the administrative part of it would require people with leadership, analytical, interpersonal, communication, networking, broadly defined, and teamwork skills alongside the abilities to observe and adapt to every change that occurs in their working environment, relationship, situations and make good use of diverse technologies.
These days, there is formal education to being a firefighter and this involves attending one of the best firefighting schools. For Canadians and international students intending to pursue a firefighting certificate program, this article has been put together to help you realize the top fire fighting schools in Canada and where to take up fire and safety courses in Canada.
1. Carleton University
Carleton University can be said to be a fire fighting school in Canada, however, the course is being offered as Fire Safety Engineering. Fire safety engineering is a relatively new discipline that was introduced out of the need for qualified and professional fire protection engineers in Canada and the world at large.
Since there are very few universities in Canada offering this course, hence, Carleton becomes a top choice for anyone seeking a learning experience in the top firefighting schools in Canada. Also, in respect of that, Carleton University, with support from Forintek Canada Corp and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council- NSERC, founded an Industrial Research Chair in Fire Safety Engineering right in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. All these unique facilities make for a world-class learning experiences for students.
2. Centennial College
At Centennial College, the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program is well designed to meet up with the required preferences and fundamental skill requirements of Fire Services to make students employable as an operational firefighter.
A top choice in the league of best firefighting schools in Ontario, the institution offer fire and safety courses under the School of Community and Health Studies. With the approval of the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) and a curriculum developed by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), Centennial College delivers the Ontario-standardized Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training graduate certificate program.
3. Northern College
Among the best firefighting schools in Canada is Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology which is mostly known as Northern College. With its various campuses in Northern Ontario, this institution offers a program – Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program, that is designed to prepare students for a promising career in firefighting. This does not exclude the presence of many on-campus live burn faculties, which provide the best hands-on practice for students.
The three-semester program in this firefighting school will also help students develop the required skills and knowledge via many vocational training courses. Students also get the opportunity to put into practice the fire and safety courses they have learned through field placement activities and lab practice sessions. Amazingly, it is required of all students to buy the fire uniforms (for students) and other personal fire clothing items and boots.
4. St. Clair College
As a top firefighting school in Ontario, St. Clair College offers the Ontario Certificate program, which delivers students with the expected skills and knowledge in scientific principles of Fire Behavior, Fire Prevention and Education in the Community, Firefighter Emergency Patient Care, Fire Ground Operations, Rescue Operations, Environmental Protection and Introduction to Fire Service.
Once the program is completed, graduates will then be eligible to take part in provincial tests to meet up with the requirements for the Office of the Fire Marshal for certification in firefighting under NFPA 1072, NFPA 1001, and NFPA 1006 Standards.
For studying in this top firefighting school in Canada, the merits are as follows:
- Clair College work alongside 8 Municipal Fire Service Partners in Canada
- The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) give its recognition to graduates of Pre Service Firefighter Program thereby considering them as candidates for employment into the Canadian Armed Forces.
- All support and faculty staff of the institution are firefighters (current and retired)
- Access to Local Live Fire Training Centre.
5. Loyalist College
In June 2018 at an event held at the Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association Fire Training Complex in Trenton, the institution, Loyalist College, alongside the Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association made an official announcement of the school’s Fire Service Career Preparation and Development program (which is a Loyalist Board of Governors Certificate). The program, which is made available to students both online (via loyalistfocus.com) and series of hands-on practical training often delivered at the complex is designed for career and volunteer firefighters alike.
This two-semester program at one of the firefighting schools in Canada exposes students to fire prevention, scientific principles of fire safety, firefighter first responder emergency patient care, fire suppression, rescue operations, and environmental and confined space hazards. Upon completion of the program, graduates will then be eligible to take part in provincial tests to meet up with the requirements for the Office of the Fire Marshal for certification in firefighting under NFPA 1072, NFPA 1001, and NFPA 1006 Standards.
6. Fleming College
Fleming College is another top firefighting school in Canada. The firefighting program at Fleming provides students with not less than 60 days of continuous hands-on practical training, which is often delivered at the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy (EOETA). This academy is fully equipped and well established for fire and emergency services training facility as well as for detailed fire and safety courses in Canada.
Based on the standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the course content at this firefighting school in Canada include:
- Fire Behavior
- Incident Management Systems
- Hazardous Materials
- Command and Control
- Forcible Entry
- Auto Extrication
- Firefighting Survival
- Technical Rescue
- Confined Space Awareness
- Fire Attack Scenarios
- Fire Prevention Principles
- Fitness and Wellness
- Medical Training
- Public Education
- International Trauma Life Support (ITLS)
- Red Cross Emergency Medical Response (EMR)
7. Algonquin College
Fire and safety courses in Canada come in different kinds, at Algonquin College, it is offered as the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Ontario College Certificate program. This program is a challenging and dynamic one that focuses on building a student’s competencies and firefighting skills. At one of the top firefighting schools in Canada, this program is made available to teach students expertise and professional skills in firefighting via hands-on and theoretical approaches.
This program is strictly designed for students who:
- Are willing to/can work effectively as individuals or as part of a team
- Are willing to make a change in their society
- Possess a high level of self-discipline
- Are stable and active physically
- Are critical and analytical thinkers
- Thrive and perform well in challenging and dynamic environments
8. Seneca College
At Seneca College, the 12-month fire and safety course give comprehensive training that meets up with the set standards by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). During the training, students will be exposed to diverse training at different fire facilities and some on-campus training to help them master the required firefighting skills via hands-on experience. In the first semester of the program, it is usually expected of them to pass a Physical and Endurance Test.
While they (students) study in a top choice in the league of top firefighting schools in Canada, they would as well develop the following skills:
- Fire prevention
- Environmental protection
- Fire suppression
- Community education
- Written and practical employment exams
- Emergency care
- Special rescue
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Communication skills
Also, the following certificates are part of the merits of schooling in this institution:
- Emergency Medical Responder (Red Cross EMR)
- NFPA 1072 Ops Level (IFSAC)
- NFPA 1001 Firefighter I & Firefighter II
- DZ Truck Driver’s License (additional cost)
- EMR certification
- DZ license
- Fitness certificate
Most of which are prerequisite by many fire services as part of the application process.
9. Nova Scotia Firefighters School
Either you are a newbie in the field of firefighting seeking the best firefighting schools in Canada or you are seeking to enhance your present emergency response and firefighting skills via fire and safety courses in Canada, search no more! Nova Scotia Firefighters School is ready to give you the quality training that suits your needs.
The Pre-Employment program at NSFS is a twenty-one-week course, which is offered once annually. In the first sixteen weeks, students will be exposed to an intensive program that brings together practical and theory training. After this is another six weeks for on job training at any fire department where the recruit would be responding to real emergency calls. At the end of the program, students would have gained enough knowledge and valuable experience to prepare them for a firefighting career.
10. College of the Rockies, British Columbia
Last in the league of best firefighting schools in Canada is the College of the Rockies. Located in the ancient territory of the Ktunaxa people, which also homes the Kinbasket people, the institution serves the communities of the East Kootenays.
It is crucial to note that the institution offers handy firefighting courses within its campus with the aid of qualified and professional firefighters. Also, the first five fire bands of Canada are located in the same regional boundary as the College.