We are registered as a private career college under the PRIVATE CAREER COLLEGES ACT 2005. The Ontario Fire Academy was created to provide recruits with the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge required to be a firefighter, while learning the social skills and discipline required to be a functional member of a fire department.
The academy is the vision of a retired fire captain. He wanted to create a learning environment that replicates a working firehouse, so that the recruits can learn to be a part of a functional firehouse while they gain their education required to become a firefighter.
The academy offers a unique experience in which recruits will live in a replicated working firehouse, where they will live as firefighters. This includes going to class and learning the knowledge and skills while doing station chores, cooking, and responding to mock emergency calls throughout their stay at the academy. For the entire time recruits are at the academy, they are expected to act as professionals and respect the chain of command as if they were working firefighters.
Chief Instructor and President, Larry Matlashewski
Larry Matlashewski began his career with the Brampton Fire Department as a firefighter. After 5 years on the job he transferred to Brampton’s training division, where he worked as a Training Officer for 2 years.
During his time as a Training Officer, Matlashewski taught new recruits and developed more updated and modern sections of the training manual. Although he loved teaching, he could not contain his passion for fighting fires, so he returned to the operations division as a firefighter. After working for many years on specialized teams such as high level rescue, auto extrication, and hazardous materials, Matlashewski became a captain in 1995. For another 13 years, he worked all over the city in some of the busiest stations. He was frequently moved to different stations because of his way of teaching new recruits and showing them how to be the best firefighters they could be. In 2001, Matlashewski wrote the District Chief’s exam and became an Acting District Chief. He worked as Captain and Acting District Chief until his retirement in January of 2008. After 29 years with the Brampton Fire Department, Matlashewski began to work on his dream of many years and the Ontario Fire Academy was born.