Important Message to Ontario Students Who are Studying, or Considering Studying, to Become a Firefighter in the Province of Ontario
To be a firefighter in the Province of Ontario, it is recommended that the candidate complete the pre-service firefighter program. In Ontario, the only entity with the authority to test for and provide students with the required certification is the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. There may be other, non-accredited firefighter training available in Ontario, however the Ontario Fire Marshal will not recognize their training.
The only Firefighter programs which are designed to lead to National Fire Prevention Association certification as approved by the Ontario Fire Marshal are provided by:
A local Fire Service;
The Ontario Fire College;
A College of Applied Arts and Technology, or:
A private career college registered by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and approved to deliver the Firefighter program.
If you want to find out which Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology are approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and the OFMEM to offer Firefighter Programs in Ontario, which can lead to NFPA certification please go to the following link:
To find out which Private Career Colleges are approved by the Ontario Fire Marshal and the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges to offer Firefighter Programs leading to NFPA certification in Ontario, please go to the following link:
Trainers other than the Ontario Fire College, your local Fire Service, or those schools identified by the above links cannot provide training which leads to NFPA certification in Ontario.
You may become aware of some “Private Trainers” which offer specialized programs such as Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, etc. You need to be aware that programs offered by these Private Trainers are not recognized by the Ontario Fire Marshal and cannot lead to NFPA certification. Furthermore, these trainers are not registered with, nor are their programs approved by, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development or the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.
Five fatalities involving training of this type are known to have occurred in Canada; two of which have occurred in Ontario.
We strongly urge students forego such training until such time as they have been employed by a local Fire Service for a reasonable period, and have been identified by their employer as a suitable candidate for such high-risk, high-stress assignments.
Participating in such training will not increase your chances of being hired by a Fire Service.
Regardless of whether you train as an employee of a Local Fire Service, attend a College of Applied Arts and Technology, or attend a Private Career College, several training options are available to you which can provide you with the basic skills and knowledge needed to embark on a challenging and rewarding career as a firefighter in the Province of Ontario.