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  1. #1
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    Default Firefighting in Toronto??

    Hi,

    I'm interested in being a firefighter. If I complete a college program can I expect to find a job as a firefighter in Toronto (GTA)? Some guys have been telling that the job prospects are actually pretty grim.

    No point in spending all the time and money if there isn't a chance of work.

    All info is appreciated. thanks


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    A college program alone will generally not get you closer to a job. Many Ontario Departments require the Ontario Pre-Service Course, but that still only gets you level with thousands of other applicants. A degree level Fire Service program might help, but it is still only a very small portion of the process.

    The bad news is that it doesn't get any better elsewhere. FF'ing jobs are tough to come by anywhere.

    If you have the time and money, get your NFPA 1001/Ontario Pre-Service Cert, Class A or B Drivers License with Air Brakes, Consider Paramedic 1 or better (PCP or ACP), and get yourself in "Phenomenal" Shape. Also, get some guidance on how to test and interview.

    That would make you a good candidate on paper, but you still need to pass the tests, and the interviews. There are no real shortcuts.

    See here for more info on Ontario.

    Ontario Fire Marshal - Becoming a Firefighter
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    I'm thinking of teaching a year in Japan before I start to persue my goal of firefighting. Would you recommend I do this?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    There would be nothing wrong with that, and it might help you eventually in the "Life Experience" department, giving you some good situations and experiences to draw upon during interviews. Just remember, if you are serious about a FF'ing career you should keep in mind that you need to stay focused on personal development, knowing it will take a long time.

    Don't let that discourage you from a cool trip though, as several of my college buddies did the same thing, had a blast teaching engrish in Japan and China, and came back even more energized for college studies (and with a little bit of a second langauge of thier own to boot). Just don't let it lead to pointless drifting.

    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    I thought it might look better on my resume when I apply for firefighting. You mentioned that finding a job will take a long time. What is it exactly that sucks up all the time? I'm 25, active, in good shape.. I can see myself getting a couple of certifications, drivers license, etc. I suppose I could do that in a year. What else is there that needs to be done? Is it simply a matter of waiting for an opening?

    Thanks





    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell
    There would be nothing wrong with that, and it might help you eventually in the "Life Experience" department, giving you some good situations and experiences to draw upon during interviews. Just remember, if you are serious about a FF'ing career you should keep in mind that you need to stay focused on personal development, knowing it will take a long time.

    Don't let that discourage you from a cool trip though, as several of my college buddies did the same thing, had a blast teaching engrish in Japan and China, and came back even more energized for college studies (and with a little bit of a second langauge of thier own to boot). Just don't let it lead to pointless drifting.


  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeffd1
    I thought it might look better on my resume when I apply for firefighting. You mentioned that finding a job will take a long time. What is it exactly that sucks up all the time? I'm 25, active, in good shape.. I can see myself getting a couple of certifications, drivers license, etc. I suppose I could do that in a year. What else is there that needs to be done? Is it simply a matter of waiting for an opening?

    Thanks
    Basically waiting for the opening, and beating out the 10,000 other guys and girls who apply.

    In Toronto, you might see a dozen openings a year, and easily 10,000 potential applicants. You can remove half those applicants as ineligible right away, and another bunch as undesirable, but even if you make the cut for interviews, you will be interviewing against hundreds of other other guys for a very few jobs. Many of those guys will have excellent resumes, and possibly other firefighting experience.

    Assuming you are a good candidate, you may have to reapply through many cycles and interview many times before you make the cut.

    For example:

    One of my Volunteers had all the certs, and many years of volunteer experience. He was a little young, but a good candidate in every way. It still took him 6 years of applying all over southern Ontario to finally get hired with Brampton FD.

    My Deputy Chief has been working with me for 10 years on our dept, and also has every cert in the book by now. He is extremely experienced, qualified, and is in amazing shape. He has been actively applying for almost 2 years now with no luck. He has made the interview stage every time with different Dept's, but just barely misses the cut. He will get hired, but he knows it still might take another year or two of expensive and frustrating attempts.

    If you want it bad enough, you have to be prepared to work hard and wait for it.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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