Firefighter Recruitment

Firefighter recruitment

We are a highly motivated, respectful and diverse group of individuals who are passionate about public safety and helping others.

Our member’s strengths as individuals lead to a stronger team. 

Calgary firefighters respond to high stress incidents such as structure fires, emergency medical incidents, hazardous materials incidents, and motor vehicle collisions. Our department includes specialty units: aquatic rescue, hazardous material and technical rescue teams.

Our changing culture


The Calgary Fire Department proudly serves a diverse population in Calgary.

Similarly, we are committed to building and sustaining an inclusive work environment - one that supports, respects, and values individuals for their unique identity, experiences, perspectives, talents, and contributions.

Learn more about how we are changing.

Our firefighters are community-minded leaders who are committed to public service, and exemplify pride, professionalism, teamwork and respect. We are coachable and customer focused. Do you have what it takes to join us?

Learn more about the process and requirements below.

Qualifications


Minimum qualifications

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalency
  • Have a valid Class 5 driver's license or provincial/territorial equivalent without a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) status and with less than 7 demerit points
  • Have been granted a pardon or record suspension for any criminal convictions.
  • Meet all our immunization requirements
  • Have a maximum of one illegal soft drug use in the past year and a maximum of three illegal soft drug uses in the past 3 years. Candidates must have had zero hard drug use in the past three years.

Pre-hire qualifications

You do not need your medical certification, CPR-HCP/BLS or professional driver’s license before you apply, however it will make your application more competitive.

You will need these qualifications in order to qualify for a Conditional Job Offer. Please note these standards may be changed due to operational requirements

Other desirable qualifications

You do not need these qualifications to apply, however, they will strengthen your application.

  • Post-secondary degree (if you went to school outside of North America, you must provide an assessment from the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada), or a journeyman certificate
  • Firefighter training
  • Experience as a full-time firefighter; including military, seasonal, forestry, paid on-call, or volunteer
  • Experience in Emergency Services or uniformed Public Servant roles (Law Enforcement, EMS, Military, Corrections, Park Ranger, Peace Officer)
  • Cadet Program experience (Fire, Police, Sea, Air, Army, etc)
  • Recent volunteering and/or community involvement (unpaid positions not including firefighting)

Fitness and medical requirements

Our medical and fitness requirements have been set to ensure safety. Our requirements are based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582 Standard.

Read the linked document disqualifying medical conditions, which is a basic overview/summary developed by our CFD physicians. This is not an exhaustive/all-inclusive list, but rather a summary of common conditions they see that require further information and may be disqualifying in some instances.

For a complete list, please refer to the most up to date NFPA medical guidelines for disqualifying medical conditions for recruits. For more in depth details, a copy of the NFPA 1582 guideline can be purchased from NFPA.org.

If you think you may have any of the disqualifying medical conditions in the Standard, bring the NFPA information to your healthcare provider to be assessed.

Applicants who are successful in reaching Step 10 of the Firefighter Applicant Intake will be required to attend a medical assessment.

Applicants with disqualifying medical conditions and those who do not meet the requirements may be deemed unfit to do the job (Sometimes the disqualifying conditions are in a grey zone, as are the guidelines, and do not necessarily disqualify someone).

Please contact the CFD Wellness Centre Physicians if you require further clarification on disqualifying medical conditions at: (403) 873-2352.

To prepare for the intense physical demands of recruit training and a firefighting career, you should have already made a commitment to life-long fitness and self-improvement in the areas of:

  • Flexibility
  • Muscle endurance
  • Muscle strength and power
  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Healthy body composition
  • Fundamental movement techniques (pushing, pulling, lifting, squatting, lunging, carrying, and dragging)

You will go through a complete physical exam and treadmill assessment at our Wellness Centre.

The treadmill assessment is a VO2 test, measuring your oxygen use, and requires maximum effort. You must reach a minimum of 12 minutes and 30 seconds on the treadmill while wearing a mask that will measure how efficiently your body uses oxygen.

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Recruitment process


Step one: Online Application & Pre-Screen

​The first step to apply is to fill out the online application. Application deadlines and the ‘Apply Now’ button will be posted at the top of this page, only when the application process is open. Please check back regularly for updates.

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step two: Fire Service Aptitude Test

Once your application is approved, you will be asked to write an aptitude test. National Testing Network is the aptitude test vendor utilized by The Calgary Fire Department. The aptitude test is a two part exam, with one section being virtually proctored. The fee for the test is $55 USD. Please note that the vendor is based out of the USA and payment will be made in US Dollars. For further details regarding the aptitude test, please refer to the vendor website:

Firefighter Testing with FireTEAM – Virtually Proctored: FireTEAM | NTN

Public Safety Self Assessment – Not proctored: PSSA | NTN

Practice tests are highly recommended and available using the following link: Practice Test | NTN

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step three: Interview

​After we have checked that you have the required qualifications, you will need to attend an interview.

We use behavioural based questions in our interviews and you will be expected to give your answers in the STAR format.

You can expect five to seven questions related to associated competencies.

Step four: Documentation Review

​When you reach this step, you will need to upload any documents that prove you have the qualifications listed in your application as well as your completed personal history statement. If you don’t meet the minimum qualifications before you apply, your application will be rejected.

If you have questions about this step, read our FAQ.

Step five: Applicant File Review

A Recruitment Team member will contact you to conduct a Pre-Screen Interview to assess job fit and preparedness. We will also go over your​ Personal History Statement (PHS) with you to give you a chance to review the document and answer any questions you have about the polygraph exam​.

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step six: Pre-Employment Polygraph Exam

​You will need to complete a polygraph exam to confirm the information you provided in your Personal History Statement. The fee for this exam is $500 + GST.

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step seven: Candidate Physical Ability Test

The CPAT has eight separate stations that simulate events at a fire scene. It is one of two pre-employment fitness assessments that measure if you meet our minimum physical fitness level. It also tests your ability to perform essential tasks at emergency scenes.

For more information, view the IAFF CPAT guide (including Appendix A and Appendix B).

If you have any questions about the CPAT, contact our Wellness Centre by e-mail at CPAT.info@calgary.ca.

​Completing a physical ability test is a requirement of the pre-screening process. You will have the chance to attend an orientation and timed trial prior to your scheduled test time. If you take this test in Calgary, you will have the chance to attend an orientation and timed trial prior to your scheduled test. The fee for taking the test at our facility is $200 + GST.

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step eight: Selection Committee

​If you complete the application process to this point, your file will be sent to a Selection Committee. They will review your file to determine if you are suitable for hire.

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step nine: Eligibility List

​If you are suitable for hire, your name will be placed on the eligibility list until you are presented with a conditional job offer.

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Step ten: Conditional Job Offer (CJO)

If you receive a Conditional Job Offer (CJO), you are required to meet the conditions listed in it before you can start recruit training. A number of things will happen at this step; we will explain everything in detail when you reach this step.

You will be:

  • Signing a Conditional Job Offer
  • Providing a new Driver’s Abstract with no more than 6 provincial/territorial demerits
  • Providing a new Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Ensuring all of your certifications are up to date and valid (Minimum and Pre-Hire Qualifications)
  • Completing a medical and fitness assessment, including the treadmill test
  • Attending uniform fittings
  • Attending a full-day recruit orientation where your document originals must be provided
  • Possibly moving to the Calgary area and getting your Alberta Driver’s License (if you are from out-of-province)

If you have questions about this step read our FAQ.

Pay and benefits


Our firefighters are paid a competitive wage, supplemented by a comprehensive benefits package. They are covered by a collective agreement between The City of Calgary and the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 255.

Salary rates (effective Jan 1, 2020)

Year Index Hourly Monthly
Probationary firefighter % 65 $ 30.44 $ 5,561
Permanent second year firefighter % 75 $ 35.12 $ 6,416
Permanent third year firefighter % 85 $ 39.80 $ 7,272
Permanent fourth year firefighter % 95  $ 44.48 $ 8,127
Firefighter 1 % 100 $ 46.83 $ 8,555

Additional wage considerations

  • Dry cleaning allowance
  • Night shift differential premiums
  • Statutory holiday premiums
  • Incremental pay index
  • Increments through promotion

Benefits

Firefighters make benefit coverage decisions at the start of their employment. IAFF Local 255 offers a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Basic group insurance
  • Optional life insurance
  • Extended health coverage (including prescription drugs, vision care, and travel benefits)
  • Dental benefits
  • Short-term disability
  • Long-term disability

Pensions

A pension is a significant and valuable part of the total compensation package. It provides a secure source of income for retirement. Calgary firefighters, belong to two pension plans: The Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) and the Calgary Firefighter's Supplementary Pension Plan (FSPP).

Other benefits

  • Fully-provided personal protective equipment and duty gear
  • Fully-provided work and dress uniforms
  • Dry cleaning allowance
  • Comprehensive health and wellness program that includes annual medical assessments and fitness evaluations
  • Access to peer fitness trainers
  • Behavioural health and rehabilitation services

Contact us


To ask questions about firefighter recruitment and our pre-screening process, use the e-mail address below.

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