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Fire Cadet program

The Fire Cadet Program gives high school students the opportunity to learn about what it takes to be a firefighter, through teaching life-skills like leadership, community involvement, teamwork, pride and respect. Through theoretical and practical training, Fire Cadets learn basic firefighting skills, and, how to apply those skills and values into daily activities.

If you’re a teenager who is excited about the Calgary Fire Department and interested in learning valuable life skills in a hands-on, high-intensity environment, consider applying to the Fire Cadet program.

Application process

The Fire Cadet Program is not accepting applications at this time.

Through the generous support of ATCO, the cost to students is minimal. There is a $100 fee for each semester. All necessary uniforms and learning materials will be provided.


​​Applicants must:

  • Be 15 to 18 years old.
  • Be enrolled in high school in Calgary or the surrounding area (Airdrie, Crossfield, Okotoks, High River, Strathmore, etc.).
  • Be able and willing to commit to the 18 month program.
  • Display an enthusiastic attitude with a willingness to learn.

The Youth Fire Cadet Program is an initiative of the Calgary Fire Department (CFD), in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District, with corporate sponsorship from ATCO.

The Fire Cadet Program began in 2000 when four CFD staff saw the potential for a youth-focused program that would utilize fire department training methods to teach students important life skills such as leadership, teamwork, pride, and respect.

Since that time, more than 200 students from the Calgary area have participated in the cadet program and graduated with incredible life skills. The Fire Cadet Program has grown to become an 18 month program. Each new class of 20 high school age Cadets will be challenged in different ways ranging from self study and community involvement, to in class theory and practical training. Cadets will enjoy a variety of work experiences with two weeks of daytime training in July and then spend three and a half hours, one evening a week from September to June learning at the Calgary Fire Department Training Academy.

The program gives high school students in the Calgary area a chance to learn and build on the CFD values of Pride, Professionalism, Teamwork and Respect. The program emphasizes these values and also teaches leadership, community involvement, and mentorship. These values are taught in various ways by using fire department training and skills as a medium.

Class time is usually divided into one-third theory and two-thirds hand-on practical training. Cadets learn basic firefighter skills, including:

Instruction on each topic not only focuses on the specific skill being learned, but also on how to integrate the skills and values learned into daily activities. By doing so, the Fire Cadet Program is helping to transform youth into young adults with the skills and vision to impact our community.

It is our belief that by teaching values to the youth of our city, the CFD is building a better future for our community and our city.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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