Applications for the 2024 Fire Cadet Program are now open. Applications will be accepted until March 28, 2024.

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

Applications for the 2024 program are open until March 28, 2024.

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.

Applications for the 2024 Fire Cadet Program are now open. Applications will be accepted until March 28, 2024.


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.

Design of the Fire Cadet Program:

The Youth Fire Cadet Program is an initiative of the Calgary Fire Department (CFD), in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education , Calgary Catholic School District, local area private school boards and surrounding school districts 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 600 students from the Calgary area have participated in the Fire Cadet Program and graduated with incredible life skills.

The Fire Cadet Program has grown to become an 18-month program that takes place over three semesters, that run during the school year.

At the end of each semester Cadets receive a certificate of achievement for the levels of training he or she has completed. Each new class of 20 high school-age Cadets are challenged in a variety of ways ranging from self-study and community involvement, to online learning one day a week. Cadets then report to the Calgary Fire Training Academy once a month, on a Friday (8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.), then twice a month on Monday nights (6 – 9 p.m.) for practical firefighting skills training. Fire Cadets can also earn program achievement awards through volunteer work in their communities and earn credits towards their high school education.

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:

  • Fire Hose handling
  • Search and rescue
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) training
  • Fire ground ladders

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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