42101 – Firefighters

Broad Occupation Category

4 – Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services


2 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of two or more years; or supervisory occupations

Major Group

42 – Front-line public protection services and paraprofessional occupations in legal, social, community, education services

Broad Occupation Category

421 – Occupations in front-line public protection services

Broad Occupation Category

4210 – Occupations in front-line public protection services

Firefighters carry out firefighting and fire prevention activities, and assist in other emergencies. They are employed by municipal, provincial and federal governments and by large industrial establishments that have internal firefighting services. Apprentices are also included in this unit group.

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Example Titles

  • Airport firefighter

  • Fire captain

  • Firefighter

  • Firefighter lieutenant

  • Industrial firefighter

  • Shipboard firefighter

Main Duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Respond to fire alarms and other calls for assistance, such as automobile and industrial accidents, bomb threats and other emergencies

  • Rescue victims from burning buildings and accident sites

  • Control and extinguish fires using manual and power equipment, such as axes, water hoses, aerial ladders and hydraulic equipment and various firefighting chemicals

  • Administer first aid and other assistance

  • Administer first aid and other assistance

  • Ensure proper operation and maintenance of firefighting equipment

  • Prepare written reports on fire incidents

  • Inform and educate the public on fire prevention

  • Train to maintain high level of physical fitness

  • Assist the public, the police and emergency organizations during times of major disasters

  • May participate as members of a trauma or emergency response team and provide paramedical aid to accident victims or ill persons

  • May supervise and coordinate the work of other firefighters

  • May conduct building inspections to ensure compliance with fire code.

Employment Requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.

  • Completion of a college program in fire protection technology, fire science or a related field and a period of supervised practical training is usually required.

  • Firefighting and emergency medical care training courses are provided and vary in length depending on the requirements of different fire departments or services.

  • Certification for firefighters is compulsory in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

  • Experience as a volunteer firefighter may be an advantage.

  • Physical agility, strength, fitness and vision requirements must be met.

  • Several years of experience are required for senior firefighters, such as lieutenants and captains.