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Firefighter - Pre-service Education and Training - Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology

Firefighter and Fire Science Education in Canada

Crime and Fire Programs -- Community College Programs


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Firefighter - Pre-service Education and Training - Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology's 1-year (3-semester) Firefighter - Pre-service Education and Training Certificate provides students with the knowledge and skills required to pursue careers as firefighters, or related positions, for fire departments in Ontario. The Program has been developed in partnership with the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC).and Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) with additional input from 'local fire departments.' As such, the Program ensures that students have the theoretical foundation and 'basic Firefighting skills' that serves the needs of learners, local fire services, and the Province through a curriculum that is current and relevant, and which produces consistent results throughout Ontario. Students should be aware, however, that the Program only meets 'a minimum requirement for firefighter recruitment in the province,' and some positions in the Firefighting trade may require further training. Students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations via a 204-hour work experience placement at a relevant setting, usually a fire department.

Graduates of the Program can pursue various career and/or further educational options in the Firefighting industry. Career-wise, graduates 'will have completed a comprehensive firefighter recruit training program' that will enable them to be candidates for various professional, full time employment in Firefighting throughout Ontario. Firefighters may work in a wide range of environments like airports, forests and parks, hazardous materials units, hospitals, and other industrial, rural, urban, and suburban areas. The environment in which firefighters work will often determine the exact duties they will perform, and some firefighters may develop specialization in an area of Firefighting. For example, those working in forest land tend to focus on fire prevention by, among other ways, surveying the land for fire hazards and fires and quickly organizing responses to the latter when they do occur to limit their spread and damage. Through further training, firefighters may become fire investigators who attempt to reconstruct the origin and cause(s) of a fire. Investigators will usually collect evidence and witness accounts which they then use to produce reports about said fire; in cases where the law may become involved, investigators may be called to testify in court.

Firefighting can be a strenuous and physically and mentally demanding career. Firefighters tend to work long and varied hours, and may be called upon to respond to emergencies at anytime during a 24-hour period, including on holidays. Moreover, Firefighting is a dangerous profession with risks for death and/or injuries and/or health problems from things like flames, falling objects, hazardous materials, and imploding structures. When firefighters are not combating fires or attending to other emergency situations directly, they are often at fire stations waiting to be called to duty or performing drills, among other things, or they may be actively engaged in promoting fire prevention. Graduates can also pursue further training in fire fighting or related areas at various institutes and colleges in Ontario, and possibly throughout Canada.

To be eligible for admission to Program, applicants must have an 'Ontario Secondary School Diploma with a majority of senior credits at the College Preparation (C), University Preparation (U) or University/College Preparation (M) level,' including 'Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U), Grade 12 Mathematics, MCT4(C)-Math for College Technology or any Grade 12(U) Mathematics, Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C) or (U),' and 'Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry (C) or (U).' The College 'may also consider applicants with good marks in 11(U) or MAP4(C)' and 'consideration may also be given to applicants who completed Grade 11(M) prior to the 2006 - 2007 academic year.' Students who do not possess the aforementioned credentials and who are 19 years of age or older may apply under "mature student status."

All applicants must, before the commencement of classes, complete a Health Assessment Form, have certification in Standard First Aid and Basic CPR, and submit a copy of a valid "G" driver's license. Moreover, 'all students admitted to programs offered by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Technology will be assessed in English and Mathematics' to determine 'appropriate academic placement and re-direction.' Students admitted to the Program 'will be required to pass a Physical and Endurance Test during the first semester,' which will include hearing and vision assessments, and students must have 'minimum 20/30 uncorrected vision in both eyes with no colour deficiency.'


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