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All Things CF Firefighter (merged)



Hello, I am currently a trained private in the army reserves, more specifically, I am an infantry soldier. I debating on becomming an airforce firefighter. I have a few questions.
1. Is this career open?
2. If so, is it open to women?
3. What is the process in which I would go about changing services and trades? and
4. Would I keep any of my qualifications or would I have to start from the begining?
I would like to know a little more about the occupation also, if at all possible.
Thank you
Go visit CFRC... they can answer your questions better, probably.

However, firefighter is a very limited trade. Not many openings, and lots of people want to get in.
Hey guys,
I was wondering if you can give me some info on military firefighting, such as do you know if their in demand right now, and if their is any special qualifications other then being in top physical shape. Is it a long process to get in? Is the aptitiude test the same as say the one for infantry?

As far as I know...military firefighting positions are held by civilians so it should be the same requirements as municipal fire departments
Fire Fighter (MOC 651)

-only available in the Reg. Force (Air Force only but can be posted anywhere)

The primary purpose of a military Fire Fighter (FIRE FTR) is to prevent the loss of life or property due to fire. Personnel in this occupation serve in all three elements, performing a variety of tasks including Aircraft Rescue, Structural, Wildland and Shipboard Fire Fighting, Auto Extrication, Hazardous Material, and Confined Space/High-Angle Rescue. Fire Investigation and Fire Prevention and Life Safety Inspection are also areas of expertise.

As a member of a fire attack team, perform rescue, extinguishment, ventilation, overhaul and forcible entry operations
Drive and operate all types of structural, aircraft rescue and wildland fire fighting vehicles used on all Canadian Force Bases/Wings
Inspect and test all Fixed Fire Suppression and Detection systems within DND establishments
Maintain fire department ancillary equipment such as ladders, hose, rope, breathing apparatus, extinguishers, personal protective equipment and all associated rescue equipment and vehicles
Perform inspector duties, conduct inspections, and project reviews and provide recommendations and corrective measures
Provide peer and public instructional education
Respond to Hazardous Material, Auto Extrication , Confined Space and High angle rescue situations
Investigate Fires
Provide helicopter rescue and damage control services as a member of Section Base Three while providing maintenance to all fire fighting equipment onboard HMC Ships
Respond as part of the Airfield Engineering Squadron (AES)
Respond to Aircraft Cable engagements on Wings and be capable of providing Mobile Arrestor Gear (MAG) skills on deployment
As Senior Fire Fighter, provide Command and Control on the fire ground and function as Fire Chief on Military bases, ships and army encampments

Qualification Requirements

Fire Fighters must be physically strong and able to sustain physical effort for extended periods of time. They must be courageous, self-disciplined, and able to remain calm under stress. They require good reasoning ability, eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity. They must also be able to function well as a member of a team.

Career Opportunities

The career of a Fire Fighter offers a variety of challenging opportunities. Fire Fighters serve with the Canadian Forces in Canada, onboard ship and in peacekeeping deployments. Personnel who demonstrate the required ability and ambition have the opportunity to progress to the job of Fire Chief.


Successful applicants will attend a 10-week Basic Recruit Training Course at Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS), Saint-Jean, Quebec. During Basic Recruit Training, they will learn policies and regulations of the Canadian Forces; basic safety procedures; first aid training; survival under nuclear, biological and chemical conditions; drill, dress and deportment (3Ds); weapon handling and firing; cross-country navigation; and survival under field conditions. They will also undergo physical fitness training. Basic Recruit Training is physically demanding. More information may be obtained by speaking to a Recruiter
does anyone have any information on army fightering? I am signed up to be an infantry soldier but would like to know some more about firefighting. Is there anyway you can learn both anfantry soldier and firefighting?

Firefighter is an air force (and navy) occupation where as infantry is army. I doubt there is any cross training.
In my original application I indicated firefighting as a prefered trade.

I was informed that there was about a 5 year waiting period for an opening that won‘t already be accounted for by someone who applied years before me.
I was also told that just because there might be an opening in 5 years didn‘t mean that I would get it. It is a highly competetive occupation, and some people coming in already have college level training and/or volunteer firefighter experience.

Anyway, that‘s what I was told about 18-24 months ago, things could very well have changed since then so you should probably contact a recruiter and find out first hand what the situation is.

As for learning two trades (inf/firefighter), no, that‘s not going to happen.
You could try asking if you could go infantry and continue to be waitlisted for the firefighter training.
Before you do though, you should know that I asked that very question in my original interview, and the Captain who was interviewing me raised his voice in anger to the point where I wasn‘t sure if he was yelling at me or not.
He gave me a detailed lecture about what a waste of resources it would be to train me how to be a soldier, only to have to retrain me later to do something else.
Also you CAN join the reserves as a Firefighter. I have to friends in that MOC and are reservists.
OH aswell I have my 1001 international professional firefighter qualification and several years of firefighting experience(VOLI) and was tolf that the CF does not accept any civilian fire courses.
thanks guys, i have an interview in a week and am glad I know not to bring up firefighting! Well my heart is much more into being an infantry soldier over fireffighting, hover FF would be fun stuff
Don‘t misunderstand what I‘m saying. It‘s not the asking about firefighting that got the Captain worked up, it was the fact that I was asking before I‘m even hired if I can remuster after only a couple of years, thereby wasting all the resources that it took to train me to be an infantry soldier.

By all means you should put it down as one of your trade choices if that is what you‘re interested in, I‘m just giving you the heads up that when I last talked to them about it, they were definately not optimistic about the chances of a spot opening up.
Well Im curious about the percentage of guys who do a full career in the infantry. I doubt its to high. I say aspire all you want. Do your time in the infantry serve your country and carry on. If you stay in the military I say thats better than leaving to do something else.....
Hey all, I'm new to the forums and actually found this place by mistake. But I'm glad I did. I've found HORDES of information on various things as well as answers to a few questions that I had.

The one thing I havn't been able to find is information on the life of  CF Firefighter in the Air Force. I'm wondering if anyone here has gone through the FireFighter process and if so, can shed some light on what it entails as I'm going to be applying in that regards.

I've already got Civvie Fire Fighting Qualifiations and I'm an active member of the Primary Reserves, so I'll be requesting a transfer into the Regular Forces.


Chris Quesnel
Hi Chris,

I'm currently an air force firefighter posted to CFB Trenton, so I can answer a few questions regarding training, the postings that you can expect, and work schedule. Can't say much about the recruiting process, as I remustered into the trade, but I imagine prior firefighting experience should help.
       Aptitude test scores required are the same as infantry, although this may be changing as the trade is currently undergoing a tasking review - which has'nt been done since 1974. This review will be completed in the summer and will most likely result in the trade recieving specialist pay (fingers crossed) and may also change the entry requirements.
       Currently we have around 450 firefighters, with an average of 2-3 QL3s going every year. Turnover rate is pretty high as lots of guys get out after they finish their QL5s and get on civie departments, so the chances of getting into the trade are pretty good. Training is excellent - 16 week QL3 course which is a lot of fun. about half in the classroom and the rest is at the burn buildings, ripping apart cars or making entry into the aircraft mock ups. (no driving the big trucks until you get to a fire hall)
       Once your 3s are done you will be posted to a fire hall at one of the air bases (Comox, Edmonton, Cold Lake, Winnipeg, Greenwood, Shearwater or if your french,   Bagotville) Your QL4s will be between 6 to 18 months before going back to Borden to finish your QL5s.
       While at a fire hall you work shift work - 4 days, 4 days off - 4 nights, 4 days off - split shift of 3 days, 3 nights than 6 days off. Sweet.
       Once your 5s are done, then the trouble starts. You go to sea, and you belong to the navy for the next three years. Not fun, but ya gotta do it. The good part is you can usually get the coast you want, either Halifax or Victoria. After that its just luck whether you get a good ship with a good crew and a light sailing schedule, or not.
To give you an example- I spent 3 years on the ship and 19 months out of those 36 sailing. A long time to be away from home, listening to fishhead stupidity.
       The other thing that is happening is the fire trade is being tasked with becoming the militarys NBCD specialists. The Jnbcd coy just started up in 2002 and 35 fire fighter positions were established there. This is bar none, the worst possible posting in the trade and should be avoided if possible. While at the Coy you are no longer a firefighter, you are a car washer, a ball- scrubber, general labourer, warehouse worker - you are many things, just not a firefighter. Basically your working for the army as a "decon" specialist and have to deal with army BS for three years. Guess where I am.
       Right now policy is you have to do 2 ship tours, or a ship tour and a JNBCD Coy tour during your career, other than that you'll be at the firehalls or maybe teaching at CFFA. Be warned though, the fire trade is one of the most mobile trades in the CF so expect to move around a lot (every 2-6 yrs) and sooner or later you'll have to get posted somewhere in the country you don't want to go. Having said that, its also an awesome trade for getting a lot of qualifications from, that are completely transferrable to the civilian sector.
   Hope this helps, any other questions just post.

What are the physical requirements for fire-fighter?  I'm most interested in the vision requirement, seeing as i wear glasses.

So FF is an air force trade?  Or a 'purple' trade? Not that it really matters, i'm just curious.

And finally, how long does it take to get your QL5?  Can it happen in your first term of engagement?

Thanks, Trev

Thanks for the info and sorry for my delay in replying. Work decided to flare up and keep me busy :)

I had heard about the ship duties and suppose that really isn't a bad thing (Wife might have something different to say about it)

Overall, you gave me some info that I didn't know and it's certainly going to be my first choice on my application.


-- Chris Quesnel
Glad I could help,

   Vision requirement is minimum V3 (not sure how that translates to the 20/20 scale?) Lots of FFs wear glasses including myself and it shouldn't be an issue unless your vision is very poor. Yearly physical fitness tests are required, although we have are own test rather than the CF express test used by the rest of the military - link to a description of the test is here:


FF is exclusively an air force trade (not sure what a purple trade is) Although we serve with the navy on ships, and with the army in the JNBCD Coy.

Once you get to a firehall the wait for your QL5 can be as little as 6 months to 24 months. So it is possible to get your 5s in the first term depending on alot of different factors. Right now we are very short on qualified drivers at all the halls, so they are trying to push the courses through quickly, but the academy can only run so many courses in a year.