Thursday, June 27, 2013

Firefighter Program Offers Solid Base

Centennial College’s firefighter courses within its Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training are a great way to ensure that you have the knowledge and requirements to confidently apply for a position with your local fire department. That’s because this type of undertaking is increasingly becoming minimum criterion for fire service hiring. The best part is that the firefighter program takes just three semesters to complete and results in an Ontario College Certificate.

Applicants to the firefighter program are required to have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Also required are compulsory English Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent; math Grade 11 or 12, C or U, or equivalent; and one Science Grade 11 or 12  (Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Exercise Science) C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required). Additionally, there is a host of non-academic requirements, among which are: filling out a self-identifying questionnaire, demonstrating the ability to wear a breathing apparatus, producing a medical certificate indicating the ability to perform the duties of a firefighter. Lastly, in order to obtain a career as a firefighter, many municipal fire services may also require further qualifications, including: 20/30 vision in each eye without corrective lenses, satisfactory completion of a colour vision assessment, normal and unaided hearing, no conviction for a criminal offense for which a pardon has not been granted, and possession of a Class DZ driver license.

Once accepted, students attend firefighter courses that are in accordance with the approved curriculum developed by the Ontario Association of the Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM). Among these courses are: Introduction to Fire Service, Fire Ground Operations, Emergency Patient Care, Fire Equipment, Fire Suppression, Fitness and more. Through the firefighter courses, students also benefit from simulation training under the guidance of qualified instructors, while enjoying ample time in smaller group-teaching scenarios. To round out training, firefighter program students attend a Firefighter Pre-Graduate experience that provides them with an opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills learned in the previous two semesters and to apply them during intensive practice of basic fire fighting skills in a simulated environment, including live fire. Students also gain better insight into the role of the fire fighter, the operations of the fire service and other related emergency services.

Upon completion of the firefighter program, students have the know-how to take the Ontario Fire Marshal Provincial Testing.  As such, they are able to: demonstrate the culminating role performance in fire suppression, community education and fire prevention, firefighter emergency patient care, environmental protection and special rescue operations; meet the ethical, legal and safety requirements of professionals in the fire service industry; use safe practices and techniques with fire department apparatus, tools and equipment; communicate effectively using verbal, non-verbal, written or electronic methods including recognized and appropriate fire service terminology; work effectively with other members of the fire service team, pre-hospital emergency care providers and other emergency service-related groups to provide comprehensive service in emergency and non-emergency situations; and more.

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