Firefighter recruitment

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The goal of the Kelowna Fire Department is to continue providing prompt, professional, effective fire protection and public safety services to all residents and visitors to Kelowna; including fire suppression and rescue services; fire prevention; fire safety inspections; fire training; first medical responses; hazardous material response; specialty rescue; pre-incident planning; dispatch and emergency management. 

Recruitment and hiring of career firefighters is handled through an eligibility list selected after a rigorous recruitment process. These candidates are placed in positions that become available for a specific period.

There are also opportunities to serve as a paid-on-call (volunteer) firefighter with the Kelowna Fire Department. For more information on the paid-on-call program, visit the Fire Department’s Career & volunteer firefighters page.

Firefighter Recruitment 2018

The last firefighter recruitment process was completed in 2018. Check back on this page for information about future recruitments or sign up for e-updates.

Successful candidates

Congratulations to all the successful candidates, shown in the final list below. We thank all the candidates for going through this process with us, and wish you the best in your future career pursuits.

How to become a career firefighter
Qualifications

Minimal qualifications at time of application are:

  • Valid BC Class 3 Driver's License with Air Brake endorsement (or equivalent from another province)
  • 18 years of age or over
  • Physically able to perform the duties and swim
  • Current First-aid certificate that requires you to attend for seven hours of instruction
  • IFSAC or Pro Board Accredited NFPA 1001 - Fire Fighting Practices Level I and II Program
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • No criminal record
  • Medical testing requirements (including vision and hearing) are based upon the NFPA 1582 standard with a restriction placed upon candidates with Category A medical conditions as defined in appendix G, NFPA 1582, Chapter 6, article 6.2.2    
  • Previous firefighting experience, community involvement and a second language would be considered an asset.

Preferred qualifications/skills are:

  • Job related certification:
    • NFPA 1002 Standard for Apparatus Driver/ Operator Professional
    • NFPA 1006 Vehicle, Rope, Surface Water, Confined Space, Ice Rescue
    • NFPA Fire Inspector level 1
    • NFPA Fire and Life Safety Educator level 1
    • Fire Service Instructor 1
    • Pleasure Craft Operator’s License
    • Fire Systems Technical training
    • First Medical Responder 3 or Emergency Medical Responder
  • Experience in the mechanical/construction trades
  • Medical emergency response experience
  • Operation of heavy equipment is an asset
  • Volunteer and/or career firefighting experience
  • Post-secondary education
  • Courageous, forthright and works well under pressure
  • Strong team player
  • Comfortable being in confined spaces and heights
  • Work despite physical discomfort in dangerous and unpleasant situations
  • Demonstrate professionalism
  • Can take calculated risks to help others in need
  • Fire prevention and public education experience
Process

There are a number of phases to the recruitment process. For complete information on the application process, view the following documents:

Firefighter recruitment FAQ
Do you accept out of province applicants?

Yes, but be aware that you’ll be required to travel to Kelowna on separate occasions to participate in the different tests, sometimes with little advance notice. Written testing will be conducted in Kelowna and Vancouver.

Note: Any costs associated with travel and / or relocation expenses are your own responsibility.

I’m currently a professional firefighter with another city. Do you have an experienced firefighter transfer program?

Not currently. We’ll continue to seek entry-level firefighters until further notice.

Why do candidates pay fees to participate in the hiring process?

As a municipal organization, our department must be fiscally responsible for managing funds we receive through taxes. To ensure there are enough resources to provide emergency response services, firefighter applicant testing procedures must run on a cost-recovery basis. All fees assigned to a specific step in our process are non- refundable and will be required before you can participate in that step.

What is the shift schedule?

Firefighters work an averaged 42-hour work week: two day shifts and two night shifts as per the IAFF Agreement.

Do I need to live in Kelowna or the Regional District of the Central Okanagan? How far can I live away from the City?

Successful candidates are expected to move to the Central Okanagan Regional District area within 90 days.

How many demerit points are acceptable on my driving record?

Fewer than six points are acceptable. A current driver’s abstract is required with your application.

What is a confirmation number and how do I find it?

This is the number you would have received automatically from our application system when you originally applied for this posting. If you didn’t receive a confirmation number, it means your application wasn’t fully complete. This number will be required at various times throughout the process, so make sure you keep it handy.

How will I know if I’m successful throughout the process?

Confirmation numbers of the applicants who are moving on to each phase of the recruitment process will be posted on our website on the dates specified in the information package. Check back to the website to confirm if your confirmation number has been posted. No names will be listed.

What happens after you’ve received my application?

Your application package will be assessed for compliance and completeness. A review of your file will be conducted to determine its viability.  You will be advised if you’re advancing to the next stage.

I have a Fire Training Certificate but it’s not the NFPA 1001. How can I find out if it’s equivalent?

You can go to the NFPA website at www.nfpa.org and inquire there. All equivalent certificates to the 1001 should have an Accreditation Seal on them from either IFSAC or Pro Board to be deemed equivalent.

What do I need to bring with me to my interview should I be invited?

When your interview has been booked, we will send you an email outlining the items you’re expected to bring to your appointment.

Items required for your interview:

  • Your driver’s license for identification purposes
  • A current copy of your resume (optional)
  • The original document of your Criminal Records Search
  • A completed Medical Conditions Form (this form can be found in the Fire Fighter Information Package)
  • A reference list containing the names and current contact information for a minimum of three employment references; these people need to be able to offer a professional perspective of you and your work ethic