Endorsed by the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC)
Students who complete this program are eligible to write the provincial firefighter exam to become employed as firefighters in Ontario. Emphasis is on the student's ability to apply knowledge and skills related to fire suppression and first response, including crisis management. Students develop the problem-solving and communication skills that are critical to work successfully on a firefighting team.
Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to write the OFM (Office of the Fire Marshal) Provincial test.
New students are invited to attend an information session.
Mature student or Grade 12 diploma required. Courses include chemistry, biology and grade 12 math and English or be a mature student. Students must hold a valid G driver's license. Students are also required to pass a fitness test and Standard First Aid, CPR Level C before registering for FIR003. Admission is conditional on completion, in the first class, of a Health Canada Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire.
It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or Transfer Credit for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.
This course provides an overview of the Ontario fire service, the professionalization process for firefighters in Ontario, fire and emergency services organizations, and the roles and responsibilities of employees. In particular, it focuses on the knowledge, attitudes and skills required of a professional firefighter. In addition, legislation and firefighter safety practices are emphasized. This course is divided into three sections: A. Professionalization Process and the Role of the Firefighter in Ontario. B. Fire/Emergency Services Organization. C. Fire Behaviour and the Chemistry of Combustion
This course provides an overview of basic components of fire ground operations within the structure of an incident management system. Content focuses on fire ground operations such as safety practices, search and rescue, and property conservation. Common techniques, tools, equipment and their use are incorporated. Specific knowledge, attitudes and skills of the firefighter are included. This course is divided into four sections: A. Firefighter Safety Practices. B. Firefighter Protective Clothing and Equipment. i. Protective Clothing ii.Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. C. Fire Apparatus i. Operate Emergency Vehicles ii. Application of Hydraulics iii. Pre and Post Incident Inspection D. General Rescue: Principles and Practices
FFF101 is a fitness course designed to be both theoretical and practical, combining traditional classroom activity and practical application of health and fitness theory. Students participate in lectures and practical physical fitness and health activities that: 1) present how the body responds and adapts to exercise stress and, 2) explores contemporary fitness and health issues. There is an additional fee for the fitness test.
This course provides an overview of basic components of fire ground operations within the structure of an incident management system. Content focuses on fire ground operations such as safety practices, search and rescue, and property conservation. Common techniques, tools, equipment and their use are incorporated. Specific knowledge, attitudes and skills of the firefighter are included. This course is divided into two sections: A. Incident Management System i. Introduction to the Incident Management System ii. Introduction to Size-Up iii. Introduction to Decision Making iv. Introduction to Fire Cause Determination v. Introduction to Post Incident Analysis and Review B. Fire Ground Communications
This course covers the access and application of water from various sources to achieve the desired fire stream, as well as maintenance of hoses, nozzles and appliances. Also covers foam and portable fire extinguishing devices.
Students learn to match fire suppression methods and agents with fire types. Emphasis is also on the safe raising and lowering of firefighting equipment using ropes and knots, as well as the safe and proper use of ladders. This course is divided into three sections: A. Fire Suppression Techniques B. Raising and Lowering Firefighter Equipment C. Ladders
This course covers the role of ventilation to achieve the desired, controlled release of heat, smoke and gases during fire suppression. Also covers procedures, hazards and implications related to forcible entry; search and rescue, salvage and overhaul.
Current CPR and First Aid Certificates
This course provides an overview of the Ontario emergency medical care system and the specific roles of members of the emergency response team. Content covers common medical/trauma conditions, the related patient care and associated situational management. Emphasis is on the specific role and responsibilities of the firefighter emergency patient care responder and the teamwork essential to the effectiveness of the EMS response. Included are legislation, regulations, standards and established policies, procedures and protocols as well the role of members of the emergency response team and the specific role of the firefighter emergency care responder. This subject is divided into six sections: A. Emergency Pre-Hospital Patient Care System B. Patient Assessment C. Common Medical/Trauma Emergencies i. Respiratory ii. Cardiovascular iii. Neurological iv. Musculoskeletal v. Digestive System and abdomen vi. Endocrine System vii. Childbirth D. Emergency Patient Care i. Infants and Children ii. Older Adult E. Common Behavioural/Psychological Conditions and Emergencies F. Environmental Incidents - Natural and Human Caused
This course provides an overview of environmental hazards and rescue operations. The role and responsibilities of the firefighting team and co-operating agencies are highlighted, along with safety practices and risk assessment. Also emphasized are the importance of environmental protection and the impact of hazardous incidents on the community and the health and safety of firefighters. This course is at an awareness level and provides a basic building block. This course is divided into three sections: A. Hazardous Materials Awareness B. Electrical Hazards C. Terrorism Awareness
FIR005 - Fire Ground Operations II
FIR006 - Fire Suppression II
Students learn the extrication skills and procedures required for rescue from a vehicle, water/ice or confined space rescue. Assistance to the victim(s), prevention of further injury of impact and proper communication with rescue team members/outside agencies are all covered. This course is divided into three sections: A. General Vehicle Extrication B. Confined Space Rescue C. Land Based/Water/Ice Rescue
Focus is on conducting fire safety inspections in various types of occupancies (industrial, mercantile, residential) to note fire hazards and faults related to sprinkler/alarm systems. Emphasis is on the application of relevant provincial codes and communication of the results of the inspection. This course has only one section: Fire Safety Inspections
Firefighters play a key role in the community, educating the public about fire safety, projecting a professional image and shaping opinion. This course covers such community education as well as the use of pre-incident planning as part of an incident management approach. This course is divided into two sections: A. Public Education/Relations B. Pre-incident Plans
This course provides the learner with the opportunity to experience directed participation in the fire department environment. In addition, the learner performs appropriate firefighter tasks/duties, which contribute to the learner's educational program outcomes in the areas of fire suppression and rescue, emergency patient care, fire prevention, public education and training. The majority of the practicum takes place in fire department environments supplemented with appropriate community experiences. During this experience, each learner works under the direction of a "preceptor".
You are encouraged to carefully consider all details of course offerings (including availability, tuition and other fees) in order to create your own personal study plan.
Estimate of costs to complete the Pre-Service Firefighter Education And Training
The cost to complete the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Certificate will total approximately $16,000 from start to finish. This figure includes tuition for all courses which is to be paid as you go. Current tuition fees can be viewed under the curriculum tab. Special additional clarification is below:
FFF101 fee includes Seneca Fitness Centre fee – an additional fee of $175 to be paid at the time of the York Fitness Test
FIR002 includes $800 bunker gear deposit (refunded upon graduation when the bunker gear is returned) – an additional $500 will be required in order to purchase boots, gloves, flash hood and helmet (yours to keep) prior to the first fire ground activity
FIR003 includes $400 bunker gear rental and lab fee
FIR004 includes $400 bunker gear rental and lab fee
FIR005 includes $400 bunker gear rental and lab fee
FIR006 includes $400 bunker gear rental and lab fee
FIR009 includes fees for rescue training certification
Cost of textbooks will be approximately $800 in total for all courses.
Completion of this program enables the individual seeking employment in the fire service to:
This program is eligible for OSAP funding.
Course load is used by OSAP to determine funding options for programs.
If you are taking 1 - 2 courses at the same time, you may be considered for part-time student grants and loans.
If you are taking 3 or more courses at the same time, you may be considered for full-time student grants and loans.
To find out if you qualify and to learn how to apply, please visit the OSAP website.
For information on other awards and financial assistance, please see Financial Aid.
Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.
How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.
The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.
Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.
Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.
Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.
Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.
Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.
1. When are the program start dates?
Students may start the program in May, September and January of each year. For a list of exact dates for upcoming semesters please visit the Curriculum link.
2. How long is the Program?
The program is offered in the continuing education setting with classes offered on evenings and weekends in each of the fall, winter and spring semesters. Completion depends on a student's life schedule and responsibilities however; the 13 fire subjects and two general education courses could take as few as 2 years depending upon the number of subjects taken in each semester.
3. Where are the classes held?
All classes are held at the Newnham Campus in Toronto which is located at Hwy 404 and Finch Avenue. Fireground training is conducted at both Newnham Campus and at the Richmond Hill Fire and Emergency Services training center, a state-of-the- art training facility, which is approximately 15 minutes from the Newnham campus. Please visit the Richmond Hill Fire and Emergency Training facility for more information.
It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and subject prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly.
5. Is it competitive to gain entry into the program?
Yes. Space is limited. Early registration will secure a place in your selected classes. The Seneca Pre-Service Firefighting program is very popular and subjects fill up quickly. Classes are small to provide in depth and personal training.
6. What Certificates will I receive upon graduation?
Seneca graduates will receive a Pre-Service Firefighting College Certificate, and they will also be eligible to write the Ontario Provincial Firefighting Examination. Once they have passed the Ontario Fire Marshal's exam, students qualify to apply to ProBoard for IFSAC certification to the NFPA 1001 Firefighter I and II level. This level of training will satisfy the training requirements for most fire departments throughout North America.
7. What is the class schedule like?
Typically for continuing education, classes are held in the evenings during the week from 1900 hours to 2200 hours. For some subjects, practical training will take place on the weekends. Attendance is mandatory for all courses, as the student will be expected to demonstrate their competency of many fire related tasks and must be signed off by an Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) Trainer Facilitator. Students must maintain an 80 percent attendance level at all classroom and practical sessions.
8. Does Seneca College own the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training
No. The curriculum is jointly owned by a partnership of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office. Seneca is one of several community Colleges in the Province that are endorsed to deliver the program and currently are the only College offering the Pre-Service program as a Continuing Education program.
9. Why has the practicum been discontinued?
Under directives issued from Ontario Fire Marshal's Office and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, the practicum or "ride-along" was removed from the curriculum for all Colleges offering the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program in Ontario, effective September 2009. The Pre-graduate (FPG012) experience training has replaced the Practicum and has been very successful reinforcing the skills required for practical interviews in the pre-hiring setting.
10. Is there a physical test I have to pass? What happens if I fail a component of the
All of our students are required to pass an occupation-specific vision, hearing and lung assessment test as well as an occupation-specific physical evaluation held near the conclusion of the fitness program (FFF101). These tests are currently administered at York University in Toronto. These are the identical tests that most fire departments use in their firefighting recruitment testing. Further information describing the testing is available at:
Our students receive regular physical training and develop techniques under the guidance of our
fitness instructors to assist them to successfully complete FFF101 and the fitness testing.
Although the vast majority of our students are successful in completing the testing, those students
who may be unsuccessful in the physical portion of the test will be required to enrol in classes
without a fireground practical component until they are able to successfully pass the testing.
Those students who are unsuccessful in the medical portion of the testing (those who may fail the
eyesight requirement for example) may be asked to sign a waiver in order to be able to continue in
Prospective students who may be concerned with their ability to pass any portion of the testing are strongly advised to consult their family physician prior to starting the program.
11. How much does the Pre-Service Program cost?
See Tuition/Fees link.
12. Is financial assistance available?
Please visit the Financial Aid office web page.
13. What Personal Protective Equipment is provided to the students?
Each student is provided with their own personal protective equipment for use during the program. Some of the articles, including the firefighting pants, coat and an SCBA face piece are leased on a per-semester basis, whereas PPE of a more personal nature including firefighting boots, helmet, gloves and flash-hood are purchased from the College on an at-cost basis. These lease and purchase fees currently total $1,200.00. Students are required to submit a deposit of $800 payable in FIR002 for the gear which will be refunded upon completion of the program. Students are then charged a lab fee of $400.00 in each of FIR003, FIR004, FIR005, and FIR006.
14. I have acquired my own firefighting gear. Can I use it during the Pre-Service Program
at Seneca College?
For reasons of liability, and for fireground safety and accountability, all students in the Pre-Service Firefighter program are required to wear only equipment issued by the College.
15. I have already been trained to the NFPA 1001 Firefighter I & II standard. What
additional courses do I need to take to achieve a Pre-Service Certificate from Seneca?
The Ontario Fire Marshal has provided a useful graphic which outlines the deficiencies in various programs granting the NFPA 1001 Firefighters I and II Certification and the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Programs in Ontario. Please visit Ontario Fire Marshal web page.
Applicants to Seneca College who already have obtained their NFPA 1001 Firefighter I and II
certification at other institutions can expect to receive transfer credit in up to six of the
fifteen subjects required for graduation in the Pre-Service Program.
Documentation must be submitted to support this request along with the Transfer Credit Request (Advanced Standing) form
16. Who can I contact for further information on the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and
Training program at Seneca?
Please contact Alan Hills, the Part-time Program Coordinator, with any additional program related questions. Alan can be reached by telephone at 416-491-5050, extension 26504, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a Certificate, Diploma or Degree you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the fee. Forms are available at the Registration office and online.
Certificates and diplomas are issued twice a year: Fall (October) and Spring (June). Graduation Application forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Fall Convocation), November 30 or March 31 (for Spring Convocation).
Students will only be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if they have maintained an overall good standing in their current program of study. Students in degree programs will be eligible to graduate when they have obtained an average of C (2.5 GPA) in courses in the main field of study, and an average of C (2.0 GPA) in all other courses.
A Faculty of Seneca College may recommended a student for a certificate, diploma or degree only after the student has earned a minimum of twenty-five percent of the credit for that program at Seneca.
Part-time Program Coordinator
Academic Program Manager
New students are invited to attend an information session.