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Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training


All Seneca Pre-Service Firefighter students are required to pass an occupation-specific physical fitness test (York University) as well as a vision, hearing, and lung assessment held near the conclusion of the first semester of the program. These evaluations are required by many fire departments in their recruitment process. Details of this test can be found by Googling ‘York Fitness Test’.

As part of our first semester curriculum, students receive regular fitness training under the guidance of our instructors. Although the vast majority of our students are successful in challenging the York test, those students who are unsuccessful in the physical fitness portion of the test may be required to withdraw from the program until they are successful. Those students who fail any component of the vision, hearing, and lung portion of the test may be asked to sign a ‘‘Letter of Understanding” in order to continue in the program.

Seneca College does accept students who have vision deficiencies but you will need to speak with Mr. Bill Sault, the Program Coordinator to discuss your individual situation.

In order to be hired as a firefighter you will need to meet specific vision & hearing requirements:

1. Vision
Most Fire services require candidates to have 20/30 vision in each eye without corrective lenses. They do not prohibit candidates from meeting these vision requirements through means such as vision improvement exercises and/or corrective surgery.

In addition, fire services will test a candidate’s colour vision*. Any colour deficiency, if found, may eliminate you as a firefighter candidate as this is considered to be a non-correctable condition.

*Colour vision testing is done to ensure that candidates do not have monochromatic vision resulting in an inability to use imaging devices. Applicants are screened using colour plates on an Ishihara test for colour blindness. If the applicant fails this test the Farnsworth D-15 test is used. An applicant who fails the Ishihara can still pass the Farnsworth D-15. A failure of the Farnsworth D-15 test indicates monochromatic colour vision and a failure of the eye and vision test.

2. Hearing
Fire services will test a candidates hearing for average uncorrected hearing deficit at the test frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, and 3000Hz not greater than 40dB in either ear.

If you do not meet the 20/30 vision requirements and plan to schedule laser corrective surgery at a later date, consult with the clinic of your choice in order to determine if you are a candidate for laser surgery.
If you feel that you may have hearing issues, consult with an audiologist for a hearing test.