Fighting forest fires in Ontario can be an incredibly rewarding career choice for people of many different ages and backgrounds. It is a challenging and dynamic job that is uniquely team oriented, allowing you a chance to learn and develop in a career that can directly affect the lives of other Canadians.
For university and college students, forest firefighting is an excellent choice for summer employment. The relatively short fire season in most Canadian provinces, coupled with the higher rate of pay when compared to other summer jobs, makes this an excellent summer career choice for students.
In these times of economic uncertainty, it should be pointed out that essential services jobs, such as forest firefighters, are often insulated from economic downturns, as a level of service and protection is required that is not affected by economic forecasts.
SP-100 FOREST FIREFIGHTER TRAINING
Please note: Our SP-100 courses are limited to 32 candidates per course, and as a result, positions are in high demand. We recommend candidates register early as most positions are filled by early February.
Since 1997 the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has out-sourced their Entry Level Training. (The SP-100 Forest Firefighter Training Course)
Wildfire Specialists Inc. is an accredited agency and recognized by the MNR to conduct SP-100 training, which qualifies candidates to apply for entry level positions in the Forest Fire Fighting Field.
In order to seek employment in Forest Fire Fighting with either the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Fire Management Program or with any of the Private Sector Fire Crew Contractors as a Category 1 or Category 2 Fire Fighter, a valid ‘SP-100 Certificate' is required.
A minimum of Standard First Aid is also a pre-requisite for employment as either a Category 1 or Category 2 Fire Fighter.
To qualify as a Category 1 Fire Fighter (M.N.R. Fire Ranger Crewmember or Emergency Fire Fighter) a candidate must successfully meet the M.N.R.'s Physical Fitness (Pre-Fit) Standards. This testing must occur within the six month period prior to employment to the fire season.
To qualify as a Category 2 Fire Fighter (Contract Sustained Attack Fire Crews) candidates must complete a Physical Activity Readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q). This screening must occur within the six month period prior to employment for the fire season.
Our agency is now scheduling for this spring’s SP-100 Courses. Additional training that we can offer such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG), Restricted Radio/Telephone Operators Certificate, or Chainsaw Safety Training are optional but are recommended and may be required by certain agencies. Registrations for the SP-100 or these additional courses can be done by phone, at our office, or by mail. Only the first 32 candidates to register for each location can be accepted.
The forty hour SP-100 Course is taught over a period of five days. The training is approximately 60 % field work of which a Performance Based Assessment is conducted on each individual by the instructors. The remaining 40 % of the training is theory. Full attendance is required and a final exam will be conducted at the end of the course. The following is an outline of the course content:
- · Mod. 1 - Fire Suppression Basics
- · Mod. 2 - Health, Safety and Wellness
- · Mod. 3 - Teamwork and Human Factors on the Fireline
- · Mod. 4 - Introduction to ICS
- · Mod. 5 - Fire Behaviour
- · Mod. 7 - Fuel Handling and Safety
- · Mod. 8 - The Power Pump
- · Mod. 9 - Hose Handling, Retrieval and the Application of Water
- · Mod.10 - Heavy Equipment
- · Mod.11 - Fireline Patrol and Mop-Up
- · Mod.12 - Bush Orientation
- · Mod.13 - Aircraft Operations
- · Mod.14 - HT1250 Handheld Radio Use
- · Mod.15 - Camp Operations
- · Mod.16 - Equipment Management
An SP-100 Forest Fire Fighter Certification is valid for one full season from the successful completion of the course ie. If trained in 2020 season, you are valid for 2021 season as well. Fire Fighters would be recertified and qualify for the next fire season if the individual obtained work in the forest fire fighting field and with the completion of a maintenance package by a qualified Crew Boss. Individuals who do not obtain employment in the forest fire fighting field within one full season from completion of the SP-100 course or were unable to achieve a completed maintenance package would require competency testing from an accredited agency. Competency testing is an eight hour field session testing the candidates knowledge of fire fighting techniques and the use of suppression equipment.
Since our agencies only conduct the training for firefighting, we cannot guarantee employment with the MNR or any Fire Crew Contractors. We will however supply hiring information in the form of names, addresses, and phone numbers for employment opportunities with the MNR Ranger Crew System, Emergency Fire Fighters (EFF), or Category 2 Fire Crew Contractors.
Our agencies are not a Pre-Fit testing agency, however from time to time we may be able to aid in notification of locations and dates of scheduled Pre-Fits.
It is the responsibility of the individual to obtain their First Aid Certification.
Our SP-100 Courses include all equipment and materials required for the training with the exception of Steel Toe Safety Boots. A lunch may be required for most day sessions.
Although you don't have to be 18 years of age to take the course, you must have attained your 18th birthday before you can be hired by either the MNR or a fire crew contractor.
If you are interested in attending this course, please view the 2020 Training Schedule. Please remember to download the Registration Form and Training Agreement.
To get an overview on Job Opportunities, Fire Crew Contractors, Prefit Agencies, etc. go to: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/AFFM/index.html
To apply to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources using the online application form, go to: http://www.web2.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/affmb/firerangers/Ontario%20FireRanger%20Employment%20Application.htm