Print

Qualifications to apply to become a firefighter

Interested to become a Vancouver firefighter? Get familiar with our qualifications to help your application succeed.

You must meet our general application requirements and required qualifications at the time you apply.

If we offer you employment, you need to meet several extra conditions, such as where you live.

General application requirements

You should be:

  • Physically fit and well coordinated
  • Highly motivated
  • Willing to work cooperatively as part of a team
  • Committed to continuous learning
  • Dedicated to helping others

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services members serve a diverse population. The ability to speak languages in addition to English and socialize within different cultures is helpful.

Qualifications to apply

Required qualifications

Your application must meet these required qualifications to pass to the next step in our recruitment process:

  1. Transcripts demonstrating high school- or GED-completion (not your diploma).
    • High school transcripts from educational institutions outside of North America must be accredited by a Canadian accreditation service, written in English, and officially notarized before submission.
  2. Current driver's abstract (dated no more than 45 days prior to the application closing date). The abstract should demonstrate responsible and safe driving behavior. A current record with:
    • Infractions on your driver's abstract within the last five years for driving under the influence (DUI) will eliminate applicants from consideration
    • More than six points may eliminate an application from further consideration in the process
    • A 24 hour roadside prohibition within the last two years may eliminate an applicant from further consideration
  3. A valid Class 3 Driver's License (or higher) with air brake endorsement or equivalent for vehicles with more than two axles (automatic transmission is accepted). Equivalent licenses from other Canadian Provinces or Territories are acceptable. 

Applications without these qualifications will be accepted. However, you will be required to obtain these qualifications by either:

  • Time of official job offer
  • Time of hire

Which date will be at the discretion of the Fire Department. Contact BC Driver Services for equivalency clarification at 1-250-978-8300.

  1. Two years of accumulated work experience after the completion of highschool
  2. Valid BC Emergency Medical Assistance Licensing Board (EMALB) Licence in one of the following:
    • First Responder (FR) with schedule two endorsements
    • Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
    • Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
    • Advance Care Paramedic (ACP)

Provide a legible copy of the letter from EMALB stating you hold a valid licence, including your license number. If you have the older style card license, include both front and back of the license. 

Applicants must be licensed in BC. You may contact EMALB to enquire about transferring your qualifications. 

The First aid license must be maintained throughout the application process.

Newly hired firefighters will have the option to maintain their current level of EMALB First-Aid Licensing throughout their term of employment. This is for EMR, PCP or ACP EMALB First-Aid License holders and will be facilitated through VFRS.

Applications without these qualifications will be accepted. However, you will be required to obtain these qualifications by either:

  • Time of official job offer
  • Time of hire

Which date will be at the discretion of the Fire Department.  

  1. Legal entitlement to work in Canada must be shown by submitting a clear copy of one of the following:
    • Canadian Birth Certificate
    • Canadian Passport
    • Current Permanent Resident card
    • Current Landed Immigrant card

 A work visa is not acceptable. 

  1. Vision and hearing that meet the criteria in NFPA 1582 chapter 6:
    • Color vision safe
    • 20/30 corrected binocular vision and 20/100 uncorrected binocular vision or better
    • Normal hearing without artificial aids

Applicants will be assessed during the medical screening stage for these requirements.

  1. Completion of NFPA 1001, Level I and II with appropriate IFSAC or Pro Board Seals. For a list of accredited fire academies, see:‚Äč

Applications without these qualifications will be accepted. However, you will be required to obtain these qualifications by either:

  • Time of official job offer
  • Time of hire

Which date will be at the discretion of the Fire Department.  

 The written exam will contain NFPA 1001 level one and two course content. Applicants without their NFPA are encouraged to self-study the NFPA material in preparation for the exam.

  1. No job related conviction of a criminal or summary offense for which you have not received a pardon

Preferred qualifications

These additional skills and experiences will enhance your application, but do not replace the minimum qualifications.

  1. Past experience in emergency services
    • Fire
    • Forest fire service 
    • Police
    • Coast guard
    • EMS
    • Military
    • Nursing
    • Search and rescue
  2. Practical experience transferable to areas of firefighting:
    • Trades
    • Previous firefighting experience (structural or forestry)
    • Military service
    • College- or university-level academic studies
    • Knowledge of different cultures
    • Fluency in languages other than English
    • Advanced medical training (Paramedic PCP/ACP, EMT, EMR, Nursing)
    • Heavy-equipment operator
    • Coaching, teaching, or instructional experience
    • Truck-driving tandem-axle vehicles with a Class 1 or 3 Driver's License
    • Ability to swim, with related lifesaving and rescue certificates
    • Valid British Columbia Class 4 Driver's License
    • Volunteer experience and community involvement
    • Demonstrated athletic or physical capabilities and achievements
    • Knowledge and ability to work effectively with computers, computer programs, and software
    • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team environment
    • Completion of other fire-service related courses or programs

Where you live matters

Due to the on-call nature of our work, Fire Rescue Service members must reside within the Lower Mainland, with the following boundaries:

  • The City of Vancouver in the west
  • The Municipality of Chilliwack in the east
  • The Canadian/US border in the south
  • The Municipality of Squamish in the north

These residency restrictions come into effect at the time of hiring.

Contact our Recruitment & Outreach Division

fire.recruitment@vancouver.ca

Note Please do not contact us about the status of your application. We are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

How Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services hires

The Vancouver Fire Rescue Services is an equal opportunity employer and practises the highest standards of diversity and inclusion.