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.
    • Do not submit your diploma.
  2. A valid Candidate Physical Ability Test (C-PAT) certificate which must be kept current throughout the application process
  3. A valid Class 3 Driver's License with air brake endorsement or equivalent for vehicles with more than two axles (automatic transmission is accepted)
  4. Transcripts demonstrating 30 post-secondary credits or one year minimum approved apprenticeship
    • NFPA 1001 Level I and II will be recognized as 20 post-secondary credits.
    • Military training and qualifications will be recognized as post-secondary credits on a case by case basis.  
  5. Current driver's abstract (dated no more than 45 days prior to the application closing date)
    • If your driver's abstract (within the last 5 years) includes charges for driving under the influence (DUI), your application will not be considered.
  6. Current driving record that demonstrates responsible and safe driving behaviour 
    • If your driving record has more than 6 points, or a 24-hour roadside prohibition (for possible DUI) within the last 2 years of our application deadline, your application may not be considered.
  7. One of the following licenses, issued by EMALB in Victoria BC, which must be kept current throughout the application process:
    • First Responder (FR) with Schedule 2 Endorsements
    • Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
    • Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
    • Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) 
  8. Two years of accumulated work experience after you completed high school
  9. No job-related conviction of a criminal or summary offense for which you have not received a pardon
  10. Legal entitlement to work in Canada
    • You must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident/Landed Immigrant – a work visa will not suffice.
  11. Colour vision safe
    • Refer to NFPA 1582, Chapter 6.
  12. 20/30 corrected binocular vision, or 20/100 uncorrected binocular vision, or better
    • Refer to NFPA 1582, Chapter 6.
  13. Normal hearing without artificial aids
    • Refer to NFPA 1582, Chapter 6. 

Preferred qualifications

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

  1. Completion of NFPA 1001 Level I and II, or an authorized equivalent. For a list of accredited fire academies, see:
  2. Past experience in emergency services:
    • Fire
    • Forest fire service 
    • Police
    • Coast guard
    • EMS
    • Military
    • Nursing
    • Search and rescue
  3. 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


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.