Full-time Firefighter Recruitment

2014 Recruitment is now closed. Recruitment campaign: May 29 to June 18, 2014.


The Hamilton Fire Department is responsible for the delivery of fire protection services to Hamilton citizens. The department offers both full-time and volunteer firefighter positions to men and women who are community-minded, highly motivated and team players. If this describes you, then consider becoming a firefighter with us.

Hamilton’s Fire Department operates out of 30 sites across the city. We have 17 fire stations with full-time firefighters who respond to different emergency situations and 13 fire stations staffed by volunteer firefighters.

Firefighters are responsible for a wide variety of duties including, but not limited to:

  • Applying first aid to stabilize and prepare patients for transport to medical care facilities.
  • Assisting with the development of pre-fire plans.
  • Controlling hazardous materials to prevent injury or loss of life and to minimize property and environmental damage.
  • Maintaining fire equipment.
  • Operating fire apparatus such as pumpers, aerial devices, tankers, rescue trucks, and support vehicles within the structure of the Highway Traffic Act.
  • Participating in fire safety inspections.
  • Participating in public relations activities.
  • Performing administrative duties.
  • Performing communication duties including operating mobile and portable radios, computers, and other equipment.
  • Performing fire ground operations under the direction of a supervisor.
  • Performing rescue operations as part of a team and individually.
  • Performing station duties.

To become a firefighter with the City, you must:

  • Be able to communicate in English both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to conduct routine maintenance and cleaning of stations, apparatus, and equipment.
  • Be able to make decisions and react calmly and quickly in emergency situations.
  • Be able to obtain an Ontario class DZ driver’s licence during the probationary period.
  • Be able to obtain a valid York University Fitness Certificate and Assessment upon receiving a conditional offer of employment.
  • Be able to provide photo identification.
  • Be able to work in a highly structured work environment, on rotating shifts, following the rules, regulations and procedures of the department.
  • Be capable of learning and performing the various methods and techniques used in extinguishing and preventing fires and in rescue techniques.
  • Have a valid Ontario class G driver’s licence or higher (or Provincial equivalent).
  • Have a willingness to participate (on-duty) in a professionally regulated physical fitness program and in training courses directly related to the duties of the job.
  • Have an Ontario High School Diploma or approved equivalent.
  • Have the ability to acquire a general knowledge of hazardous materials, poisonous substances, arson detection, life safety systems and other job related subjects, and be familiar with the procedures associated with these subjects.
  • Have the ability to work within confined spaces or high places.
  • Have visual requirements of at least 20/30 in each eye without corrective lenses, have normal depth perception, and have colour vision.
  • Have, at minimum, a Basic Rescuer or Level “C” Certificate (Heart and Stroke) and Standard First Aid Certificate (Canadian Red Cross, Canadian St. John’s Ambulance or WSIB approved training is acceptable, dated no more than 12 months before the date of your application. Any training that exceeds these minimum requirements would be considered an asset. You must present both certificates at the time of interview.)
  • Maintain the physical strength and agility to perform hard work and operate all firefighting/rescue apparatus and equipment, as well as safety equipment under adverse conditions, frequently, for prolonged periods of time.
  • Not have any criminal convictions for which a pardon has not been granted.

Required firefighter tests

After you apply for a position, you need to write the CPS Entry Firefighter Test (aptitude) and the OS Firefighting Assessment. The City has secured the services of Gledhill-Shaw Enterprises Ltd. to administer the two written tests. Each candidate must first apply for a Firefighter position then register with Gledhill-Shaw with payment and write both test components in order to be considered further in the hiring process. 

The OS-Fire Fighting Assessment Test is a functional characteristics assessment to examine essential personal and performance characteristics in applicants for fire fighting positions. It is an objective assessment tool based on occupational requirements that were identified by fire fighting experts to be essential for the maintenance of public safety in fire fighting. The OS-Fire Fighting Test is not an aptitude test.

The assessment includes up to 250 questions that deal with a variety of emergency situations or sets of circumstances as well as mathematical and mechanical problems. These questions are grouped to reflect specific characteristic areas that Fire Services consider essential to effective performance and public safety. This test takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete.

The CPS-Entry Firefighter Test is a cognitive test of selected knowledge, skills and aptitudes necessary to succeed as a fire fighter in today’s environment. This entry-level test helps identify those candidates who will perform well in training and go on to perform successfully on the job.

The CPS consists of 100 questions, divided into sections to gauge the candidate’s understanding of written and oral information, arithmetic reasoning, maps, diagrams and mechanical drawings and information. The answers to the questions in the test are recorded on a separate computer bubble scan sheet and marked out of 100.

After the reading of an oral passage, candidates will be permitted approximately 2.25 hours to complete the test. Candidates can prepare by studying basic mathematic and mechanical manuals and Fire Fighter preparatory material that is readily available in retail bookstores.

Candidates who get a conditional offer will have to obtain a York University Firefighter Fitness Assessment at their own expense. The City only accepts the York Fitness Assessments.

The assessment includes:

  • a test of your eyesight, colour vision, and depth perception.
  • a hearing test (audiogram).
  • a lung assessment (to determine the health of your lungs and airways).

At the time of a conditional job offer you must possess prescribed visual requirements of 20/30 in each eye without corrective lenses, normal depth perception, and colour vision.

Physical fitness evaluation

The physical tests that you must pass are designed to be directly related to fire suppression operations. Firefighters must have the strength, agility and endurance to carry and climb ladders, wear and use self-contained breathing apparatus, place and operate hose lines, and execute a rescue and many other activities.

Aerobic fitness is measured directly using expired air analysis while running on a treadmill. The speed and incline are gradually increased until the candidate reaches his/her maximum intensity. This test is designed to measure endurance or work capacity.

Participation in moderate to high intensity aerobic workouts (30 to 45 minutes per workout, 4 to 5 times per week) including such activities as jogging, cycling, swimming and rowing, can help you prepare for the aerobic fitness assessment. Consult your physician and/or a qualified fitness instructor before starting any exercise program.  

Job-related performance evaluation

There are eight job-related performance tests. The tests are designed to simulate the physical demands of a firefighter's job which requires both muscular strength and endurance.

To prepare for these tests, you may wish to participate in supervised weight training, stretching and an aerobic exercise program to increase strength, improve flexibility, and enhance aerobic fitness. Consult your physician and/or a qualified fitness instructor before starting any exercise program. 

Wearing a blacked-out face piece, you will be locked in a confined area for a time to be determined by the tester. While you are confined, you will be instructed by the tester to reach up to the top, left front corner and count the number of washers on a bolt sticking out of the wall. You must then call out the correct number to the tester. This test detects fear of confined areas. It is scored on a pass/fail basis; it is not timed.

During the following tests described below, you will be wearing a 13.5 kg vest plus 2.3 kg weights on each ankle. These weights approximate the heaviness of the protective clothing and SCBA worn by firefighters. You will be timed when you perform all tests except the Ladder Lift Test.

Wearing a 9.1 kg cylinder from a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), you will climb a 12.2 m extension ladder, uncouple and re-couple a wall-mounted hose connection, then climb down the ladder. This test assesses fear of heights (acrophobia) and manual dexterity.

You will remove and replace a 25.5 kg ladder from brackets mounted 1.93 m above the floor. This test simulates the demands involved in numerous firefighting activities such as pike poling and removing ladders from aerial beds which require working at or above chest/shoulder height. It assesses muscular strength and endurance of your upper body and back.

You will drag a 91 kg "victim" a distance of 15 m while weaving in and out of traffic cones placed every 3 m. This simulates rescuing a downed firefighter wearing full turn-out gear. It assesses upper body, back, plus lower body muscular strength, agility and dynamic balance.

You will pull a 70 kg load which simulates a charged hose line (a hose line that is ready to discharge water), a distance of 15 m. This test assesses leg power and muscular strength of your upper body.

You will lift and carry over your shoulder a 38.5 kg bundle of hose up and down five flights of stairs. This test simulates carrying equipment to the staging areas of a high-rise fire. It assesses dynamic balance, muscular strength of the upper body and back, plus muscular endurance and power of your legs.  

Using a rope, you will hoist and lower in a hand-over-hand manner, a 22.5 kg weight to a height of 20 m. This test simulates hoisting firefighting equipment to and from windows or roofs. It assesses manual dexterity plus the muscular strength and endurance of your upper body and back.

In this test you are required to move a heavily weighted tire a distance of 12 inches (30.5 cm) on a table, until the tire contacts the wall, by hitting the tire repeatedly with a 10 lb (4.5 kg) sledge hammer. This task simulates a forced entry through a door or wall and requires upper body strength, upper body endurance and motor ability. The height of the table is the height of a door handle and also the height at which a sledgehammer or axe is normally swung during a forced entry.

The tester will record the number of hits and the total time taken to complete the task. Timing begins when you first draw the sledge hammer back from the tire and ends when the tire first contacts the wall.

Be aware that the hammer will rebound, so hold onto the hammer tightly during both the hit and rebound.

 

Important Dates

Review What to Expect During the Recruitment Process for further details on the below dates.

May 2014

Application process opens Thursday, April 30

June 2014

Application process closes Wednesday, June 24

July 2014

Registration to Gledhill-Shaw for OS & CPS Testing July 17 to 24, 2014

August 2014

OS & CPS Testing August 14, 15, or 16, 2014

April 2015

First round of interviews April 27 to 30, 2015

May 2015

Second round of interviews May 20, 21, 22, 27 & 29, June 3 & 4

June 2015

  • Conditional offers will be made June 5
  • Physical fitness testing (York) conducted June 11
  • Medicals conducted June 17

July 2015

Police Vulnerable Sector Check submission July 24

August 2015

Employment start date August 17