What to Expect During the Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment Process

The City of Hamilton only accepts applications during specified recruitment campaign dates. These dates will be advertised as they become available.

You must find out if you live within a catchment area before applying. To check if you live within the catchment, refer to the catchment maps.
For Station #14: You must live within the catchment area or within an 8 km drive from the station.

Contact the Area Commanders’ Office at 905-546-2424 ext. 6078 if you have any questions about whether you live within a catchment area.

You will be emailed if you qualify for the physical agility and written aptitude tests. It is important to note that successfully completing the physical agility and written aptitude tests does not guarantee that you will get an interview. The test will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2016.

Documents required for registration
  • A valid Ontario G class driver’s licence. The street address must match the one that is listed on your application.
Testing
  • Paper and pencils will be provided
  • Calculators are not permitted

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat, gloves, hardhat, and a blackened-out mask, you will crawl on your hands and knees through a maze. As you move through the maze you will be following the openings in each section by feeling for the openings with your hand. The maze will have a basic square, three sides of the square will be closed and one side or front open. It will also consist of a short cylindrical tube, and a round opening as well. You will be watched by an instructor who will help you if you get into trouble during the task. The instructor will help you put on the mask and entering the maze and upon exiting the maze, the examiner will tell you to stand and remove your mask.

The applicant must complete this test in less than six minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, removes his/her mask during the test, or panics while wearing the mask, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Applicant to maintain three point contact when climbing.

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat, gloves, safety belt and rope, you will climb up to the top of the ladder and touch the ladder tip with both hands. The examiner will assist to secure and remove the safety belt from the applicant's waist. After reaching the tip, proceed down the ladder three rungs where you will be instructed by the examiner to take a leg lock. The leg lock will be demonstrated to the group by one of the examiners before the testing begins. Once the examiner is satisfied that the leg lock has been completed correctly you will then be instructed to remove both your hands from the ladder and lean backwards. After completing this evolution you will be instructed to release your leg lock and proceed down the ladder to the ground.

The applicant must complete this test in less than five minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, or panics while climbing the ladder the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat, gloves and hard hat you will grasp the marked rungs of the four roof ladder, lift it off the apparatus bracket (as a unit), carry it 15 m, then place it upright against the wall with the bottom positioned on a designated line. Upon direction for the eaminer, you will return the ladder to its position on the apparatus bracket. If you drag the ladder you will fail the test.

The applicant must complete this test in less than four minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, or is unable to complete the required task, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat and gloves, you will grasp the training dummy weighing 81 kg under the arms and around the chest and drag it a distance of 15 m, while weaving in and out of traffic cones placed 3 m apart. You will be disqualified if you pull on the dummy's arms or use its handle.

The applicant must complete this test in less than two minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, refuses to or is unable to drag the dummy, or is unable to complete the required distance, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat and gloves, you are required to pull a 65 mm hose filled with water, (not charged) from the west wall, and advance the line to the brass drain on the East wall a distance of 30 m.

The applicant must stay within the boundaries of the course at all times or you will be disqualified. The task must complete this test in less than two minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, refuses to, or is unable to drag the hose, or is unable to complete the required distance, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat and gloves, you are required to pick up two foam pails weighing a combined weight of 32 kg and carry them through an obstacle course of 15 m. You will be required to open a door and proceed through an obstacle course. After completing the obstacle course you will proceed back to the room where you started with the pails. You must stay within the boundaries of the course at all times and you are not allowed to place the pails on the ground (except to open the door) during the course or you will be disqualified.

The applicant must complete this test in less than three minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, refuses to, or is unable to pick up the pails, or is unable to complete the required distance, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Wearing a firefighter turnout coat, you are required to hoist a 15 m length of 65 mm hose rolled in a donut, by rope and pulleys up to the fifth floor mezzanine, and lower the same to the ground in a controlled manner. This is a timed event and time will be started as soon as you apply tension on the rope. The load must be pulled and lowered (in a controlled manner). When the load reaches the floor, the time will be stopped. If you let go of the rope before pulling the load to the mezzanine or if you drop the hose when lowering it, you will be disqualified.

The applicant must complete this test in less than three minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, refuses to, or is unable to pull the load, or is unable to pull the load the required distance, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Wearing firefighter turnout coat, gloves, hard hat and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (no mask), you will lift and carry over your shoulder a bundle of 65 mm hose (folded and tied), weighing approximately 32 kg. Once the hose is placed on your shoulder you will proceed to the fifth floor with contact of the handrail maintained and touching every step. Once you get to the fifth floor you will switch shoulders with the load so as to maintain contact on the hand rail for the decent down the stairs to ground level four times in succession without stopping. You will make contact with every step and not skip any steps while ascending or descending the stairs.

The applicant must complete this test in less than 10 minutes. If the applicant is unable to complete the test in the required time, drops the hose during the test or misses a step while going up or down the stairs, refuses to climb the stairs carrying the hose or is unable to complete the trip, the applicant will be classified as failing the test and all further testing will be discontinued.

Successful applicants will be emailed for an interview. Interviews will be conducted from October 3 to October 17, 2016.

Required documents to bring:

  • The original and one copy of your valid Ontario G class driver’s licence. The street address must match the one that is listed on your application.
  • When you are contacted for an interview, you will be sent a Reference Consent Form where you will need to list three references. References must be people that you have reported to and at least one of the references must be someone you have reported to within the last three years. Personal references are not accepted.

You will be disqualified from the process if you fail to bring the information listed above to your interview. You must pass the interview to move the next step.

Successful applicants will be emailed for a physical agility evalutation.

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, carry out a rescue and many other evolutions. You must pass physical tests related to fire suppression operations.

Attire
Wear the appropriate active wear (running shoes and gym clothes) to complete the physical agility test. Do not wear shorts.

Physical Agility Evaluation Booklet (PDF, 156 KB) 

Conditional job offers will be made the week of November 16, 2016 and are based on the number of jobs available. To be eligible to continue further in the process the following conditions must be met:

  • Police Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Medical & Vision assessment
  • Reference Checks - references submitted at the time of your interview will be contacted by the City.
  • Licence and Driver’s Abstract Check (conducted by the City and satisfactory to us)

You will be required to obtain a Police Vulnerable Sector Check at your own expense. To obtain your police check, go to the police service in the municipality where you permanently live.

In order for your application to be considered, you must not have a criminal conviction for which a pardon has not been granted at the time of application and your police check must be satisfactory to the City.

You will be contacted by the City with a date and time for your third-party medical assessment.

  • The cost of the medical assessment is covered by the City.
  • The required medical documents will be provided to you once your appointment has been confirmed.
  • You must successfully complete the medical assessment to be considered.
  • Your vision will be tested at the medical assessment. The acceptable vision required for this position is 20/30 in each eye without corrective lenses and the ability to satisfactorily complete a colour vision test.

Firm offers will be made the week of December 19, 2016.

Volunteer recruitment training is an approximately 260-hour training program that starts January 3, 2017.

  • You are expected to attend theoretical and practical training twice over a two-week period from start to finish.
  • You should expect to train for 10 hours per two-week period, which includes one weekday (day or evening, depending on your availability) and a Saturday and/or Sunday.
  • Most training will occur at Hamilton Fire Department, Indoor Training Facility Building, 1227 Stone Church Road East, Hamilton and other locations as determined. Training locations may change.
  • You are expected to attend a minimum of 80% of the training.
  • You are expected to achieve 75% or greater on tests and exams in order to complete the program. 


Core training

You will go through theoretical and practical training for live fire suppression in both residential and high rise structures, vehicle fires, medical training, auto rescue, air brake endorsement, and defensive driving. Additional training with a driving instructor will qualify you to upgrade your licence to a “DZ” where required.

After successfully completing training, you are expected to:

  • Attend at least 50% of regular training sessions.
  • Train a minimum of two hours per week. Depending on your assigned station this could be on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday night. In addition to regular training sessions, volunteer firefighters are expected to attend and complete other mandatory training programs as required, which may or may not take place during their regular scheduled training sessions.
  • Attend at least 25% of all alarms dispatched out of their assigned station and are required to participate in at least 25% of the regular cleaning of their station, apparatus, and equipment inspection at their assigned station.
  • Successfully complete your one year probationary period.
  • Upgrade your driver’s licence to a DZ class licence within the first year (training is provided).
  • Observe all City of Hamilton employee rules, regulations, and instructions in effect at the time of employment or as established at any subsequent time during your employment.
  • Maintain and care for all uniforms, protective clothing, equipment, and supplies that are issued to you.
  • Review and follow all applicable City and departmental policies and guidelines.

For further information, please contact the Area Commanders' Office at 905-546-2424, ext. 6078, Monday to Friday, from 8 am until 4 pm.