Join Strathcona County Emergency Services

Next recruitment opens March 1, 2024

Applications will be accepted March 1 to 31, 2024.

If you are compassionate, a team player, problem solver, love a diverse job and want to help those in need, we want you. 

Things to consider before applying

Before you submit your firefighter application, take the time to learn all you can about the job and requirements. Familiarize yourself with the job tasks and the different steps in the selection process. Do your homework. Better to be over prepared than unprepared. Preparation is required to be successful in this process.

  • You need to be prepared to travel (if required) to complete various recruitment testing events. 
  • A commitment to maintaining a daily fitness regime and monitoring your personal wellness is essential to ensuring personal safety and longevity. Make sure you have the strength, stamina and cardiovascular conditioning required to take on the physical challenges of this career. 
  • Ethical behaviour and accountability must be part of your nature. Taking responsibility for and ownership of your actions is vital to success in the hiring process.
  • An ability to carry out orders in emergencies, combined with the capacity to assess and act on own initiative and/or work effectively as part of a team.
  • Job fit is one of many critical factors considered in our decision making processes. Successful completion of all steps in the process does not ensure a job offer.
  • You must be able to follow and act on complex oral and written instructions; you will be evaluated on these skills throughout our assessments.
  • A practical understanding of a wide range of subjects related to fire, rescue, dangerous goods and EMS, including the ability to operate and understand the operation of mechanical equipment
  • You will be assessed throughout the entire application process.
  • Although exciting, this is also a dangerous job. You may be exposed to many hazardous conditions, loud noises, and contaminants, and have to work in extreme temperatures.

Minimum requirements

You must meet ONE of the following minimum qualifications on the date you submit your application. 

  • Registered Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) 
  • Registered Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)  

If you are a paramedic outside of Alberta, visit the Alberta College of Paramedics to learn about how to register in Alberta. It is a straightforward process and may only take a couple months to complete. Check out their checklist for requirements.
Ontario applicants: applicants who received education in Ontario will be required to successfully complete the COPR exams OR provide validation of employment within the Base Hospital system. Visit the 
Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) website to see a list of exam dates.

Additional requirements:

The following qualifications are preferred, but not mandatory: 

  • NFPA 1001 – Level I & II certification 
  • Emergency medical/fire response work experience 
  • Current ITLS certification 
  • Current PALS certification 
  • Current ACLS certification

Successful candidates will receive training for NFPA 1001. 

The following experience would be considered an asset:

  • Completion of post-secondary education and/or trades courses, certifications, diplomas or degree
  • Skilled trades
  • Use of hydraulic systems/tools, pumps, self-contained breathing apparatus, and/or communications equipment
  • Operating heavy-duty equipment
  • Driving tandem-axle vehicles using Class 1, 2, or 3 licences
  • Leadership roles, coaching, teaching or instruction
  • Life saving, rescue, etc.
  • Participation in a Cadet Program (Fire, Sea, Air, Army, etc.)
  • Community involvement or volunteering

Details of the process

Resumes are only accepted during an open recruitment period. Recruitment for 2024 is March 1 to 31.

Step 1. Application

On-line applications will only be accepted during a recruitment period. Applications are reviewed and consideration is given to an applicant’s education, qualifications, training and work experience. If minimum qualifications have not been demonstrated, the application will not receive further consideration.

Applications will be evaluated to ensure the following requirements and qualifications have been met before the candidate advances to the next step.

Supporting documentation is not required at the time of application unless otherwise specified. Applicants who are shortlisted will be asked to produce them in a very limited timeframe. We highly encourage you to begin acquiring copies of these documents as soon as possible. 

  • Your documentation must include legible copies of official credentials. In some instances, you may be asked to submit an original, unaltered document. 
  • It is your responsibility to understand the qualifications and accepted types of supporting documentation before you apply. 
  • If you are found to have falsified or intentionally misrepresented your credentials, you will not be allowed to proceed, and future applications will not be accepted from you. 
  • You will need to maintain your qualifications throughout the assessment processes. Re-certification or further validation of credentials may be requested. 

Documents required             

  • Proof of valid Alberta College of Paramedic registration number
  • Proof of NFPA 1001 – Level I and Level II
  • Driver’s License Abstract with 6 demerits of fewer - dated no earlier than 3 months prior to interview date
  • Criminal Records Check – dated no earlier than 3 months prior to interview date, including vulnerable sector check 
  • ACLS Certification (if applicable)
  • PALS Certification (if applicable)
  • ITLS Certification (if applicable)
  • You will be asked to provide a complete record of your immunization of documentation from a medical authority if you are to complete the medical exam
    • Measles (Rubeola)
    • Tetanus (<10 years)
    • Mumps
    • Diphtheria (<10 years)
    • Rubella (German measles)
    • Hepatitis - B
  • Other supporting documentation (i.e. awards, commendations, professional designations, volunteer experience, additional post-secondary education)

We will review your application and you be advised ONLY if you are moving to the next step. Candidates who do not meet the requirements will not advance to the next step. You will not be contacted if you are not selected to move to the next step. 

Step 2. Pre-employment firefighter physical fitness assessment

Successfully passing the University of Alberta’s Firefighter Physical Fitness test is a requirement in our hiring process. This test measures minimal physical fitness levels and the ability to perform essential tasks during emergency scenes. The test is administered by the University of Alberta's Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation. 

We will accept any successful result from the University of Alberta that was conducted after January 1, 2024. Candidates are required to maintain this level of fitness to meet fitness levels and job demands. It is strongly recommended to train beyond the minimum requirements of physical fitness testing.  

You are encouraged to complete this step by registering for one of the University of Alberta’s Open Testing Dates by visiting University of Alberta Firefighter Fitness Testing. There are currently open test dates on: 

  • Feb 2, 16 and 21, 2024 
  • March 1, 2, 15, 18 and 22, 2024 

The candidate is responsible for paying the cost of the fitness test which is $388.50 ($370.00 per test + $18.50 GST), payment must be made in full when booking your appointment on-line to secure your testing time.

Please note, any candidate selected to move through our recruitment process who has not completed the fitness test will be required to complete it in May 2024.

Please visit University of Alberta Firefighter Fitness Testing as it contains a wealth of information, including a general information package and contact information. 

Step 3. Aptitude/knowledge test

If selected to continue in the recruitment process applicants will be invited to write a two-hour, in-person Knowledge Test. The test will measure a variety of areas that include: 

  • Understanding Oral Information 
  • Reading and understanding written information
  • Numerical skills/math
  • Maps, Diagrams and Mechanical Reasoning 
  • Teamwork/Public Relations/Community Living

This test is completed in-person in Strathcona County. You will be provided with the test location and time when scheduled. The test is multiple choice and you are allotted two hours to complete it. Out of town or supervised exams are not available.

There will be no re-writes. Applicants will advance to the next stage of the recruitment process if they pass the minimum accepted threshold.

Please note that the aptitude/knowledge test will be done the same day as the medical knowledge testing and interviews (see below).

Step 4: Medical knowledge testing

Applicants will be asked to complete a medical knowledge test as well as a medical scenario based on their ACP or PCP status. The medical knowledge testing is designed to evaluate the applicant’s knowledge and skills to provide pre-hospital care to the sick and injured. This is an in-depth written exam coupled with a circuit of short (the usual is five to 10 minutes) stations, in which each candidate is examined at a one-on-one basis. Each station has a different examiner and candidates rotate through the stations, completing all the stations on their circuit. During each station, candidates will be requested to provide clinical assessments and review the potential differential diagnosis and possible treatments.

The test is made up of the following components:

  • Multiple choice
  • Long and short answer questions
  • Medical scenario with a simulator
  • History taking scenario
  • Pharmacology (if you are an Advanced Care Paramedic)

Each candidate is evaluated for demeanour, professionalism, medical knowledge and skills. Multiple choice, short and long answer questions are used to evaluate the candidate’s knowledge. Scenario testing is used to review a candidate’s history taking, treatment and decision making with a simulator. Examinations and scenarios are appropriate to a candidates ACP registration level scope of practice.

Please note that the medical knowledge test is done on the same day as the aptitude/knowledge test. 

Step 5: Panel interview

Our interview format offers each candidate an opportunity to meet with a panel, comprised of representatives from the department and HR. The panel will ask a variety of competency-based questions and many of the responses are suited to the STAR (Situation, Tasks, Action, Results) format:

  • Situation - set the scene, describe the situation with relevant details. 
  • Task - what needed to be done; what was the goal or intention? 
  • Action - explain what steps you took; what was your contribution?
  • Result - what was the outcome, what was achieved or learned?

This is an in-depth structured assessment of specific competencies, as well as an opportunity to verify some of the information provided on the application form. 

  • Teamwork/interpersonal skills 
  • Honesty and integrity 
  • Motivation and preparedness 
  • Adherence to authority 
  • Stress tolerance and stamina 
  • Presentation and oral communication skills

Reference checks will be completed following a successful panel interview. Conducting of reference checks does not necessarily indicate advancement to the next step. The candidate's overall results at this step will determine if the candidate advances further. 

Candidates who do not meet the requirements will not advance to the next step. You will be advised if you are, or are not, moving to the next phase. 

Step 6: Letter of conditional offer

All information in your application file will be reviewed on your suitability for hire. After a decision is made, you will be advised if you have or have not been selected to move on to the next step. 

The final decision is made on the selection of a fully qualified candidate and that person will be provide at a conditional letter of offer to be reviewed and signed. Note that a criminal records check – vulnerable sector is required once the offer is accepted and is a condition of employment.  

Unsuccessful candidates will be notified. 

Step 7: Pre-placement medical

Candidates who accept the conditional offer will be scheduled for the Pre-Placement Medical as per NFPA standards. This includes:

  • the medical (fit for duty)
  • drug and alcohol clearance
  • mask fit test (must be clean shaven)

The job is both physically and emotionally demanding, therefore, candidates must be in excellent physical condition as well as in good health. Emergency Services follow the pre-placement NFPA medical guidelines and are strict with the use of tobacco products. For example: Candidate with Category A medical conditions shall not be certified as meeting the medical requirements of this standard. Tobacco use is a Category A medical condition. 

There is no grade or mark to this examination - either a candidate is “fit for duty” or is “not fit for duty” and is so informed. A candidate that is “fit for duty” will proceed in the recruitment process. 


Eligibility list

This competition may be used to fill future vacancies within the next six months. Qualified candidates will be placed on an eligibility list. If a position becomes available, you may receive a conditional job offer, pending the results of a pre-employment medical assessment and any other conditions of employment being met. 

To remain eligible, applicants must maintain:

  • A valid Alberta Class 3 Drivers’ License with airbrake endorsement or proof of equivalency 
  • A Driver's Abstract of six or less demerits 
  • An original Vulnerable Sector Check that has not disclosed or located a criminal record or record of criminal convictions  
  • Physical fitness - maintained to at least the level that was determined by the University of Alberta Physical Fitness Test 
  • Strathcona County Emergency reserves the right to access candidates from the Eligibility List at any time during the recruitment process. 

Note: The firefighter recruitment process is subject to change as per operational requirements. 


 

Timeline

The process takes approximately six months to complete. See below for tentative 2024 recruitment process. Please note, dates and times are subject to change.

  • Competition opens – March 1, 2024
     
  • Closing date – March 31, 2024
     
  • Physical agility exam – TBD (2023 was May 1 to 31).
    The candidate is responsible for booking and paying for the cost, once requested. If you are hired, you can submit your receipt for the cost of the exam for reimbursement. You are encouraged to consider one of the open testing dates in February or March. See Step 2 above for more information.
     
  • Testing and interview - TBD (2023 was mid-June)
    Each of the following tests will be conducted on one day and candidates will be scheduled over a week or two.
    • Aptitude/Knowledge test 
    • Medical knowledge testing 
    • Behavioural based interviews 

Candidates will also be measured for bunker gear on this day.

  • Conditional offer of employment – TBD
     
  • Pre-employment medical assessment and drug screening – TBD
     
  • Anticipated start date – August 12, 2024

     

Have questions?


Contact Emergency Services for questions about the department
joinSCES@strathcona.ca

Contact Human Resources for questions about the recruitment process
recruitment@strathcona.ca

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Last updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Page ID: 51371