Selection process


Virtual information session for Firefighter/PCP or ACP recruitment

This information session is for individuals considering employment as a Firefighter/Primary or Advance Care Paramedic with Strathcona County or The City of Spruce Grove.

The session focuses on:
- Information about Emergency Services in Strathcona County and the City of Spruce Grove
- What it means to be a Firefighter/ Primary or Advance Care Paramedic within our community
- The recruitment process and timelines
- And offer an opportunity for questions and answers

View the recorded session.

The Joint Regional Firefighter recruitment process is a comprehensive multi-phased, competitive, fair and equitable process that results in the most suitable candidates being offered employment. You must be successful at one step in order to move on to the next. It is your responsibility to address all the requirements, meet deadlines, and be available to attend scheduled assessment dates. 


Our application testing procedures run on a cost-recovery basis. If a fee is associated with a process step, it is noted below. 

Step 1. Application

On-line applications will only be accepted during a recruitment campaign (September 1 to September 30, 2020). Please note: all applicant information including resumes, testing results, etc., will be shared and viewed by all departments in the joint regional recruitment campaign.  

Applications for the current recruit are ONLY being accepted via on-line application at the City of Spruce Grove Career page and select Career Opportunities

No paper, fax or in-person applications will be accepted. The Regional Information Sharing Consent Form must be submitted along with your resume and cover letter. This document must be signed by the applicant and uploaded along with your resume otherwise it will not be considered for this recruitment. 

Fire Services and Human Resources representatives from each department will review applications and a score is then determined based on 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.

Minimum qualifications

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

One of the following is required:

  • Registered Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) 

  • 2nd year Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) or graduate of a recognized ACP, students registered as a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) that will be writing the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) no later than November 2020 (must successfully pass the exam). 

  • Registered Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) and hold NFPA 1001 Level I & II Certification (certification must be held on the date of application). 

In addition to one of the qualifications listed above, you must meet the following mandatory conditions of employment:

  • Current registration with the Alberta College of Paramedics as an Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) or Primary Care Paramedic (PCP).  

  • Hold a valid Class 4 driver's licence. A valid Class 3 driver's licence and Air Brake (Q) endorsement must be obtained by start date. This will be provided in the form of a driver’s abstract demonstrating a satisfactory driving record with six demerits or fewer. 

  • Have the ability to successfully obtain, and maintain, a vulnerable sector police information check.  

  • Ability to pass physical and medical standards, including eyesight and audible, as outlined in the NFPA standard. 

The following qualifications are preferred, but not mandatory:

  • Emergency medical/fire response work experience 
  • Current ITLS certification
  • Current PALS certification
  • Current ACLS certification

Certified Advanced Care Paramedics will receive training for NFPA 1001. Dependent on which department hires, successful applicants that have their PCP and NFPA 1001 will be given training to become a certified Advanced Care Paramedic.  

Please note: supporting documentation is not required at the time of application unless otherwise specified.

The following attributes would be considered an asset:

  • Reported completing additional education such as a college diploma, university degree, journeyman certificate, etc. 
  • Completion of post-secondary education and/or trades certifications.
  • Building construction, mechanics, welding, plumbing, electrical, pipe fitting, or other 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.
  • Teaching or instruction.
  • Life saving, rescue, etc.
  • Participation in a Cadet Program (Fire, Sea, Air, Army, etc.)
  • Community involvement or volunteering.

Please refer to to view the NFPA1582 Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, Chapter 6 – Medical Evaluations of Candidates for disqualifying medical conditions.

Although these documents are not required when you initially apply, applicants who are shortlisted may 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. Recertification 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
  • PALS Certification
  • ITLS Certification
  • 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

We will review your application and you be advised by email 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

The first phase of the selection process each applicant is required to complete is the Firefighter Physical Fitness test that measure a firefighter candidate's minimal physical fitness level and ability to perform essential tasks at emergency scenes. The University of Alberta's Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation administers this test. 

This portion of the recruitment process is paid for by the candidate. The cost of the testing must be paid in full when booking your appointment to secure your testing time. The cost of the fitness test is $388. 

If you have completed the University of Alberta’s Firefighter Fitness Test since January 2020, the results from that test will be accepted.

Please visit the University of Albert Firefighter Fitness Testing webpage as it contains a wealth of information, including a general information package and contact information:

Following the test, you will be advised by email if you are, or are not, being invited to move to the next phase of the recruitment process.

Step 3. Knowledge test

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

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

Applicants will be advised of the location and time of the assessment. The tests must be written at a pre-determined location; no out-of-town or supervised exams will be allowed. It is a multiple choice, computer-scored test that will take approximately 2 hours to complete. A third-party service testing company analyzes the overall results to determine scoring.

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

Following the test, you will be advised by email if you are, or are not, being invited to move to the next phase of the recruitment process.

Step 4: Medical knowledge testing (OSCE)

The medical knowledge testing is designed to evaluate the applicant’s knowledge and skills to provide pre-hospital care to the sick and injured. 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)

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) consists of an examination and a scenario conducted by an independent third party. OSCEs provide an objective manner to evaluate each candidate for demeanor, professionalism, medical knowledge and skills. Multiple choice, short and long answer questions are used to investigate 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.

Following the test, you will be advised by email if you are, or are not, being invited to move to the next phase of the recruitment process.

Step 5: Panel Interview

If selected, you’ll be asked to submit a YouTube video that is no more than three minutes in length telling us why you have chosen this career and what you feel has prepared you to be successful as Firefighter/Emergency Services Personnel in an integrated fire service. 

Our interview format offers each candidate an opportunity to meet with three interview panels, comprised of representatives from each municipality. You will speak with each panel for 30 minutes. Each panel will ask a different set of five questions and many of the responses are suited to the STAR (Situation, Tasks, Action, Results) format. 

This is an in-depth structured assessment of specific selection criteria, 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 
  • General ability 
  • Presentation and oral communication skills

If selected for a Panel Interview the following information will be requested to bring with you: 

  • Copies of all relevant certifications 
  • References – three (3) work related contacts 
  • Copy of Driver’s License and Driver’s Abstract showing a satisfactory driving record (6 demerits or fewer). A valid Class 3 drivers' licence and Air Brake (Q) endorsement must be obtained prior to the employment commencement date.

Reference checks are typically 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 by email 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 least one conditional letter of offer to be reviewed and signed. Note that a criminal records check – vulnerable sector is required upon offer and is a condition of employment.  

As part of the regional recruit, all letters of offers will be provided to the candidate on the same date, so a candidate may receive up to three (3) letters of offer, one from each department.  The candidate may make the decision of which municipality to work for. Once that decision is made, the candidate is then removed from the list and would not be eligible to be hired from another department until the next recruitment process when the candidate would have to apply again.

Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email. 

Step 7: Pre-placement medical as per NFPA

Candidates who are selected will be scheduled for the Pre-Placement Medical as per NFPA standards. The job is both physically and emotionally demanding, therefore, candidates must be in excellent physical condition as well as in good health. Departments 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. 

The final decision is made on the selection of the Firefighter and will be provided via a formal letter of offer to be reviewed and signed. 

Eligibility list

If selected, your name will be placed on an eligibility list pending future job openings until the next Regional Recruitment. If a position becomes available, you will 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 Police Information Check or Criminal Records Search or Criminal Record Information including 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 and Spruce Grove Fire Services reserve 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. 


Strathcona County: recruitment@strathcona.caa

City of Spruce Grove:

Last updated: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Page ID: 47911