Preparation will help to set you up for a successful process. Below are a number of tips and resources to help you prepare for the application process. Please note that these do not guarantee success.

Preparing for the physical exam

The physical is often the most difficult part of the application process. Training months in advance of the exam is often needed. 

The University of Alberta administers the physical exam for Strathcona County. Check out their website for information including: 

  • how to train
  • open houses for practice
  • open testing dates
  • location and cost
  • what to expect during the physical exam

Firefighter Fitness Testing

It is strongly recommended to train beyond the minimum requirements. Some applicants may choose to work with a personal trainer that specializes in firefighter preparation. 

It is also important to remember that physical training doesn't end after recruit training. It is a lifelong commitment to maintaining a daily fitness regime and monitoring your personal wellness to make sure you have the strength, stamina and cardiovascular conditioning required to take on the physical challenges of this career.


Aptitude and medical knowledge testing

Test preparation packages are available for purchase (approximately $5) from the provider. A link will be posted once the provider has been selected.

Some other resources to help in preparation


Panel interview

During the in-person interview you will meet with a panel of people who want to learn more about you and your experiences. You can expect behavioural based interview questions to be asked that will cover the core competencies of the job, and you are encouraged to respond with specific examples that highlight your experiences.

To ensure you are ready for the interview, you must prepare, research and practice. Recall situations from your work and life that will provide supportive examples to respond to the interview questions.  

Set up mock interviews with others and practice your interview skills using the STAR format. This method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioural based interview question by speaking to the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation that you are describing. Using this format will help you provide a concise and clear response to the question. 

  • 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?


Are you in junior high or high school?

If you are interested in a career as a firefighter/paramedic, there are some things you can do now to assist your journey to your dream career! 

  • Look for post secondary schools that offer basic and advanced care paramedic programs. Look at the prerequisites for the programs to make sure you are on the right path. Generally courses to focus on in high school:
    • Biology or Science
    • Math
    • English
  • Volunteering in the community
  • Get involved with team sports/activities
  • Commit to a healthy, active lifestyle


Frequently asked questions and answers

Can I apply again if I wasn't successful in the last recruitment?

Yes, previous applicants are encouraged to apply if they were not successful in the past. Many people are hired on after multiple attempts. Going through the process again will help you be even more prepared.  

What is your harassment policy?

Strathcona County has several Human Resources policies that include respectful workplace, workplace violence prevention and the employee code of ethics. 

Read the policies

Are there any costs to apply?

There is no cost to submit your online application. There is a cost associated with the physical testing. Candidates that are hired may submit this cost for reimbursement (receipt required). 

How many staff will be hired?

There will be approximately 12 positions available. The number of positions may change by the time offers to the successful candidates are made.

Do new paramedics only work on the ambulances?

No. Firefighter/Paramedics are assigned to fire apparatus or the ambulance on a rotating basis.

I have my NFPA 1001 and I am a registered Paramedic in another province. Am I still qualified to apply for this posting?

You must meet the full registration requirements for Paramedics to apply. Visit Alberta College of Paramedics to learn more.

Is this a regional recruitment?

No, this recruitment is exclusively for Strathcona County Emergency Services.

Do you offer wage matching?

Strathcona County has a salary matching plan where new hires who are members in good standing with another IAFF local can carry over their current classification to Strathcona County with regards to salary only (up to the level of 1st class firefighter rate). The County is willing to discuss wage adjustments (up to a 1st class firefighter rate) for applicants with similar fire/EMS or EMS experience in an organization that serves the public.


Subscribe to the firefighter/paramedic recruitment newsletter

Have questions?

Contact Emergency Services for questions about the department

Contact Human Resources for questions about the recruitment process

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Last updated: Thursday, June 27, 2024
Page ID: 51372