Firefighters training

Being a firefighter/paramedic is also a commitment to career-long training and development. It includes physical training, skills development, certifications and leadership training.

Recruit training

A successful applicant completes a 14-week recruit orientation. During this orientation, recruits learn theoretical and practical skills in firefighting skills, County and department policies and procedures:

  • Vehicle extrication
  • Fire ground survival
  • Fire behaviour
  • Fire runs - life fire training
  • Industrial fire
  • Technical rope response
  • Medical skill and MCP refreshers
  • Mental wellness and peer support
  • Personal growth certifications – Crucial Conversations, conflict de-escalation and emotional intelligence
  • NFPA 1001 certifications (if required)

Recruits participate in fitness sessions that are developed by our Wellness Fitness Coordinator. Sessions are led by members of the Peer Fitness Trainers who have an extensive background in firefighter fitness. 

Probationary assignments

At the end of recruit orientation, members will be assigned to their Platoon to continue their one-year of probation. The member will take a regular seat on EMS and Fire apparatus, train consistently, and be evaluated regularly ensuring skill progression.  At the end of the 12 months, probationary members will be assessed through a written and a practical evaluation. 


This is the formal ceremony where probationary members become permanent members of the department. Friends, families and dignitaries are invited to the ceremony to celebrate this milestone.

Early years as a firefighter/paramedic

The firefighter progression is similar to a four-year apprenticeship program. Each year skills and expectations evolve to match increasing responsibility and accountability.


Career-long learning and development

Strathcona County is committed to developing our staff. Not only to keep skills and knowledge current to be proficient as a firefighter/paramedic, but to develop members into leaders.

We have a structured, progressive learning and develop program with new skill and responsibility opportunities starting around the first-class firefighter classification. This may include Advanced Care Paramedic certification and water or technical rope team admission. We have an annual skill matrix to drive continuing competency training. Additionally, any changes to equipment or policies demand new or refreshed skillsets.

For the Officers, we have Levels I, II and III. Each are weeks long, introducing new concepts, refreshing our expectations for each level of responsibility, and providing you with the tools for success in a formal leadership role. Those members attaining the highest levels are supported for advanced education.

For those eager for learning and development, the County offers Individual Learning Plan (ILP) support for personalized growth like diplomas or degrees related to the profession.

What is the result? A challenging life-long learning plan rarely seen in the fire service, and one we are proud share.

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: Monday, April 03, 2023
Page ID: 51373