Great thread with all kind of good points.
Although I have since released in favor of a civilian Fire/EMS career, I was a CF firefighter for 10 years. As a secondary duty, I oversaw EMR provider, Instructor, and Instructor-Trainer development for the CF Fire Service, particularly in Atlantic.
As noted below, the Canadian Forces Fire Service (including DND civilian branch) provides certification to the level of EMR. - The contract is currently with Canadian Red Cross (phenomenal program, by the way). As such, select CF firefighters complete the Red Cross Instructor Development Program, to in turn train their colleagues in-house.
It is very important to note that CF/DND firefighters are provided with certification (not licensing) to the level of EMR. Once certified, the CF Surgeon General acts as the medical director, providing scope of practice. This responsibility does not fall the provinces . Consequently, the CF firefighter's scope of practice is identical regardless of what where they operate, be it BC, Alberta, etc..
There is a misunderstanding among many CF firefighters that because they are "certified" as an EMR, they are automatically eligible for provincial licensing with their civilian branches (ex Manitoba Health, Alberta Health Services etc..) I receive a plethora of phone calls from CF members who have learned (often too late) that their Red Cross EMR certificate (despite meeting PAC NOCP's and federal scope of practice) is insufficient for provincial licensing upon release from the military. Classically, CF members release from the Forces, apply to a civilian department "requiring EMR" and are unsuccessful because they are unable to license provincially. It boils down to the fundamental difference between certification and licensing. It frustrates me that this is not better articulated on day 01 of an EMR course.
As we know, civilian pre-hospital care is a provincial beast. Accordingly, the provinces, through their medical directors, have the autonomy to dictate licensing requirements, scope of practice, etc.. Want to work as a civilian firefighter in Alberta? - Per Alberta, you need to have undergone EMR training locally (see Alberta college of paramedics website). Then an only then can you write the provincial exam / license as an EMR. - Their approved programs far exceed PAC NOCP's. In fact, Alberta is on the cusp of rolling out a 200+ hour EMR program which will include a clinical component. Hence, the CF firefighter can't walk into the oil field and expect a job requiring EMR. - Back to school for you.
On a positive note, there are only 5 provinces in Canada that actually license EMR's (and thus employ them professionally). They are: BC, Alberta, Sask, Manitoba and Newfoundland. In the remaining provinces, paramedics are the minimum professional designation. The good news is that if you license in one of the "big 5", you're able to slide laterally into the other 4.
Solution for my CF friends:
1) Certify as a Red Cross EMR through the Canadian Forces / DND
2) Apply for (civilian) licensing as an EMR through the province of BC
3) Once licensed in BC, you can work there and.or port your license into the 4 other provinces of your choosing.