Looking For Direction

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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Looking For Direction

Postby MJD33 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:30 pm

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask you what would be the recommended "path" to becoming a firefighter in Calgary, considering my current situation.

I am a 1st year apprentice as a fire sprinkler fitter. The company I work for specializes in a variety of fire protection systems and as an apprentice in this trade some of the things I will be learning about are fire codes, the types of fire systems out there, how to install and as well as fabricate parts needed in these systems to name a few.

I've had my eyes set on becoming a firefighter for a few years but I decided to get a trade under my belt not only as a reliable "fallback" option but to have some sort of credentials to myself because I do not have a college degree.

Currently I am 23 years old and by the time I get my journeyman ticket I will be 27. What can I do to make myself a better candidate considering my situation. I understand getting an EMT/EMR cert is a good step but considering I have bills to pay and would like to pursue this trade as a career for now I can't drop everything and put myself through SAIT's program. Maybe once I get my journeyman ticket, I can take some time off to do those.

Aside from that, what can I do? I would appreciate any sort of advice or direction. Thank you so much guys.

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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:42 pm

Re: Looking For Direction

Postby Winch1 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:59 pm

You are definitely on the right track. Any trade is an advantage to have for the fire service, especially a Sprinkler Systems Installer trade. You will need to make sure you finish your apprenticeship and the rest will fall into place.

I am currently in the hiring process at Calgary right now. Im a red seal Steamfitter-Pipefitter as well as a second year Sprinkler Fitter Apprentice. Your ticket will be your x-factor but i can almost guarantee you will need to volunteer. Community service/motivation to serve the public cannot be stressed enough for consideration to be a fire fighter. You dont need to be a volunteer firefighter to do this. Do research on what interests you to volunteer for.

Getting your emr and your professional drivers license will be recommended to you as you move forward in the process. (When to start obtaining them if you havent already). Of course it would be ideal to get those earlier, however i suggest you set your goals to complete your apprenticeship, do some volunteering and gaining life experience, then take the time you need to get those courses.

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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:00 pm

Re: Looking For Direction

Postby sparky2018 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:33 pm

Winch is 100% correct. Thats an excellent trade for knowledge of building codes, building construction, etc. Not to mention the pay isn't too shabby either (much better than an electrician :) )

Definitely do what you can to get involved in your community. Do you live somewhere that has volunteer firefighters? That would be a great option, if you do, especially if you still have a few years until you're ticketed. Do you play any sports? Youth coaching is another great idea. Theres always things like St John Ambulance, ski patrol, volunteer search and rescue, etc. Really it comes down to finding something you enjoy and are passionate about and getting involved.

Theres no rush to feel like you need to go out and get every rescue course or certification under the sun, focus on what you're doing now and maybe look at doing things like Winch mentioned (truck license, EMR, etc) when you have the money and time to do it. Also, keep in mind that a lot of departments are starting to require 1001/1002 certification. You can always look into places like Training Divison, TEEX, Southwest Fire Academy, etc. when you're done your apprenticeship. You sound like you're definitely on the right track, I'm sure you'll make a great candidate.

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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Re: Looking For Direction

Postby OLDAFI » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:49 pm

Also check out Lakeland College in Vermilion AB. They have both the 16 week 1001/1002 course and just introduced 2 years ago a blended (online + 5 weeks practical) option. Can't emphasize enough the volunteer/community service. Doesn't have to be fire related, but make sure it's something you care about. It will come across in an interview when you're asked questions about it.

Good luck.

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