All News

Mar 08 2018

Important Message to Ontario Students Who are Studying, or Considering Studying, to Become a Firefighter in the Province of Ontario

Please read the announcment from the Minsitry of Advanced Education and Skills Development:   

Southwest Fire Academy is an approved NFPA Firefighter training provider in Ontario.  Our Private Career College Registration number is 166176.    

Important Message to Ontario Students Who are Studying, or Considering Studying, to Become a Firefighter in the Province of Ontario

To be a firefighter in the Province of Ontario, it is recommended that the candidate complete the pre-service firefighter program.  In Ontario, the only entity with the authority to test for and provide students with the required certification is the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. There may be other, non-accredited firefighter training available in Ontario, however the Ontario Fire Marshal will not recognize their training.

The only Firefighter programs which are designed to lead to National Fire Prevention Association certification as approved by the Ontario Fire Marshal are provided by:

  • A local Fire Service;
  • The Ontario Fire College;
  • A College of Applied Arts and Technology, or:
  • A private career college registered by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and approved to deliver the Firefighter program.

If you want to find out which Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology are approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and the OFMEM to offer Firefighter Programs in Ontario, which can lead to NFPA certification please go to the following link:

http://www.ontariocolleges.ca/SearchResults/FIRE-JUSTICE-SECURITY-FIREFIGHTING-FIRE-SYSTEMS/_/N-lncfZ9?Ns1=Program_Title_SORT&Ns2=0

To find out which Private Career Colleges are approved by the Ontario Fire Marshal and the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges to offer Firefighter Programs leading to NFPA certification in Ontario, please go to the following link:

https://www.riccpcc.serviceontario.ca/pcc/jsp/report/PCCProgramList.jsp?start=0

Trainers other than the Ontario Fire College, your local Fire Service, or those schools identified by the above links cannot provide training which leads to NFPA certification in Ontario.

You may become aware of some “Private Trainers” which offer specialized programs such as Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, etc.  You need to be aware that programs offered by these Private Trainers are not recognized by the Ontario Fire Marshal and cannot lead to NFPA certification.  Furthermore, these trainers are not registered with, nor are their programs approved by, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development or the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.

Five fatalities involving training of this type are known to have occurred in Canada; two of which have occurred in Ontario.  

We strongly urge students forego such training until such time as they have been employed by a local Fire Service for a reasonable period, and have been identified by their employer as a suitable candidate for such high-risk, high-stress assignments.

Participating in such training will not increase your chances of being hired by a Fire Service. 

Regardless of whether you train as an employee of a Local Fire Service, attend a College of Applied Arts and Technology, or attend a Private Career College, several training options are available to you which can provide you with the basic skills and knowledge needed to embark on a challenging and rewarding career as a firefighter in the Province of Ontario.

Attachments provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development:

Communication-to-Students-v4-French.docx
Communication-to-Students-v4.docx


Jan 26 2018

Proposed Changes to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997

Proposed changes to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act in Ontario and what does it mean for future firefighters?

IMPORTANT STATEMENT OF FACT:These are recommended changes from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) and are not legislation yet.  This is currently open for public comment in Ontario.

Earlier this week the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) released a proposed change to the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 that requires mandatory certification for firefighters in Ontario.

The proposed changes would take effect January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020 for Technical Rescue. 

The requirements for mandatory certification in the following disciplines would be for firefighters that are hired after January 1, 2019 only:

  1. Suppression Firefighters
  2. Pump Operators
  3. Technical Rescuers
  4. Fire Officers
  5. Fire Educators

In addition to the above disciplines, MCSCS is proposing that existing firefighters that are currently employed must be certified regardless of date of hire for the following disciplines since these roles come with increased risk and responsibility:

  1. Fire Inspectors
  2. Fire Investigators
  3. Fire Instructors
  4. Hazardous Materials Personnel
  5. Fire Dispatchers

Finally, the proposed changes include a clause that reads:
Who provides certifications               
     (2) The certification must be provided by the Fire Marshal


What does this mean?  Certifications issued through other jurisdictions may not meet the intent of the FPPA, 1997. 

What should you do when choosing a training provider to ensure that you can achieve your goals?

  1. Ensure that the training provider is an approved training provider in the Province of Ontario
  2. Ensure that they are registered as a Private Career College or a Public College in Ontario
  3. Ensure that they have an approved Memorandum of Understanding between the learning institution and the Office of the Fire Marshal in Ontario

If you are considering a career in Firefighting, please don’t hesitate to contact us and help us answer your questions. 

If you are already enrolled in a course that is out of Province – contact us to see about transferring to an Ontario school to ensure that your certifications will be valid in Ontario.