Selection Process

Last updated: Apr. 05, 2017 at 4:05 PM

The Joint Regional Firefighter recruitment process is a comprehensive multi-stepped competitive, yet fair and equitable process that results in the most suitable candidates being offered employment. You must be successful at one step in order to move on to the next. It is your responsibility to address all the requirements, meet deadlines, and be available to attend scheduled assessment dates.


Our application testing procedures run on a cost-recovery basis. If a fee is associated with a process step, it is noted below.

Step 1. Application

Online applications will only be accepted during a recruitment campaign (January 16 to February 22, 2017). Please note: all applicant information including resumes, testing results, etc will be shared and viewed by all departments in the joint regional recruit campaign.

Applications for the current recruit are being accepted ONLY by on-line applications at No Paper applications will be accepted. The Regional Information Sharing - Consent is to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter. These documents must be signed by the applicant and sent along with your resume otherwise it will not be considered for this recruitment.

Fire Services and Human Resources representatives from each departments will review applications and a score is then determined based on an applicant's education, qualifications, training, and work experience. If minimum qualifications have not been demonstrated, the application will not receive further consideration.

Applications will be evaluated to ensure the following requirements and qualifications have been met before the candidate advances to the next step:

  • Hold, at minimum, a High School Diploma or GED
  • Current registration with the Alberta College of Paramedics as an Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP), Advanced Care Paramedic Student or Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
  • One of the following:
    • Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP)
    • Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP), with NFPA 1001-Level II
    • 2nd year Advanced Care Paramedic student
    • Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) - NFPA 1001 - Level II
  • Class 4 Alberta Driver's License. Preference for Class 3 (or above) and Air Brake Q endorsement. A Class 3 license will be a condition of employment.
  • Ability to obtain a clear Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check
  • Ability to pass physical and medical standards, including audible, as outlined in the NFPA standard 1582
  • Related work experience

Certified Advanced Care Paramedics will receive training for NFPA 1001. Dependent on which department hires, successful applicants that have their PCP and NFPA 1001 will be given training to become a certified Advanced Care Paramedic.


Please note: Paper documentation or supporting documentation is not required at the time of application. If selected for an interview, you must provide documented proof of the following:

  1. Hold a High School Diploma or GED.
  2. Currently registered with the Alberta College of Paramedics as an ACP or PCP.
  3. Hold a valid Class 4 drivers license.
  4. Have the ability to successfully obtain, and maintain, a vulnerable sector police information check.
  5. Ability to pass physical and medical standards, including eyesight and audible, as outlined in the NFPA standard.
  6. Driver's abstract with six demerits or fewer.

The following qualifications are preferred, but not mandatory:

  1. A valid Class 3 drivers license and Air Brake (Q) endorsement. This will be a condition of employment.
  2. Current ITLS certification.
  3. Current PALS certification.
  4. Current ACLS certification.

The following attributes would be considered an asset:

  1. Reported completing additional education such as a college diploma, university degree, journeyman certificate, etc.
  2. Completion of post-secondary education and/or trades certifications.
  3. Building construction, mechanics, welding, plumbing, electrical, pipe fitting, or other skilled trades.
  4. Use of hydraulic systems/tools, pumps, self-contained breathing apparatus, and/or communications equipment.
  5. Operating heavy-duty equipment.
  6. Driving tandem-axle vehicles using Class 1, 2, or 3 licences.
  7. Teaching or instruction.
  8. Life saving, rescue, etc.
  9. Participation in a Cadet Program (Fire, Sea, Air, Army, etc.)
  10. Community involvement or volunteering.

Please refer to the list of disqualifying medical conditions.

Although these documents are not required when you initially apply, applicants who are shortlisted may be asked to produce them in a very limited timeframe. We highly encourage you to begin acquiring copies of these documents as soon as possible.

  • Your documentation must include legible copies of official credentials. In some instances, you may be asked to submit an original, unaltered document.
  • It is your responsibility to understand the qualifications and accepted types of supporting documentation before you apply.
  • If you are found to have falsified or intentionally misrepresented your credentials, you will not be allowed to proceed and future applications will not be accepted from you.
  • You will need to maintain your qualifications throughout the assessment processes. Recertification or further validation of credentials may be requested.

Documents required

  1. Proof of High School completion or recognized equivalency (GED)
  2. Proof of valid Alberta College of Paramedic registration number
  3. Proof of NFPA 1001 - Level II
  4. Driver's Licence Abstract with 6 demerits of fewer - dated no earlier than 3 months prior to interview date
  5. Criminal Records Check - dated no earlier than 3 months prior to interview date, including vulnerable sector check
  6. ACLS Certification
  7. PALS Certification
  8. ITLS Certification
  9. You will be asked to provide a complete record of your immunization of documentation from a medical authority only if you are to complete the medical exam.

       Proof of Immunization History confirming immunity to:
    • Measles (Rubeola) 
    • Tetanus (<10 years)
    • Mumps 
    • Diphtheria (<10years)
    • Rubella (German measles) 
    • Hepatitis - B 
  10. Other Supporting Documentation

We will review your application and you be advised by email ONLY if you are moving to the next step. Candidates who do not meet the requirements will not advance to the next step. You will not be contacted if you are not selected to move to the next step.

Step 2: Assessment Testing

If selected you will be invited to write a mechanical reasoning and character assessment test.

The mechanical reasoning test will measure the candidates' understanding of principles of mechanics, spatial ability, and cause and effect relationships.

A work personality assessment will be completed on the following competencies that were identified as important criteria for a firefighter:

  1. Ability to manage stress
  2. Impulse control and ability to control anger
  3. Professional Image and Interpersonal style
  4. Forming relationships
  5. Follows direction and adheres to Chain of Command
  6. Consistency, reliability, conscientiousness, responsibility
  7. Open to learning and acceptance of suggestions
  8. Ability to communicate
  9. Demonstrates compassion
  10. Knows when to lead
  11. Willing to accept others opinion

Applicants will be advised of the location and time of the mechanical reasoning and character assessment. The tests must be written at a pre-determined location; no out-of-town or supervised exams will be allowed. It is a multiple choice, computer-scored test that will take approximately one (1) hour to complete both exams. A third party service testing company analyzes the overall results to determine scoring.

There will be no re-writes. A grouping of the highest-ranked applicants will advance to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Following the tests, you will be advised by email if you are or are not moving to the next step.

Step 3. Pre-employment firefighter physical fitness assessments

All applicants who progress to further steps in the selection process will be required to complete the Physical Fitness test that measure a firefighter candidate's minimal physical fitness level and ability to perform essential tasks at emergency scenes. The University of Alberta's External Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation administers this test.

This portion of the recruitment process is paid for by the candidate. The cost of the testing must be paid in full when booking your appointment to secure your testing time. The cost of the fitness test is $367.50 ($350.00+GST).

The physical fitness test is divided into two components: the aerobic endurance (treadmill) test, and the six task-specific job simulation tests. There is a 1-hour rest period between the treadmill test and the orientation/walk-through for the job simulation tests. Each test requires maximal effort.

All tests are to be completed while wearing firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) that weighs approximately 22 kg (50 lbs). The PPE is the helmet, flash-hood, gloves, pants, boots, jacket and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Applicants will not breathe from the SCBA, but must carry it. For safety during the treadmill test, running shoes are substituted for firefighting boots.

If you have completed the physical fitness test in 2017 the results from that test will be accepted.

What to bring?

Medical Clearance Form
You must bring the Medical Clearance Form, signed by your physician, to verify that you are medically fit to complete the test. You will not be allowed to proceed with the test without this completed form.

Government-issued photo identification (e.g. drivers licence) must be presented upon your arrival at the Work Physiology Laboratory in order to verify your identity. You will not be allowed to proceed with the test without suitable identification.

Bring the following items of clothing with you: shorts, two T-shirts, running shoes, extra socks, and warm-up clothing. Your T-shirt will be wet from sweat after the treadmill test. You should change into a dry shirt and then put on your warm-up gear to keep warm during the 60-minute rest period. We will provide you with PPE for the testing session, including boots. While we have a good selection of firefighting boots, getting an exact fit may not always be possible. In order to get the best fit, bring several pairs of socks (thin and thick sport socks).

Towel and Lock
You may use the locker room and shower facilities at the University to shower after your test. We recommend that you bring a lock to use on a "day locker" and you must provide your own towel.

Water and Snacks
You should bring a water bottle or sports drink (e.g., Gatorade). Avoid "energy drinks" like Red Bull.

You may want to eat a small snack (e.g., banana or Power Bar) during the rest period between the treadmill test and the job-related tests. Do not try anything (Gatorade, Power Bar, etc.) for the first time during your test appointment. You should know how your body reacts to your nutritional plan well in advance of your appointment.

For more information contact the Faculty of Education and Recreation, University of Alberta External.

Following the test, you will be advised by email if you are or are not moving to the next step.

Step 4: Medical Knowledge Testing

The medical knowledge testing is designed to evaluate the applicant's knowledge and skills to provide pre-hospital care to the sick and injured. The test is made up of the following components:

  • Multiple choice
  • Long and short answer questions
  • Medical scenario with a simulator
  • History taking scenario
  • Pharmacology (if you are an Advanced Care Paramedic)

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) consists of an examination and a scenario conducted by an independent third party. OSCEs provide an objective manner to evaluate each candidate for demeanour, professionalism, medical knowledge and skills. Multiple choice, short and long answer questions are used to investigate the candidate's knowledge. Scenario testing is used to review a candidate's history taking, treatment and decision making with a simulator. Examinations and scenarios are appropriate to a candidates ACP registration level scope of practice.

Step 5: Panel Interview

If selected, you will attend a formal panel interview with representation from each of the municipality's fire service representative and Human Resources. Responses given in a "targeted selection" interview are collected using the S.T.A.R. format. Interviewees should be prepared to answer questions the following way - Situation/Task (what was the circumstance or what needed to be done); Action (what did you do?); Result (what happened or what feedback did you receive?).

This is an in-depth structured assessment of specific selection criteria, as well as an opportunity to verify some of the information provided on the application form.

  • Teamwork/interpersonal skills
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Motivation and preparedness
  • Adherence to authority
  • Stress tolerance and stamina
  • General ability
  • Presentation and oral communication skills

If selected for a Panel Interview the following information will be requested to bring with you:

  • All relevant certifications
  • References - three (3) work related contacts
  • Valid Alberta Class 4 Alberta Driver's Licence with airbrake endorsement or proof of equivalency indicating a Class 3 and Q endorsement
  • An original Police Information Check or Certified Criminal Record Check including Vulnerable Sector Check

Reference checks are typically completed following a successful panel interview. Conducting of reference checks does not necessarily indicate advancement to the next step. The candidate's overall results at this step will determine if the candidate advances further.

Candidates who do not meet the requirements will not advance to the next step. You will be advised by email if you are or are not moving to the next step.

Step 6. Letter of Conditional Offer

All information in your application file will be reviewed on your suitability for hire. After a decision is made, you will be advised if you have or have not been selected to move on to the next step.

The final decision is made on the selection of the Firefighter and will be provided a letter of offer to be reviewed and signed.

As part of the regional recruit, all letters of offers will be provided to the candidate on the same date. A candidate may receive up to three (3) letters of offer, one from each department. The candidate may make the decision of which municipality to work for. Once decision is made the candidate is then removed from the list and would not be eligible to be hired from another department until the next recruitment process when the candidate would have to apply again.

Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email.

Step 7: Pre-Placement medical as per NFPA

Candidates who are selected will be scheduled for the Pre-Placement Medical as per NFPA standards. The job is both physically and emotionally demanding, therefore, candidates must be in excellent physical condition as well as in good health. Departments follow the pre-placement NFPA medical guidelines and is strict with the use of tobacco products. For example: Candidate with Category A medical conditions shall not be certified as meeting the medical requirements of this standard. Tobacco use is a Category A medical condition.

There is no grade or mark to this examination - either a candidate is "fit for duty" or is "not fit for duty" and is so informed. A candidate that is "fit for duty" will proceed in the recruitment process.

The final decision is made on the selection of the Firefighter and will be provided a formal letter of offer to be reviewed and signed.

Eligibility List

If selected, your name will be placed on an eligibility list pending future job openings or until six months after the date of offer. If a position becomes available, you will receive a conditional job offer depending on medical results.
To remain eligible, applicants must maintain:

  • A valid Alberta Class 3 Driver's Licence with airbrake endorsement or proof of equivalency
  • A Driver's Abstract of six or less demerits
  • An original Police Information Check or Criminal Records Search or Criminal Record Information including Vulnerable Sector Check that has not disclosed or located a criminal record or record of criminal convictions
  • Physical fitness - maintained to at least the level that was determined by the University of Alberta Physical Fitness Test

Strathcona County Emergency, St. Albert Fire Services and Spruce Grove Fire Services reserves the right to access candidates from the Eligibility List at anytime during the recruitment process.

Note: The firefighter recruitment process is subject to change.