Skip to content. Accessibility info.

Career Firefighter Recruitment

Tough job. Strong team.

A career as a firefighter is both challenging and rewarding, offering individuals the opportunity to serve their community while working as a member of a highly skilled professional team. HRFE is dedicated to enhancing and preserving the quality of life, property and environment, through leadership, partnership and effective response to emergencies.

SELECTION PROCESS     

UPDATE Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 -- When Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency launched the career firefighter recruitment and selection process in January 2016, it was made known that if the need for new firefighters exceeded the number of qualified candidates in the Consideration for Hire pool, then additional candidates may end up being moved through the selection process.

In April 2016, as part of the municipal budget and business planning process, Regional Council approved the addition of 32 new career firefighter positions over a two-year period. As a result, our operations requirements now exceed the number of candidates currently in the Consideration for Hire pool. This means the next 150 recruit candidates with the highest scores from the February aptitude testing will be moved through the Physical Abilities Testing phase.

These additional candidates have been notified via email.

Candidates who earlier this year made it all the way through to the Consideration for Hire pool will remain. However, it should be noted that placement in the Consideration for Hire pool is not a guarantee of future employment.

Phase 1 – Submit Application (January 14-30, 2016) - Concluded

This phase is complete. No further applications are being accepted at this time.

Phase 2 – Aptitude Testing (February 16-20, 2016) - Concluded

This phase is complete. Candidates moving forward to Phase 3 in the fall of 2016 have been notified.

Phase 3 – Physical Abilities Testing (Oct. 3-13, 2016)

The next 150 highest scoring candidates who successfully completed the Aptitude Testing will be invited to participate in physical abilities testing in Halifax, Nova Scotia between Monday, Oct. 3 and Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Testing will be in accordance with the Gledhill Fitness Protocol for Firefighters (Gledhill) and includes a shuttle run (beep test), ladder climb, claustrophobia test, hose carry/climb, rope pull, hose advance/drag, ladder lift, victim drag and forced entry. It is important that all candidates complete each event of the Gledhill successfully. Some events are pass/fail and some are timed.

Invitations to confirm the date, time and location of the testing have been sent to those candidates selected to participate. Candidates must attend the physical abilities testing in person.

Phase 4 – Panel Interview (Oct. 31-Dec. 12, 2016)

Candidates who successfully complete the Gledhill testing will be invited to participate in a competency based panel interview. The interview is designed to allow candidates to draw on examples from their past work or volunteer experience to demonstrate they possess the required competencies to be a career firefighter with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency.  Competencies measured through this process may include: Communication, Customer Service, Stress Management, Teamwork & Cooperation, Values & Ethics and Valuing Diversity.

Additional information on behavioural interviews is available at http://www.halifax.ca/employment/index.php

Invitations to confirm the date, time and location of the interview will be sent via email to those candidates selected to participate. 

Candidates must achieve the minimum cut off score of 70% to move into the Consideration for Hire Pool.

Consideration for Hire Pool

An overall score, comprised of 20% of the aptitude test, 30% of the physical abilities test and 50% of the panel interview score, will be calculated for all candidates upon completion of the panel interview.  Candidates who achieve a minimum overall score of 70% will be placed in a Consideration for Hire Pool.  Candidates in this pool may be contacted at any time up to March 31, 2017 to move forward in the hiring process dependant on budget and operational requirements. 

Please note – Being placed in the consideration for hire pool is not a guarantee of future employment.  The consideration for hire pool will expire on March 31, 2017.  Any candidates remaining in the consideration for hire pool will be required to re-apply to the next general recruitment process for future consideration.

Candidates selected to move forward will be contacted via email to proceed through the remaining phases of the selection process when operational requirements require a hire group to be processed.  The remaining phases include:

Phase 5 – Security Clearance

Candidates will be required to successfully complete all security clearance requirements for the role of firefighter including:  Criminal Records Check, Child Abuse Registry Check, Driver’s Abstract, and Reference Checks.

Phase 6 – Integrity Interview

Candidates who successfully complete the security clearance requirements will attend an Integrity Interview, designed to elicit truthful information from the candidate and to gain insight in to an applicant’s possible participation in behaviours that are not aligned with the requirements of the position.

Phase 7 – Medical Assessment

Candidates will be scheduled to undergo a medical assessment to determine fitness for duty in accordance with National Fire Protection Association 1582 - Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments.

Offer of Employment

Those candidates who successfully complete all phases of the selection process will be offered the position of Firefighter 4th Class in an HRFE career firefighter training class as dictated by budget and operational requirements. 

Work status:  Permanent full time

Hours of work:  E Platoon shift, four days per week between Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 42 hours per week

Salary:  $42,016 in accordance with IAFF Local 268 Collective Agreement for a Firefighter 4th Class.

Work location: Upon successful completion of the HRFE firefighter training requirements, firefighters will be assigned a work location based on operational needs.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Updated Aug. 22, 2016

What are the requirements to apply to become a career firefighter with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency?

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Grade 12 education or equivalent. You must submit a copy of your diploma or transcript with your application.
  • Nova Scotia Class 5 Driver’s Licence (or equivalent from another province) demonstrating safe and responsible driving behaviour (does not show 6 points or more for a single infraction or 8 points or more for multiple infractions in the previous 24 month period). You are not required to submit the driver’s abstract with your application. This will be verified later in the selection process.
  • Criminal record check with no job-related convictions of a criminal offense for which a pardon has not been granted. You are not required to submit a criminal record check with your application. This will be verified later in the selection process.
  • Ability to communicate clearly in English (oral and written form) under demanding, high-pressure situations.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada.

Is there a cost to apply?

No, there are no application fees.

How often does Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency recruit for career firefighters?

We anticipate that career firefighter recruitment will occur every one to three years, as dictated by operational demands to hire new firefighters.

How will I know when career firefighter recruitment is taking place?

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency will announce the start of a career firefighter recruitment on this website www.halifax.ca/fire, through Twitter, and through print ads in major newspapers throughout the province.

Can I drop off my resume to become a career firefighter before the recruitment announcement is made?

No. We only accept resumes during the application period of an active career firefighter recruitment process. If your local fire station offers volunteer opportunities, you may stop by and fill out an application to become a volunteer firefighter at any time.

How do I submit my application when a career firefighter recruitment is announced?

Instructions to submit an application through our web-based job application system will be included in the information posted on our website www.halifax.ca/fire when an active career firefighter recruitment process is taking place.

Should I attach copies of all my certificates to my application?

You are only required to attach proof of Grade 12 or equivalent to your application. Other certifications are not required.

Are there any fees for candidates to take part in the recruitment and selection process?

No, candidates will not be required to pay any fees to participate in the career firefighter recruitment and selection process.

What are the steps involved in the hiring process to become a career firefighter with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency.

Generally, the following steps would be included in the hiring process:

  • Application screening
  • Aptitude test
  • Physical abilities test
  • Panel interview
  • Reference checks
  • Security clearance (driver’s abstract, criminal record check, child abuse registry check)
  • Integrity interview
  • Medical assessment

How long does a career firefighter recruitment process take?

The length of time it takes to complete the recruitment process will depend on the number of applications received. We anticipate it will take approximately six months from the time of application until a Consideration for Hire Pool is established. The number of candidates hired is dictated by operational needs. As required, candidates in the Consideration for Hire Pool are contacted to proceed through the final stages of the hiring process.

I am a volunteer firefighter with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency. Do I have to apply to become a career firefighter?
Yes, current volunteers must follow the instructions to submit an application through our web-based job application system when an active career firefighter recruitment process is taking place. You will be asked to identify yourself as an HRFE volunteer firefighter when submitting your application.

Do current HRFE volunteer firefighters get first consideration in the recruitment process?

No. HRFE volunteer firefighters who meet the application requirements will be invited to take part in the first phase of the recruitment process along with other qualified candidates.

Are there points in the competition for volunteering? How many? How many years do you need to be considered?

Yes. In recognition of their volunteer service, active HRFE volunteers in good standing who meet the minimum cut off score in the aptitude test at Phase 1 of the selection process will be awarded up to five percentage points (5%) to be added to their score. HRFE volunteers will receive one percentage point (1%) for each year of volunteer service in accordance with HRFE Policy P-044 Participation Requirements for Active Membership Status for Volunteer Firefighters, up to a maximum of five percentage points (5%).

Can we skip the aptitude test if we are current HRFE volunteers?

No. The aptitude test measures things like reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning, map reading, writing ability, interpersonal skills, teamwork, logical reasoning, mechanical aptitude and spatial rotation ability, which are key abilities for a career firefighter. All candidates must demonstrate they possess the required abilities to move forward in the recruitment process.

I am a firefighter in another jurisdiction and a member of the IAFF. Can I transfer to HRFE without having to go through the recruitment process?

No. We do not practise lateral transfers. All applicants are required to successfully complete all phases of the recruitment and selection process to be considered for a position as a career firefighter with HRFE. Current IAFF members will not retain seniority or rank if hired as a career firefighter by HRFE.

I don’t live in Halifax Regional Municipality. Do I have to travel to Halifax to write the aptitude test?

No. Candidates who live outside the Halifax Regional Municipality may secure an approved proctor at their own expense to conduct the testing. The proctor must be from an accredited educational institution, such as college or university. When you receive an invitation to testing, you will be required to provide the name of the proctor, the accredited educational institution they are affiliated with, as well as their contact information.

I live in Halifax Regional Municipality but I will be away during the dates for the aptitude testing. Can I write the test at another time?

No. We will not be offering alternative dates to write the aptitude test. 

You may secure an approved proctor at your expense to conduct the testing. The proctor must be from an accredited educational institution, such as college or university. When you receive an invitation to testing, you will be required to provide the name of the proctor, the accredited educational institution they are affiliated with, as well as their contact information.

I did not complete a high school diploma. What is an accepted equivalent?

Successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) is an accepted equivalent to a high school diploma. For additional information about the GED program, please visit the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education website at http://novascotia.ca/lae/adult.education/

I don’t have a copy of my high school diploma or transcript. Is a copy of my post-secondary transcript or diploma acceptable?

Yes, a copy of a diploma or a transcript from an accredited college or university is also acceptable.

Is it acceptable to attach my other certificates or reference letters to my application?

Candidates are only required to attach proof of Grade 12 or equivalent. Candidates must attach this to their application to be screened in to the aptitude testing phase.

However, if a candidate did attach additional documents, they would not be penalized for doing so. However, so as to not over tax the application system, we suggest candidates list on their resume any additional education or certifications they feel are relevant.

Do I need a driver’s licence to be a firefighter?

Yes. Candidates must have a Class 5 Nova Scotia driver’s licence, or the equivalent level licence from another province.

Someone who has a Class 5’N’ licence at the time of hire is not eligible for a licence upgrade to a Class 3 licence with air brakes endorsement. New firefighters must obtain a Class 3 licence with air brakes endorsement during their recruit training to meet job requirements.

Additional information regarding the graduated licensing rules is available at https://www.novascotia.ca/sns/rmv/licence/gradlic.asp

If I have a criminal conviction that has not been pardoned, does that mean I can’t be a firefighter?

Firefighters are viewed as a person in authority and may interact with members of the public at their most vulnerable. Therefore, an adult criminal conviction of a violent offence or a sexual offence for which a pardon has not been granted may disqualify an individual from becoming a firefighter with HRFE. Each situation will be assessed on an individual basis and a determination made based on the nature of the offence and the length of time since the offence occurred. 

What is involved in the medical assessment?

The medical assessment is used to determine fitness for duty in accordance with National Fire Protection Association 1582 - Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments. The assessment includes, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • blood sample analysis
  • urinalysis
  • pulmonary function
  • audio (hearing)
  • vision
  • back fitness
  • physician medical

How do I know if my medical condition will make me ineligible to be a firefighter with HRFE?

Your personal physician is the best resource to discuss whether your personal medical condition would impact your ability to perform the bona fide occupational requirements of a firefighter. We suggest you book an appointment with your physician to discuss your medical condition prior to making your decision to submit your application.

What type of questions can I expect in the panel interview?

The panel interview will consist of behavioural & situational questions based on core competencies for the position. The situational questions will ask you what you would do when faced with a particular situation. The behavioural questions ask you to describe actual events and experiences where you demonstrated certain behaviours. Your answers are to be drawn from events and situations you have encountered in your work, school, volunteer, sports or other life experiences. For additional information on preparing for a behavioural interview, please review our Job Seeker Tools

What is the pay level for firefighters with HRFE?

The current starting annual salary for an entry level firefighter (Firefighter 4th Class) is $42,016.

Firefighters advance through the remaining pay levels (Firefighter 3rd Class - $58,822, Firefighter 2nd Class - $71,427, Firefighter 1st Class - $84,031) subject to the successful completion of all training and performance requirements at each level.

Why are more candidates being invited to proceed to Phase 2 of the recruitment and selection process in October 2016?

In April 2016, as part of the municipal budget planning process, Regional Council approved the addition of 32 new career firefighter positions over a two-year period. Therefore, as our need for additional firefighters exceeds the number of candidates currently in the Consideration for Hire pool, the next 150 candidates with the highest scores from the February aptitude tests will be moved to the Physical Abilities Testing phase in October 2016.

Will more candidates from the original 2016 recruitment pool be invited to proceed at a later date?

No. The current list of candidates invited to the October 2016 Physical Abilities Testing phase will be the final group of candidates to be processed from the 2016 career firefighting recruitment and selection process.