Tough job. Strong team.
A career as a firefighter is both challenging and rewarding. You have the opportunity to serve your community while working as a member of a highly skilled professional team.
What are the requirements to apply to become a career firefighter with Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency?
To work for Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency as career firefighter, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
- Be legally entitled to work in Canada.
- Have a Grade 12 education or equivalent. You must submit a copy of your diploma with your application (this could include Grade 12 Certificate, community college diploma, GED, or university degree). If you submit a High School transcript, it MUST clearly state a graduation date or certify that you are a graduate.
- Possess a Nova Scotia Class 5 Driver’s Licence (or equivalent from another province) demonstrating safe and responsible driving behaviour. That means you cannot have, in the previous 24-month period*:
- 6 points or more for a single infraction or
- 8 points or more for multiple infractions in the previous 24 month period.
- Have a completed criminal record check with no job-related convictions of a criminal offense for which a pardon has not been granted.*
- Be able to communicate clearly in English (oral and written form) under demanding, high-pressure situations.
*You are not required to submit the driver’s abstract or criminal record check with your application. Both will be verified later in the selection process.
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 career firefighter recruitment will occur every one to three years, as dictated by operational demands to hire new firefighters. Please continue to monitor this page for information regarding future opportunities.
How will I know when career firefighter recruitment is taking place?
HRFE will announce the start of a career firefighter recruitment on this website, 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. HRFE 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 on how to submit an application through our web-based job application system can be found here.
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. Please do not submit additional documents or certifications other than proof of Grade 12. Doing so could cause errors in your submission.
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 hiring process to become a firefighter goes like this:
- application screening
- aptitude test - information for preparation [PDF and videos]
- physical abilities test – see a preparation guide [PDF]
- 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 [PDF], up to a maximum of five percentage points (5%).
Can I skip the aptitude test if I am a current HRFE volunteer?
No. The aptitude test measures things like:
- reading comprehension
- mathematical reasoning
- map reading
- writing ability
- interpersonal skills
- logical reasoning
- mechanical aptitude
- spatial rotation ability
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, there are no 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 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, visit the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education website.
I don’t have a copy of my high school diploma or transcript. Is a copy of my post-secondary transcript or diploma acceptable?
A copy of a diploma from an accredited college or university is also acceptable.
Transcripts cannot be accepted as there are too many variants in the number of credits/courses for different institutions, which makes it difficult to determine if a program was completed.
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. This will reduce the possibility of errors occurring with your submission.
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.
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:
- blood sample analysis
- pulmonary function
- audio (hearing)
- 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. HRFE suggests that you book an appointment with your physician to discuss your medical condition before you submit your application.
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 subject to the successful completion of all training and performance requirements at each level:
- Firefighter 3rd Class: $58,822
- Firefighter 2nd Class: $71,427
- Firefighter 1st Class: $84,031