Please note:

To effectively participate in this program, students must have reliable Internet access and a device that meets these requirements.

About the program

The Fire Service Skills certificate program is a unique credential providing prospective fire service recruits and current fire service personnel with a much sought after combination of technical knowledge and skills, along with a self-care component, designed to enhance applicant competitiveness, fire service effectiveness and operational resilience in several key areas.

Students will engage in both theoretical and practical learning, which includes online and/or in-person theory and applied skill development at the state-of-the-art Waterloo Emergency Services Training and Resource Complex (WRESTRC). Students will train on the same types of equipment used across the Ontario Fire Service.

Graduates of the Fire Service Skills program will be eligible to receive two certificates in addition to the Conestoga College Certificate - one from the Mental Health Commission of Canada for The Working Mind for First Responders, and one from LivingWorks for safeTALK.

Graduates of this program will be eligible to write provincial examinations based on curriculum approved by Pro Board and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) for Life Safety Educator, and Fire Inspector I. Pump Operations and Fire Inspector I, although not tested in this program, are both approved by Pro Board and IFSAC. These two courses are eligible to be tested once you have joined a Fire Department.

Program information

All courses must be completed within 4 years of acceptance into the program.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario College Certificate (OCC) from a Pre Service Firefighter Education and Training program, or equivalent;
  • An employee of an Ontario Fire Service (career or volunteer) holding National Fire Protection Association certifications: NFPA 1001; NFPA 472 or NFPA 1072
  • Current Standard First Aid and Level C CPR

Note re: admission requirements

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs Standard Language Requirements:
    • IELTS overall band of 6 with no band less than 5.5
    • TOEFL iBT 80
    • CAEL 70 with minimum 60 writing, no sub-test band score less than 30
    • PTE Academic 51
    • Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 5

Admission procedures

  • Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.
  • Submit proof of Admission Requirements. Review Apply to a Program to learn how.
  • Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements.

Program requirements

  • A Class DZ Licence is required for students prior to the start of the Pump Truck Operations, FIRE1410, course.
  • Students are required to have HazMat Awareness and Ontario Fire College Legislation, or successful completion of an Ontario Pre-Service Fire Fighter program prior to the start of the FIRE1400/FIRE1401 courses.

Graduate opportunities

The Ontario Fire Service is facing a number of concurrent workforce capacity pressures related to demographics, job demands and economics. These are creating needs and opportunities for upskilling within the current workforce and among prospective applicants.
Graduates of this program will be able to extend and complement the learning outcomes and certifications available through Pre Service Firefighter Education and Training programs in Ontario. The program provides opportunities for learners to acquire four National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certifications and two certificates from the Mental Health Commission of Canada: Program courses are aligned to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards: NFPA 1002 (Pump Operations); NFPA 1031 (Fire Inspector I); NFPA 1035 (Fire and Life Safety Educator); NFPA 1041 (Fire Instructor I); Safe Talk; and The Working Mind for First Responders (formerly Road to Mental Readiness).
Courses in the proposed program are aligned to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards related to the four technical skills focused courses. These are: NFPA 1002 (Pump Operations); NFPA 1031 (Fire Inspector I); NFPA 1035 (Fire and Life Safety Educator); NFPA 1041 (Fire Instructor I)
With this combination of training and credentials, tied to current and continuing pressures faced by fire services, the proposed program is uniquely positioned in Ontario to address the needs of both prospective employers and prospective applicants for fire service jobs. These graduates may be employed at municipal, provincial, and federal public service organizations including airports, fire departments, insurance companies, and other areas where fire safety is key.

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website:

Program outcomes

  • Communicate in both written and oral forms to support effective decision making and responses in tactical and reporting environments.
  • Analyze data and make decisions supporting effective fire prevention and education and fire suppression
  • Identify the tools that can be used to effectively deliver safety related messages.
  • Recognize environmental hazards in order to mitigate risks.
  • Explain accountabilities related to the reduction of fire risk in the community.
  • Explain human behaviour during fires, and fire behaviour, fire growth characteristics, and appropriate methods of fire suppression.
  • Recognize various unhealthy behaviours in yourself and others and describe various ways to keep the person safe for now.

Program related resources

Program contact

Continuing Education
Upcoming registrations

Mark your calendar with our registration dates, so you can plan your future.

Spring registration: Opens March 11, 2024
Fall registration: Opens July 22, 2024