Firefighter Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Firefighter, or a Fire Brigade Worker, is the first line of response to fires and other emergencies. Their duties include responding to various emergencies, protecting people and their properties from fires, and providing emergency medical aid.

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Firefighter duties and responsibilities

A Firefighter is responsible for rapidly and efficiently responding to emergencies. They use specialized equipment to put out fires, rescue victims, and minimize damage. When Firefighters are not responding to emergencies, they work in their communities to raise awareness of fire safety and promote safety standards. Some of their other duties include: 

  • Operating and maintaining firefighting equipment, including vehicles, hoses, and the fire station
  • Providing emergency medical care and assisting with evacuations
  • Participating in medical and firefighting training programs
  • Leading and participating in community education programs
  • Driving firetrucks and other emergency vehicles
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Firefighter Job Description Examples:


Example 1

The Town of Smiths Falls Fire Department is accepting applications for the position of Volunteer Firefighters. *Duties of the position include but are not limited to: * A Firefighter is primarily responsible for operational preparedness and emergency response. Further, responsibility includes the safe, effective and efficient employment of tactics and tasks at emergency incidents at the direction of an Officer. A Firefighter is also responsible for conducting inspections, and delivering fire prevention education programs. The Qualifications and Requirements are indicated in the Recruitment Package and the Recruitment Package can be found on the Smiths Falls website. [website] If a candidate does not have the required training, the required training must be completed with the Fire Department Training Plan schedule. Lynda McKimm human Resources Advisor Town of Smiths Falls [website] Box [phone number]Smiths Falls, Ontario, K[phone number]A [phone number]T[phone submitted directly to the Fire Chief WILL NOT BE Accepted* Part-time hours: [phone number]per week Application deadline: [phone number][phone number][phone number]Job Types: Part-time, Volunteer Salary: per year Experience: * Fire: [phone number]year (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 2

Unlimited Safety Services, located in Onoway, Alberta, is looking to hire a Career Industrial and Municipal Firefighter. Career Firefighter [phone number]rd Class. These firefighters are employed by USS and perform mainly industrial fieldwork. They are also required to maintain fleet vehicles and equipment and respond to emergency callouts for FRI when not on a field assignment. Career Firefighters receive their retainer as a direct deposit every two weeks and receive day-rate bonuses for time spent in the industrial field for USS. Career firefighters are assigned a specific unit type that they are responsible for maintaining when not on an assignment. These firefighters work an [phone number]hour workday while at the station, and usually [phone number]hour workdays when in the industrial field. The shift rotation for this position is two weeks on-duty followed by two weeks off-duty. Career firefighters are required to relocate to within the call area or may reside on-station if they choose not to relocate. These firefighters can make enough money to reliably sustain most lifestyles if they are sent into the industrial field on a semi-regular basis. This position allows individuals to work only half of the year, which grants them the ability to work elsewhere for supplemental income if desired. Benefits: Bi-Weekly Salary. [phone number]Week Paid Vacation. Advancement Opportunities. Educational Opportunities. Requirements: Class [phone number]Q Unrestricted Drivers License. [phone number]years of age or older. Clean criminal record check with vulnerable sector screening. Reside within a [phone number]minute drive of either the Onoway or Alberta Beach Fire Stations (or must be willing to stay on station for on-duty time). NFPA [phone number]Level II. Standard First Aid and CPR. H[phone number]S Alive. Common Safety Orientation (CSO). NFPA [phone number]Awareness and Operations levels. Emergency Medical Responder registered with the Alberta College of Paramedics. How to Apply: Submit your resume and cover letter to You will be emailed back by recruitment and you will receive a recruit manual and application package that further explain the recruitment process at this time. Reference ID: Firefighter [phone number]rd Class [phone number][phone number]Job Types: Full-time. Contract. Permanent. Salary: per week. COVID-[phone number]considerations: Masks are required when indoors or when within [phone number]feet of other individuals. Stations and vehicles are decontaminated on a regular basis. About Unlimited Safety Services: About Unlimited Safety Services: Unlimited Safety Services (USS) is a division of North West Fire Rescue and specializes in providing safety services to the oil and gas industry. USS crews and specialized equipment provide safety standby services in remote locations across western Canada during high-risk work operations. Primary types of work performed by USS are Fire and Decontamination standby, Medical standby, and H[phone number]S safety supervision.

What does a Firefighter do?

 A Firefighter puts out fires and assists in other emergencies such as medical emergencies and natural disasters. Emergency responsibilities include responding quickly to calls by driving fire trucks and other emergency vehicles; and extinguishing fires with water hoses, fire extinguishers, and pumps. At an accident, Firefighters find and rescue people and animals from burning buildings or treat victims of fire with emergency medical care. They may write reports on emergency incidents. Routine duties include cleaning and maintaining equipment, conducting drills and fitness training, and performing inspections and clerical duties.

Firefighters are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments. They may also work as full-time, part-time and contract employees for large establishments that require firefighting services.

Firefighter skills and qualifications

When looking for a strong Firefighter candidate, consider applicants with critical-thinking and decision-making skills who are also organized and professional. You may require a Firefighter candidate to pass health, fitness, and drug screenings. Other skills and qualifications include:

  • Knowledge of firefighting equipment, including hoses, trucks, and machinery
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations regarding safety, fire service, and emergency medical services locally
  • Experience with first aid and emergency medical care
  • Ability to work for long hours under high-stress conditions
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in fast-paced environments

Firefighter experience requirements

Depending on your organization’s needs, you may want to prioritize Firefighter candidates with work experience, such as certifiable days actively involved in firefighting. While it is important for a Firefighter candidate to have some experience, also consider entry-level applicants. Some duties and responsibilities can be taught on-the-job. Volunteer experience as a Firefighter is a plus for an applicant.

Firefighter education and training requirements

Firefighter applicants must complete their secondary school education. Candidates who complete a college program in fire science, fire protection technology or related fields may be an asset to your organization. A good applicant also has firefighting and emergency medical care training. In New Brunswick, applicants must complete an apprenticeship training program and have a voluntary trade certificate from an accredited institute. 

You may ask a Firefighter candidate for other requirements such as a Standard First Aid & CPR certificate or a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certificate.

Firefighter salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Firefighter in Canada is $87,403 per year. Salaries may vary based on experience, location and organizations.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Firefighter job description isn’t quite what you’re looking for, some similar job description samples include:

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Firefighter job description FAQs

Who does a Firefighter report to?

There are a few different people Firefighters may report to. Lieutenants are usually responsible for overseeing the daily tasks and operations of the Firefighter team. They may analyze the Firefighter’s performance and provide valuable feedback for improvements to make in their role. Lieutenants may also train new Firefighters, and offer updated training sessions throughout their time at the station. 

The Captain is typically the highest-ranking officer at a fire station. They’re in charge of all employees, including Lieutenants, and provide directions for all Firefighters to follow during emergencies. 

What are the different types of Firefighters?

Firefighters may pursue different careers within their field. Some Firefighters work in a general role, where their jobs primarily center on entering burning buildings and extinguishing fires. Others specialize in cleaning up and controlling hazardous chemicals, like oil spills. Wildland Firefighters, who spend their time in preventing and extinguishing forest or wildfires, use heavy-duty equipment and larger water hoses to extinguish and control large wildfires. A Firefighter may also develop their skills and become a Fire Officer, Structural Firefighter, Airport Firefighter or other related professionals.

What's the difference between a Firefighter and a Fire Investigator?

Firefighters and Fire Investigators respond to fire emergencies. However, there are some key differences between both professionals. A Firefighter arrives at the scene of a fire and works to control or completely extinguish it. They also save people and prevent damages due to fires. Once the fire is out, a Firefighter leaves the scene. Fire Investigators typically appear after a fire occurs to assess the scene, determine how the fire occurred and decide whether to investigate further.

Job Description Examples

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