Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Calgary Fire Department looks for new recruits

Ever dream of making a difference in the lives of people in distress? Well, now you can do that exact thing by become a City of Calgary firefighter. The Calgary Fire Department has kicked off its month-long search for qualified candidates to join its ranks and wants you to apply.

The Calgary Fire Department is expecting that over the next ten years 30 per cent of its workforce is going to be eligible for retirement. That’s why it is so important to start training new lifelong members now, so they can learn the tips and tricks of the trade from seasoned professionals.

Part of that plan is to manage recruitment in ways that keep up with both pending firefighter retirements and with the new stations being constructed over the next year(s). So The City has a substantive need for dedicated, community-minded men and women to continue to the 125 year tradition of fighting fires and managing crises for Calgary citizens.

“We need good-hearted, hard working people to continue the legacy that those before them have built,” said Deputy Chief Bjolverud of the Calgary Fire Department. “If someone has considered a career in firefighting before and meets the minimum requirements, I would encourage him or her to apply.”

A few changes to the hiring process have made it simpler for candidates to apply. Applications are now accepted online and the whole process can be done by following links on The other small but significant changes are that candidates need to have completed CPR at a Hospital Care Provider (HCP) level and the application process is now a “closed” on-line applications process, which means candidates will have a certain time period to submit their applications and supporting documents. Previously, applicant intake was on-going.

Although the department has always looked for strong athletic abilities, attributes in successful candidates will also include having a mentality of teamwork and problem solving abilities. Media and citizens were invited to the Calgary Fire Department Wellness Centre to try the Candidate Physical Aptitude Test (CPAT) to see if they could pass. Senior Nozzle Kristen Boisjoli, a 12 year veteran, made it look easy during the test demo, but the huffing and puffing from many attendees told the real story.

The stats show that Calgary Firefighters love their work and are loved for it. Deputy Chief Bjolverud told us, “We have a 99 per cent citizen satisfaction rating, the lowest attrition of any job in civic service, and can offer candidates exciting and profoundly important work in a teamwork environment.”

A non-mandatory information session in available on March 8 at 7 p.m. at the Calgary Fire Department’s Multi Agency Training Centre (5705-23 Avenue S.E.).

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