Becoming a firefighter with the Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Services will be a challenging and rewarding career. Together we will save lives, property and the environment by providing fire protection, rescue, public education and medical assistance to our community and the citizens of Thunder Bay.

Our firefighters are dedicated and committed to serving the community and its citizens in the best way possible, which includes many acts of charitable gesture such as serving Thanksgiving meals for the Salvation Army, and running an annual “Toys for Tots” campaign for children.

Learn more about our 2023 firefighter recruitment process below, and how you can become a City of Thunder Bay firefighter!

Firefighter recruitment & selection process stages

Stage 1 - Application (Apply Online)

Interested applicants will be required to apply online at Applicants will complete an online City application form, submit a resume, cover letter, and answer application questions.

Stage 2 - Shortlisting - Round 1

This stage allows for a comparison of the applicants based on minimum threshold qualifications, as stated on the job description.  The minimum threshold qualifications are:

  • Legally entitled to work in Canada,
  • Secondary school graduation or equivalent,
  • At least 18 years of age,
  • Two years of accumulated work experience,
  • Must possess a valid Ontario Class ‘G’ driver’s licence or equivalent, and
  • Must meet the definition of a competent driver as defined by the Corporation.


Applicants who meet the above requirements will be invited to Stage 3 of the process to write the written aptitude and occupational screening tests.

Stage 3 - Written Aptitude Test & Occupational Screening

Written Aptitude Test:

This test is specifically designed for entry-level applicants with no previous fire related education or experience.  The test measures applicant's abilities in a number of areas including their understanding of written and oral information, their mechanical aptitude and mathematics.  The exam is in a multiple choice format with no penalty for wrong answers.


Occupational Screening – Firefighting:

This is a Functional Characteristics Assessment tool which examines essential personal and performance characteristics in applicants for firefighting positions, based on occupational requirements that were identified by firefighting experts to be essential for the maintenance of public safety in firefighting. This is not an aptitude test.


The assessment includes questions which deal with a variety of emergency situations or sets of circumstances as well as mathematical and mechanical problems. Some questions in the assessment require the candidate to rate their responses to different situations and sets of circumstances. Other questions in the assessment require the candidate to make a correct choice among options.


Applicants who have been invited to this stage will be provided with more information about this process (including how to pay for the registration fee) prior to the test date.


All costs to complete these tests will be absorbed by the candidate.


Applicants will be required to provide proof of identification with picture identification (driver’s license or passport).  No other form of identification will be accepted.    

Applicants invited to the next stage will also be provided with instructions to update their application by providing proof of education and certificates, as identified with their initial application. 

Successful applicants from this stage will advance to Stage 4. 

Stage 4 - Shortlisting - Round 2

This stage allows for a comparison of applicants based on their qualifications and experience. Applicants whose qualifications and experience more closely match the minimum and asset qualifications of the Firefighter position will be invited to participate in Stage 5 and Stage 6 below.



Stage 5 - Health & Medical Evaluation Fitness Assessment

Physical conditioning must be at a high level, therefore the applicants selected to proceed to this part of the process participate in a medical/physical test to determine their ability to handle the heavy physical, mental and emotional demands of the job.


The fitness test determines the candidate’s general level of physical conditioning and also helps to determine the candidate’s suitability to participate in the job related fitness tests.


A medical by the applicant's family doctor is required prior to the fitness test.  Any cost associated with the medical is to be paid by the applicant.  There is a fitness and job related test fee which is to be paid by the applicant prior to the test.


All the fitness and job related testing will take place at Station 3, 60 South Water Street.  The testing is done in groups of 4-6 applicants per time block.


It is highly recommended that all individuals interested in entering the Firefighter examination process begin a physical training program immediately and plan on continuing that program throughout the testing process and into their firefighting career.


The general fitness test consists of the following items:


BLOOD PRESSURE: The candidate may not proceed if blood pressure reading is 144/94 or greater. In the event that a candidate’s blood pressure is at or above the max threshold the City’s Health and Disability Nurse will be involved with further verification of a blood pressure reading. There is no scoring of this component.


  1. SIT AND REACH: The applicant sits with the legs fully extended and reaches with the hands as far forward as possible while bending at the hips. The soles of the feet are placed against the measuring device and this is the 26‑cm mark.
  2. SIT‑UPS: The applicant is in a back lying position on a mat with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor. The feet will be anchored at the base of the ankles. One sit‑up is measured beginning with the shoulders on the mat, lifting the body until the elbows touch the knees and then returning to the starting position. Sit‑ups will be done consecutively without pausing until fatigue or at the end of the one‑minute time limit.
  3. SHUTTLE RUN: This test is an evaluation of aerobic fitness. A warm‑up is included, as part of the test and only the last portion requires maximal effort. The objective is to follow the progressively increasing pace over a 20‑metre course.


Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Services reserves the right to update the test items and/or scoring.


Successful candidates will be allowed a 15 minute rest break before they go on to the Job Related Physical Fitness testing.


For further information on fitness testing, contact the Program Supervisor - Adult Fitness and Wellness, Canada Games Complex, 807-684-3338.

Stage 6 - Job Related Physical Fitness Tests

The seven tests to be performed are designed to recreate the physical demands of a firefighter's job. Candidates will handle some items of equipment commonly used by professional firefighters such as ladders, hoses, ropes and sledge hammer. 


Ladder Climb

Climb an extension ladder up four floors, uncouple and recouple a hose coupling  (Safety line attached) wearing a 18 kilogram (40 pounds) weighted vest and ankle weights, 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) each leg.


Ladder Lift

Lift a 26 kg ladder off a wall bracket in a controlled manner, place the ladder on the ground, then lift and return to the bracket.


Rope Pull

Hoist and lower a hose weighing 22.5 kg a height of 6 stories, using a rope and roller wearing a weighted vest and ankle weights, 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) each leg.


Hose Carry

Lift and carry a hose weighing 39 kg (85 lbs.) up and down 5 stories, wearing a weighted vest and ankle weights, 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) each leg.


Hose Drag

Pull a wheeled sled with a force of 70 kg. (150 lbs.) along a 15-metre course, wearing a weighted vest and ankle weights, 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) each leg.


Forced Entry

Move a heavily weighted tire a distance of 30.5 cm (one foot) by striking the tire repeatedly with a 4.5 kg (10 lbs.) sledge hammer, wearing a weighted vest and ankle weights, 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) each leg.


200 Pound Victim Drag

Drag a 91 kg rescue mannequin through a 15 m (50 foot) obstacle course wearing a weighted vest and ankle weights, 2.3 kg (5 lbs.) each leg.


Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Services reserves the right to update the test items and/or scoring.

 NOTE:  Weights and distances may vary slightly.

 Candidates who successfully pass this stage will proceed to the interview stage.


Stage 7 - Interview


The interview is designed to assess soft skills such as accountability, empathy, collaboration and teamwork, ethical and moral judgement, self-awareness, problem solving, resilience, communication skills and conflict resolution.


Successful candidates will be ranked and placed into a hiring pool.

Stage 8 - Hiring Pool


Leading candidates from the interview stage will be placed into a hiring pool, in ranked order.  Candidates will be drawn from the hiring pool as vacancies arise.

Stage 9 - Reference Checks


Reference checks are done for all leading candidates to validate candidate information and get an overall sense of job performance from past employers.  Candidates will be required to provide three work related/professional references.  Reference checks will be completed when a candidate is drawn from the hiring pool.  Successful reference checks will lead to a conditional offer of employment.

Stage 10 - Conditional Offers

A conditional offer of employment will be made to a candidate to ensure the required conditions of employment of the firefighter job classification are met.  Offers will be conditional on:


  1. meeting the competent driver standard, as defined by the Corporation,
  2. *meeting the standards for visual acuity (Best-corrected – stable 20/40 binocular visual acuity with no less than 20/100 in the worse eye [soft or RGP contacts, glasses/lens inserts are all acceptable] and Un-corrected – stable 20/100 binocular visual acuity), normal colour vision (testing with either Ishihara Colour Vision Test or the Farnsworth D-15) and vision field testing,
  3. meeting medical pre-placement health screening requirements, including successful completion of the Corporation’s employment medical examination requirements, and possible MTO medical exam,
  4. completing baseline audiometric and pulmonary function testing, and
  5. providing a successful Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC).


* Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Services reserves the right to update requirements at anytime in order to meet recommended standards.


New key dates for our 2024 probationary firefighter recruitment 

Future recruitment dates are currently being determined. Please check back for updates.

Firefighter position information

The emergency response role involves the control and extinguishment of fire, salvage and rescue work and many other duties, under the immediate supervision of a superior officer.

The fire station role involves training and preparedness to respond quickly to any emergency as well as duties relating to maintenance of station, vehicles, and equipment.

Firefighter Job Description

City of Thunder Bay firefighter's salary and benefits

Firefighter's salaries are a scaled range based on experience, starting from a Firefighter 4th Class up to a Firefighter 1st Class. Benefits are also available. Refer to the Career Guide - 2023 for more information.


If you have any questions, please email our Training Division or call 807-625-2479 Monday through Thursday (09:00-15:00). All calls and emails over the weekend will be returned Monday of the following week.

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