Welcome to the City of Thunder Bay's firefighter recruitment and selection process.  Here you will find an outline of the recruitment and selection process, and the duties and responsibilities for the position of firefighter.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the stages of our Firefighter recruitment process have been restructured in order to ensure the highest level of safety during the recruitment process.

Please Note: Additional precautionary and safety measures will also be in place at each stage of the recruitment process in accordance with legislation and/or recommendations from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

Firefighter recruitment & selection process stages

1st Stage - Resume/Application Review

This stage allows for a comparison of the applicants based on qualifications, skills and abilities, and conditions of employment as identified by the job description. 

Applicants whose qualifications and experience more closely match the minimum and asset qualifications of the Firefighter job description will be invited to Stage 3 of the process to write the Written Aptitude test. 

Applicants who are successful in the resume/application review will be advanced to the verification of documents.

2nd Stage - Verification of Required Documents

This stage allows for the verification of required documents, such as education degrees or diplomas, trade qualifications, certificates, training certifications, driver’s licence, etc. 

Applicants who have had their documents successfully verified will be invited to complete the written aptitude test and will be officially notified by the City of Thunder Bay Human Resources & Corporate Safety Division via email.

3rd Stage - Written Aptitude Test

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

Applicants must provide proof of identification with picture id., no other form of identification will be accepted.     

Applicants who obtain a passing mark in this written test will be invited to participate in the Health & Medical Fitness Assessment and Job-Related Physical Fitness Testing. Applicants will be officially notified by the City of Thunder Bay Human Resources & Corporate Safety Division via phone.

4th Stage - Health and Medical Fitness Evaluation Assessments

The fee for this assessment is $240.00 including taxes. 

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 North 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 candidates 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.

5th Stage - Job-Related Physical Fitness Testing

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 self-contained breathing apparatus. The inability to wear breathing apparatus, to go into small areas because of fear of being confined (Claustrophobia), or the inability to climb ladders due to a fear of heights (acrophobia), fails the candidate. 

VICTIM DRAG: Drag a 200 pound [91 kg] rescue mannequin through a 50 foot obstacle course. 

LADDER CLIMB: Climb an extension ladder up four floors, uncouple and recouple a hose coupling (safety line attached) wearing a 40 pound [18 kg] vest. 

LADDER LIFT: Lift a ladder off a wall bracket, place the ladder on the ground, then lift and return to the bracket. 

ROPE PULL: Hoist and lower a hose weighing 70 pounds [32 kg] up 3 stories, 3 times using a rope and roller. 

HOSE CARRY: Lift and carry a hose weighing 85 pounds [39 kg] up and down 3 stories, 3 times. 

HOSE DRAG: Pull a 150 pound [70 kg] load along a 15 metre course. 

NOTE: Weights and distances may vary slightly. 

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

6th Stage - Interview

A personal interview is conducted to determine a candidate's employment experience related skills, and to provide further insight into the applicant's suitability for the job. 

Applicants who are successful after the interview stage will be placed on a hiring list (pool) for Thunder Bay Fire Rescue and will be officially notified by the City of Thunder Bay Human Resources & Corporate Safety Division via email.

 7th Stage - 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.

New key dates for the 2023 probationary firefighter recruitment competition


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


Firefighter recruitment process information

For additional information on the recruitment process please watch our short video online.

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 - 2021 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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