Firefighter Recruitment – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to join the Olds Fire Department as a volunteer that responds to emergency calls?
- Must be at least 18 years old; physically fit
- Live or work within the Olds Fire District
- Has a clean criminal record check, medical clearance, and driver’s abstract
- Willing to take ongoing fire training courses
- Strong verbal communication skills
Is there anything else that will aid in my chances of being a successful applicant for the fire department?
Yes, obtaining one or more of the following will help your chances.
- Hold recognized certificates for firefighter courses
- Hold a valid First Aid or higher medical responder certificate
- Have an air brake endorsement certificate
- Have a Class 3 or better driver's license
How can I submit my application?
The Olds Fire Department recruitment happens annually. Recruitment information will be posted on social media platforms with instructions on how to apply. During that time, an application form will also be listed on this page with the application deadline.
I have filled out my application, now what happens?
All applications are reviewed by the Olds Fire Department recruitment committee. Successful applicants will be contacted to schedule a date for an interview with the recruitment committee. Once the interview is completed the successful applicant will be notified regarding the date for the physical demand testing.
The successful applicants must pass the Olds Fire Department probationary firefighter training program, which includes classroom and practical component, which will take place on evenings and weekends.
At the end of the program, the candidate may be required to successfully pass a written exam. Each firefighter candidate will then be placed on probation prior to taking on an active firefighter role.
How many calls does Olds Fire Department respond to in an average year?
It depends year to year. Hot dry spring and fall conditions usually increase our call volume substantially because of grass fires. An average year would be approximately 300 – 400 actual responses.
I am not around all the time, or I work shift work, or at times I would not be available to respond to calls or attend the training sessions, does this pose a problem?
Not at all. Most of our members have similar times when they are not available to respond. The administration of the fire department monitors this area closely. If a member is not active or does not attend many calls, they could be asked to step down from their position. This does not happen very often. We understand that your family and work come first. All we ask is that you make an honest effort to attend as many events and calls as possible.
Are there any full-time staff working on the fire department?
The department consists of a full time Fire Chief, two full time Deputy Fire Chiefs, one Fire Inspector and one Administrative staff.
How many volunteer firefighters are on the department?
We maintain approximately 40 paid on-call firefighters to provide coverage in the Olds Fire District.
What are the duties of a Paid On-Call Firefighter?
As a volunteer firefighter you will: Respond to emergency calls within the Fire District area you are assigned to, from time to time you will also respond into other fire areas as outlined in our mutual aid agreements, you will train towards professional qualifications for a firefighter as set out by the NFPA standards, you will be part of a team that keeps the units ready for the next emergency call, as a team member you will keep the fire station neat and tidy, you may be placed on a special committee to look after items such as communications or self-contained breathing apparatus, and other related duties.
What items will I be specifically be trained in?
There are many areas that you will be trained in, some of them are: use of self-contained breathing apparatus, search & rescue, ropes & knots, radio communications, the structure of command, basic pump operations, working from hydrants, working from draft, hose laying, hose loading, operation and selection of nozzles, driving, ventilation, structure suppression, fire prevention, overhaul, ladders, salvage, foam, extinguishers, dealing with flammable products and many more. The training is an ongoing process, and you should be continually learning for as long as you are involved with the fire department.
If you have any questions regarding the application form or the process, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 403-507- 4850.