Career as a Burnaby Firefighter

We're committed to protecting and educating the citizens of Burnaby

Firefighting is a job unlike any other. The work is demanding, challenging and rewarding. It's a career that has meaning and an immediate impact on the world around you. Every day you’ll be called upon to make a difference—with grace and courage.

Being a firefighter involves a range of demanding duties, including:

  • Put out fires and rescue victims from burning buildings and accident sites; help people with critical and non-critical emergencies.
  • Fire prevention, inspection and investigation.
  • Recovery and management of hazardous, toxic and flammable materials.
  • Recovery after natural disasters, like storms and floods.
  • Responding to rescue calls throughout the City—automobile extraction, wildland rescue, technical rescue etc.
  • Providing first aid until medical help arrives.
  • Inspecting buildings to prepare risk assessments and pre-fire plans.
  • Maintaining good health, fitness and practice regular self-care.
  • Updating your skills, knowledge and abilities through regular training and study.
  • Cleaning and maintaining the fire station and equipment.
  • Educating the community about fire safety and prevention.

Learn more about service the Fire Department provides

Firefighting is physically demanding. You’ll carry heavy loads, handle extreme temperatures, experience different terrains, confined spaces and other risky and hostile environments. As a Burnaby firefighter, maintaining peak physical and mental health throughout your career is critical.

Our training programs equip you with the necessary fire and rescue skills needed to keep our communities safe. We hold training programs for our candidates as well as specialized training for our current firefighters.


To ensure that we hire the best firefighters, we conduct an orientation program for potential candidates like you. The program covers basic firefighter training, where you'll be evaluated on your ability to work in a team setting with firefighting equipment.

After successfully completing the training program, you'll attend ride-a-long sessions with the crew and be evaluated further.

Recruit training

We run recruit training sessions for all new firefighters. Before you're assigned to a fire station, you'll attend a 9-week basic training course and cover topics such as:

  • Hose handling
  • Forcible entry
  • Fire ground survival
  • Live fire training
  • Ground ladders
  • Mental health/resiliency
  • Ventilation techniques
  • Electrical/gas safety
  • Special operations awareness: hazmat, vehicle extrication, technical rescue, water/ice rescue, wildland interface fires etc.

Medical emergency training

We respond to medical emergencies as part of a layered response with the British Columbia Ambulance Service. You must hold a First Responder Level III licence, a CPR certification and a licence to operate AEDs. You must renew your first responder licences every 3 years.

Driver training

Before being certified to drive emergency vehicles, all department drivers go through a 1-year driver/operator course. Department-certified instructors direct the course and give new drivers the required skills to safely operate large engines and ladder trucks.

Driver training involves geography, mechanical theory, BC air brake endorsement, BC Class 3 drivers licence and Code 3 driving techniques.

Operator training involves hydraulic theory, fire pump operation, aerial ladder operation and ladder platform operation.

Wildland rescue

Responding to interface fires within the City is also one of our responsibilities. We employ specialized equipment like large sprinkler protection unit, portable pumps and water supply and more to contain wildland fires.

Rescue task force

The rescue task force is a speciality heavy rescue unit that responds to vehicle extrication, skytrain lifting, fire fighter rescue and other specialized rescues.

Water/ice rescue

This team responds to water/ice rescues and recoveries on lakes, ponds and streams using specialized equipment.

Technical rescue

We provide specialized services for mountain rescue, high angle, tower crane and confined space rescue. To provide the widest range of services for the citizens of Burnaby, we're constantly working to improve our capabilities in these fields.

Hazardous materials

We're one of the first teams to arrive on the scene of accident spills involving hazardous materials. Our hazardous materials response teams are trained to the Technician and Operations levels.

Officer training

Firefighters who want to become officers or current fire officers who want to advance their careers complete fire officer 1, 2 and 3 training programs to become lieutenant, captain and chief officer respectively.

Mental health

We have a strong commitment to protecting our members with several mental health initiatives as follows:

  • Critical incident stress management team helps responders deal with the emotional and psychological effects following stressful responses and critical incidents.
  • Peer support: firefighters supporting other firefighters. Trained peers help firefighters obtain the mental health services they need to deal with any issues.
  • Resiliency training: company-wide training developed to assist firefighters in understanding mental health issues and giving them the tools to build resiliency to mental trauma.
  • Employee and family assistance program: the program provides member and their families professional guidance and counselling. Additionally, mental health professionals respond to critical incidents and perform debriefings for serious events.

Join our diverse, inclusive, high-performing team

We invite all individuals with a desire to protect and serve their community.

We have a job:

  • that impacts lives and your community
  • that allows you to be a leader
  • that offers excellent stability and benefits
  • you'll be so proud of you won't stop talking about it

You have:

  • Completed the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 Firefighter I and II programs and other related courses.
  • A current/valid Emergency Medical Assistant first responder or an Emergency Medical Responder licence.
  • A valid BC Class 3 drivers licence without restrictions, plus airbrake endorsement and a good driving record.
  • The fitness level to complete a challenging and demanding physical abilities test. The test includes a series of activities that check your physical and mental readiness.
  • Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status.
  • A clean criminal record.

Bonus points for:

  • Having a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
  • High level of first aid experience. 
  • Two years of training or work experience in fire-related fields—building construction, mechanical, heavy equipment operation.
  • Computer training or experience.
  • Post-secondary education, training or apprenticeship.

How to apply?

We receive hundreds of applications every year from hopeful firefighters who want to join the Burnaby fire department. We select those who clear all the following steps:

Step 1: Application review

We'll review your application and resume to confirm if you meet all the qualifications.

Step 2: Interview

If you're shortlisted, we'll invite you for an interview.

Step 3: Criminal record check

At this stage, we'll ask you to provide us with a criminal record check. You'll move to the next step if the review is successful.

Step 4: Orientation program

The orientation program takes 8 days to complete. You must submit a medical clearance certificate for the physical abilities test before this round.

View the Burnaby Fire Department Physical Abilities Testing Guide

  • Days 1 and 2 - Learn about the Burnaby Fire Department and basic firefighting techniques.
  • Day 3 - Get a step-by-step explanation of what the physical activities test will look like.
  • Day 4 - Complete your physical abilities test. If you clear this, you'll move to the next round.
  • Days 5 to 8 - Get a taste of what a firefighter's day is like. You'll report to the fire station and learn first-hand from the officer-in-charge about firefighting duties and techniques. You may ride along with crews to emergency calls to observe procedures, as well as carry or pack away equipment.

Step 5: Criminal record check and medical testing

As one of the last steps, we conduct a criminal record check and medical test to check suitability.

Step 6: Fire Chief's interview

This is an essential and final step of the hiring process. The Chief will interview you to learn more about your knowledge, skills and abilities. Prepare well.

Have questions?

People and Culture

Was this page useful?