Just curious on some of your past/current experiences working for BC, fighting wildfires. I am taking my Firefighter I&II next month through JIBC and am planning on applying for forest firefighting afterwards. I have a good grasp on what the requirements are for this job, and I will meet all the minimums. However, I am wondering how competitive it is to get hired, what the process is, and if not meeting all of their "preferred requirements" will hinder me in any way.
This is what BC is looking for in a candidate, I've noted what I met and will meet:
- Confirmation of a valid Canadian Driver's License (Mandatory for IA/Rap, preferred for Unit Crew) (I have a full BC License, Class 5)
- Confirmation of one of the following WorkSafe BC Occupational First Aid tickets:
1. WorkSafe BC OFA Level 1 Ticket (or equivalent *) & Transportation Endorsement Ticket or
2. WorkSafe BC OFA Level 3 Ticket (or equivalent *)
(Over the winter I will have completed OFA1 and Transportation ticket)
- Extensive Resource or Wilderness work experience. (don't really have any)
- Significant Resource training (Post secondary training in Forestry, Resource Management, Earth Science or other relevant training etc.)(will have my Firefighting Tech Certification from JIBC)
- High level of academics or fitness achievement. (I have a high level of fitness, and a Bachelors Degree in Commerce)
- WorkSafe BC recognized OFA Level 3 valid through to September of 2016. ( I will get OFA1 as mentioned above)
- Valid British Columbia Forest Safety Council BC Faller Certification or ENFORM Oil & Gas Faller Certification. (I am looking into this certification over the winter as well)
Thanks in advance for shedding some light.
Landing a position with the BCWS is competitive, but certainly not unattainable. The numbers vary seasonally but a rule of thumb would be about 2000 applicants (online, by Jan. 24th), 500 interviews & beep test (end of Feb-Mar) and about 150 invites to boot camp (end of April-May). Those are ballpark numbers, but that should give you the idea.
There are a 101 variables in the selection process, so without knowing your resume I wouldn't hazard how competitive you are. Also, some of the finest firefighters i've worked with applied multiple times to get in and some real dud's have sailed through first try (until they wash out on the crew). It's not a perfect system- but it's pretty good at getting the right type of candidate 9/10 times.
My suggestions if you don't have much work experience:
-Get your OFA3 or, if you are pushing for a career hall possi', bite the bullet and get your EMR and Paramedic in the Workplace.
-Your 1001 is good, but add a 1051 course (SPP-WFF1) or S-100 (training providers listed on the BCWS site). Likewise with the saw course (although that's gonna be a little more pricey).
-Know the job. Book some dedicated time to study the website (this becomes very important if you get an interview)- just like going for a structural job, do the legwork beforehand: take notes, write your resume to fit the position, know what the organization is, what the work is, etc. Check out this link for a crew-member JD (https://bcpublicservice.ats.hrsmart.com ... r_9C60.pdf). Hopefully that works for you. Again, know this document and sell yourself based on how you fill the role.
-Understanding that you're going to have a full schedule with the JI, you could also get your hands dirty for the winter to bulk up the resume. If you're in the city, pass resumes to tree service companies/landscapers, etc. If you're from a smaller town you might have some luck sliding into the NR field (logging, silviculture, layout, etc.)
Good luck, feel free to ask ask more questions as you move ahead. The Service is looking for fit, smart, motivated, positive team players. Show the recruiting officers that you're that!
Thanks for your time
Keep in mind that there are a few levels of government working here. BC has a very active workers safety organization (WorksafeBC). They are largely responsible for the OFA standard and mandate its use in a wide range of industrial/workplace applications. EMR, PCP, FR etc fall into the emergency health care side of things (EMA BC). Thus, although you might have a higher or similar set of skills, you have to learn to play in the OFA sandbox. Do this by taking a "Paramedic in the Workplace" course (4hr; basically a minor wound and return-to-work tutorial).
That's probably not the answer you were hoping to hear, what with being in Manitoba and all. A solution would be to register for a PitW course that roughly co-insides with interviews/PT testing in Feb/Mar as you'll be making the trip anyways. You'd have to do some legwork there in finding a provider, ensuring that your EMR will transfer, getting a refundable course if you don't pull an interview, etc. but at least it doesn't close the door altogether. Or just do the same with a OFA1/TE (2days). All you have to prove is that you have the cert' by the time you hit boot-camp.
Competitiveness-wise, as a (BC approved- again, EMA/OFA hoops to jump, but not a big issue) EMR with your PitW, you slide into the OFA3 category, which is certainly a leg-up.
This goes for anyone else reading this post with similar questions for an out-of-province application, except possibly Alberta and Sask. as there is a skilled labour mobility agreement. I think. Not so up on that info, so if there is anyone who has had to go through this please feel free to correct me.
Valemount, Smithers, Chetwynd, Fort Nelson, Revelstoke, Nakusp, Port Alberni, Clearwater, Terrace, Sechelt, Houston, Hope, Hazelton, 100 Mile House, Burns Lake, Castlegar, Chilliwack, Lillooet, Mackenzie, Kamloops, Grand Forks, Campbell River, Quesnel, Fort St John, Salmon Arm, Invermere, Lytton, Vernon, Merritt, Cranbrook, Alexis Creek, Parksville, Williams Lake, Vanderhoof, Penticton, Nelson, Cobble Hill, Powell River, Pemberton, Prince George
@Wolfman11- As jpeterson listed, but not all bases will be hiring. Vacancies are determined by those who don't accept recall, are injured, don't pass pre-season fit-testing, etc.
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