The Nova Scotia Firefighters School is a not for profit organization that has been training the volunteer fire service for over fifty years.  After decades of experience in fire service training, and at the request of industry, the Nova Scotia Firefighters School decided to fill the need for home grown, world class pre-service training.

The first Pre-Employment Program was offered to the public in February 2001.  Since then the program has grown to be one of the best, most respected and successful programs in the country.

The program consists of sixteen weeks of on-site training and six weeks of on the job training.  The on-site training is a combination of classroom theory and practical application on our extensive fire ground.  The on the job training assignments allow the recruits to further develop their skills under the mentorship of an experienced crew and officer.  The recruits respond to real emergency calls for six weeks, gaining valuable experience and confidence.

Graduates of the Pre-Employment Program are employed in career departments throughout the country.



Recruits must be able to function well as a member of a team. The school functions like a fire station with officers and recruits. There are duties assigned to each platoon including equipment checks and inventories as well as station duties (daily cleaning of the station).

Recruits work closely together and the Instructors are accessible and work closely with the recruits. An almost family atmosphere often develops with lifelong contacts and friends being made. Many successful graduates drop in and assist with future programs. Many of the programs applicants have been referred by previous graduates who are now in the career fire service.


All of the programs Instructors are involved in either the career or volunteer fire service. Recruits benefit not only from the experience of the Instructional staff but also from their network within the fire service. Often various departments have volunteered the use of their facilities and equipment to the benefit of the program.


Recruits must satisfactorily complete 6 weeks of on the job training. The recruits are placed in career stations and work directly with the station crews performing the day to day duties. This is an opportunity for the recruits to learn from career firefighters and to perform emergency duties under the close supervision of experienced officers.

Many recruits that have performed well during their on the job training have been offered references from company officers. The on the job training component compliments and builds on the theoretical and practical experience gained in the programs 16 weeks of on-site training.

The Pre-Employment program provides proven, internationally recognized, top quality training for those with the desire and self-discipline to succeed.

Dates & Course Costs

2019 Intake (Class 28)

Applications Available:  January 10, 2019

Applications Due:  May 24, 2019

Interviews:  June 3-7, 2019

First Installment of Tuition Due:  August 19, 2019

First Day of Class:  August 19, 2019

Course Costs:

Application fee:  $300.00 Non-refundable

Tuition:  $10,300.00

Books/Texts/Manuals:  $450.00

Equipment:  $950.00

Total:  $12,000.00

* Tuition under review and subject to change. Includes use of all equipment.

* Administration Fee must accompany the initial application, incomplete applications will not be considered.

* Remainder of Fees are due in two installments according to schedule above. 

Self Assessment

The Admission/Screening process for the Career Firefighter Pre-employment Training Program may take place two times a year. Student Information Packages, giving detailed information students need to be admitted into the program are available by clicking here.


Firefighting is not just another job. It is a demanding career that carries considerable responsibility in providing preservation of life, property and the environment. Like most careers, the Firefighter’s duties have changed dramatically over the last 25 years. While the actual volume of emergency incident response has often increased with the population, the percentage of response to fire calls has typically decreased.

The Firefighter’s job is dynamic. New equipment, techniques, and the changing needs of their profession demand a highly adaptable person who is prepared to pursue ongoing education, and who can balance acceptance of new concepts and challenges while maintaining a diverse set of basic skills.

Please take the Self-Assessment Questionnaire to help you decide whether you want to and are qualified to apply to this program.

An Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from the Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, and the Nova Scotia Firefighters School meet on a regular basis to review and ensure the screening, entrance requirements and program content meet the needs of participating departments.

Application Procedure

Pre-Employment Information Package

Click here for all information related to our Pre-Employment Program.

Pre-Employment Application

Click here for the Application for Class 28 beginning August 19th, 2019.


How long is the Program and does it run on weekends or weekdays?

The Pre-Employment Program offered at the Nova Scotia Firefighters School is a 22 week program conducted through the week, Monday to Friday.  The program is broken into two parts - an onsite portion, and a practicum placement. The onsite portion is 16 weeks in length and consists of classroom and practical skills training.  The remaining 6 weeks is a practicum placement where recruits attend real emergency calls while working under the supervision of an experienced career crew and captain.

Who applies for this Program?

The program has an excellent reputation and graduates are working in career departments throughout North America.  Students have come from throughout Canada and internationally to participate in our program.

What certifications do I receive if I complete the Program?

Successful completion of the program results in international certification by IFSAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) and ProBoard (National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications) to Firefighter Level 1 & 2, and Hazardous Materials Operations as per NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards 1001 and 472 respectively.  Recruits are also certified as Medical First Responders. 

Where are you located?

The school is located in Waverley, Nova Scotia, and there is a map on our Contact Us page. 

Do I need any pre-requisite training?

The training is ground-up and no prior firefighting experience is necessary.