Recruitment Manual

This manual explains our recruitment process, summarizes how our fire department operates, and provides critical information on what to expect as a paid-on call firefighter with Clearwater Regional Fire. 

Minimum Requirements to Apply 

  • At least 18 years of age. 
  • Live in close proximity to one of our fire stations.  
  • Able to meet training requirements, this includes one evening a week and occasional weekend training. 
  • Previous firefighting/emergency response is an asset but not a requirement.
  • Possess a valid Alberta Driver's license (less than 6 demerits). 

Due to the high volume of inquiries, we created a manual that we hope answers all of your questions. You can find it here.











Generally, CRFRS opens recruitment intakes in October/November of any given year. However, there are a number of factors that could affect recruitment drives being rescheduled. Follow CRFRS on social media to ensure you always receive the most current information. 

Facebook: Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services, CRFRS

Twitter: @ClearwaterRFRS  

The process can take several months, as the following five steps must be successfully completed.       

Step 1 - Application/Prescreen 

Download the application here. Carefully review each section and answer all questions completely and honestly. You are responsible for the accuracy of all statements. All applicants must follow the application protocols outlined in this manual. Please be advised that dependent on the applicants’ years of service/qualifications these steps may be altered to meet station demands.

Step 2 - Interview

Once the applications have been collected and reviewed by at least 2 Chief Officers the applicant will be contacted via phone or email to schedule an interview. The interviews will be scheduled to begin at 19:00 (on a Tuesday or Thursday) and be approximately 45-60 minutes. 

Step 2.1 - Firefighter’s physical fitness evaluation must be completed (while in full personal protective equipment but not on air) during the recruitment process, for more information click here. Should the applicant be unsuccessful they will be allowed to retest one week later, if unsuccessful a second time they will not be considered for a position.     

Step 3 - Selection Committee Review

At this stage of the process, we substantiate the information collected and confirm the validity of credentials and certificates submitted in the application process. 

Step 4 - Firefighter Recruitment Training 

Attendance to three scheduled weekends is mandatory for all recruits; 30 days’ notice will be provided to allow necessary scheduling time. FRT is designed to make recruits feel comfortable with their surroundings and get a feel of what to expect in future training.   

Step 4.1 - Evaluation by Battalion Training Officer evaluations will be completed by the Assistant Chief in charge of training and/or the respective Battalion Training Officer. 

Step 5 - Employment 

Once the above steps have been successfully completed and conditional requirements met, employment will continue as per provincial employment legislation, common law application and County requirements. The applicant must be available to participate in the mandatory Clearwater County employee orientation. 


Probationary Period: 

All new Paid-on-call firefighters are placed on a probationary period for a minimum of six (6) months. During the probationary period, Recruits will undergo extensive training and evaluations to determine ongoing suitability as a POC firefighter. This includes quarterly evaluations regarding your strengths and weaknesses, this will help ensure your success. Applicants who fail to successfully complete their probationary period will be released from Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services.   

The Fire Service views fitness as an integral component in firefighting due to the physical strain induced while performing operational tasks. The impact varies according to each person’s muscular strength/endurance, cardiovascular conditioning, motor coordination and flexibility. 

Mental Fitness

First responders attend to dangerous situations. Please consider:

  • You have a strong network of people who understand who you are.
  • You have the ability to ask for help when you need it.
  • You have healthy sleep patterns.
  • You have a healthy means of dealing with your emotions.

Physical Fitness

The risk of injury in firefighting and rescue work results mainly from: 

  • The use of various heavy machines and apparatus;
  • Dangerous entrances and awkward spaces;
  • Extreme heat exposures; and
  • Rapidly changing environmental conditions.

In emergency situations, firefighters must be physically able to act quickly and at times, under duress. For example: 

  • In a multi-story structure fire, a firefighter climbs stair while wearing heavy and cumbersome personal protective equipment (weighing up to 25-kg) and carrying tools (weighing up to 15-kg). Following this strenuous stair climb, the firefighter must be fit enough to then carry out physically demanding operational tasks. 
  • In rescue operations associated with traffic accidents, a firefighter must be capable of handling hydraulic tools (weighing up to 15 kg) in strenuous and awkward work positions for considerable lengths of time. 


Physical Fitness Preparation 

A personal commitment to a life-long fitness regime is essential to safely performing firefighter duties. To prepare for this challenging career, you need to follow and maintain a total body program that is specific for the job tasks and one that focuses on: 

  • Flexibility,
  • Cardiopulmonary endurance,
  • Muscular strength, and
  • Muscular endurance.

Body composition is also considered an area of physical fitness. Excess body fat increases the workload placed on the body and decreases its ability to dissipate heat.

Paid-on Call Firefighters are not allowed to respond emergencies to or attend training or events if they are impaired in any capacity. 


Physical Activity Readiness

Before beginning any exercise routine or aerobic fitness evaluation, it is essential you have an awareness of your ability to partake in physical activity. 

Ask yourself:

Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and recommended only medically approved physical activity?

Do you have chest pain brought on by physical activity?

Have you developed chest pains (while resting) in the past month?

Do you lose consciousness or balance as a result of dizziness?

Do you have a joint or bone problem that could be aggravated by prescribed activity?

Is your doctor currently prescribing medication for your blood pressure or a heart condition?

Are you aware, through your own experience or a doctor’s advice, of any other reason against your exercising without medical approval?

If you are uncertain how to interpret any of the questions and/or their relationship to your health, please discuss with your doctor.