City of Cornwall Fire Services

Probationary Firefighter Eligibility List

Recruitment 2021

 Message from Chief Weber

Dear Candidate,

The City of Cornwall will be accepting applications to create an eligibility list for Probationary Firefighters within the Cornwall Fire Services.

We would like to welcome you to the Probationary Firefighter Eligibility List Recruitment Process. The Cornwall Fire Services and the Human Resources Department are providing you with this webpage to inform you about the process, and your responsibilities as a candidate.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you success in your endeavor to become a City of Cornwall Probationary Firefighter and thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,
Jeff Weber
Fire Chief

 About Cornwall Fire Services

Mission Statement: The Cornwall Fire Services provides responsible emergency services and programs in partnership with our community.

Vision Statement: Proud of our past and excited about our future, the Cornwall Fire Services will be at the forefront of emergency service excellence and fire service leadership.

Organizational Values: Leadership, teamwork, integrity, transparency, bilingualism, collaboration, sustainability, inclusiveness, and diversity.

The Suppression Division of the Cornwall Fire Services is multi-disciplinary and responds to fires, water and ice incidents, dangerous goods incidents, emergency medical responses and performs public education and fire prevention initiatives.

The Cornwall Fire Services Firefighter is responsible for performing a multitude of emergency incident operations such as fire extinguishment, search and rescue, ice and water rescue and salvage and overhaul. All these functions are performed so that lives are protected, and property and environmental impact is minimized. These activities are conducted under the direct supervision of Cornwall Fire Services company officers in accordance with established policies, guidelines, and procedures. Firefighters also perform less glamorous tasks that help keep us ready to respond. Some of these tasks include equipment and apparatus maintenance and station duties.

 Introduction

The recruitment procedure for the creation of a Probationary Firefighter Eligibility List is outlined here. The enclosed data provides information applicants require to undertake this process. 

We urge you to read everything carefully. Failure to follow directions or meet the deadlines at any of the stages of the recruitment process will result in you being removed from further consideration in the recruitment process.

All inquiries regarding the recruitment process should be made by email to:

Attention: Bruce Donig, Manager, Employee Relations - bdonig@cornwall.ca

Note: Phone calls will not be accepted by Human Resources or the Cornwall Fire Services during the recruitment process.

 Recruitment Process

The Recruitment Process consists of the following stages and deadlines. Each stage is described in more detail on this page.

  • Stage 1 : Application Documents accepted from September 1 to 22, 2021
  • Stage 2: Online Ergometric Testing - October 4 to 15, 2021
  • Stage 3 : First Round Interviews - October 18 to November 12, 2021*
  • Stage 4 : Cornwall Fire Services physical testing - November 13 & 14, 2021*
  • Stage 5 : Second Round Interviews - November 22 to 26, 2021*
  • Stage 6 : Establishment of the list of eligible candidates - December 31, 2021 or sooner if required

* Please note the dates for the interviews and physical testing are estimates and may change

Accommodation

The Corporation of the City of Cornwall is an equal opportunity employer. Accommodation will be provided in all parts of the hiring process as required. Applicants need to make their needs known in advance.

The candidates seeking accommodation must email bdonig@cornwall.ca and will be required to substantiate the request as required.

 Eligibility List

Candidates who pass Stage 1 through Stage 5 will be on an eligibility list for 18 months. The City of Cornwall reserves the right to conduct an earlier recruitment drive, should its needs change. As vacancies occur, eligible candidates will be contacted.

Note: Candidates shall be required to produce photo identification at each stage of the recruitment process and candidates will be disqualified if they do not meet the deadlines outlined or provide false or misleading information.

 Stage 1: Application
  • Current resume
  • Proof of formal education (certificate/diploma/degree/transcript)
  • Current Basic First Aid with CPR & AED certificate*
  • Driver’s Abstract (3 year uncertified) with less than six (6) demerit points (current, within 1 month of submission date of application)
  • Pleasure Craft Operators Card
  • Ontario Class D driver’s license with Z endorsement (or equivalent)*

Accepted until September 22, 2021

Description: To apply, fill out the application form online. In-person applications will not be accepted.

One PDF file of all required documents is required.

*Due to COVID-19 delaying the ability to obtain or renew a Basic First Aid with CPR & AED certificate and an Ontario Class D driver’s license with Z endorsement (or equivalent), applicants will be considered as having the necessary requirements to advance in the recruitment process. Candidates should still endeavour to obtain the necessary requirements as they move through the recruitment process. Candidates that are successful in advancing onto the eligibility list must have all the requirements listed to be offered a position if one becomes available. Should a candidate on the eligibility list not have all the up to date requirements at the time they are called for an open position, they will be by-passed until the eligibility list is exhausted.

 Stage 2: Online National Testing Network Test

Date and Time: Between October 4 and 12, 2021

Description: For those selected to move forward, National Testing Network conducts an online multiple choice video-based test that assesses critical skills necessary to be a firefighter and includes the content areas of teamwork and human relations as well as mechanical aptitude, reading ability and basic math skills. The testing evaluates candidates in the following areas: adaptability, communication, compassion, dealing with co-workers, customer relations, dealing with difficult situations, industrious/hardworking, integrity/ethics, leadership, ongoing learning, safety, supervisory/management support.

The cost for the online test is approximately $55 USD per candidate and is paid directly to National Testing Network. The cost of National Testing Network is determined by the company and is subject to change.

There are practice tests available (for an additional fee) through National Testing Network that will help you become familiar with the test format before you do the online test.  Information is available on the National Testing Network website.

Note: Individuals are not allowed the use of calculators or any electronic assistance.

For questions or support with the exam, please contact National Testing Network directly.

 Stage 3: First Round Interview

Date and Time: Interviews will take place from October 18 to November 12, 2021. Candidates selected for interviews will be contacted to schedule their specific interview time.

The interview panel will be selecting candidates for interviews based upon the results of the online testing and the resumes that candidates submitted at the time of application.

Description: The interview will be conducted by a panel of interviewers that will not all be fire services related. The candidates may be asked questions that follow up on the results of the Stage 2 testing.

Note: At the time of the interview, the applicant must provide both a Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector check current within six (6) months.

 Stage 4: Cornwall Fire Services Physical Testing

Date and Time: November 13 & 14, 2021

Description: Candidates will complete the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal’s Firefighter Pre-Entry Fitness Evaluation and the four evolutions listed below. The cost will be $325 (Canadian dollars) and must be given in cash to the evaluators directly prior to beginning the test. 

Note: Candidates that are invited to the physical test must have CFS Firefighter Recruitment Pre-Entry Fitness Evaluation completed by a physician prior to the beginning test.

The evaluation will be completed at the Cornwall Fire Services Headquarters Station. You will be provided with your personal results when you finish the evaluation.

The evaluation runs on a strict schedule, so you must be on time. If you are not familiar with the area, please allow yourself a little extra time since the parking is about a block away from the evaluation location.

If you have any questions regarding your evaluation appointment, please contact Bruce Donig, Employee Relations Manager, by email at bdonig@cornwall.ca. If urgent, on your evaluation day, you can phone the direct line to the fire station at 613-932-2025. 

Evaluation Location

The evaluation is conducted at the Cornwall Fire Services Headquarters Station, 10 Fourth Street West, Cornwall, Ontario, K6J 2R6. The main entrance is on the north side of the building off of Fourth Street West.

There will be a locker room where you may change and shower. You should bring your own towel and since we have no provision for securing your valuables you should take care on what you bring to the physical evaluation.

Parking is available at the City of Cornwall municipal parking lot located off of Third Street West behind the police station. The parking lot is accessible from Pitt, Augustus, Third West and Fourth West streets. 

Description of Physical Aptitude Tasks

This program is designed to evaluate the physical work capacities of healthy, physically active individuals. Each task requires a maximal effort. All of the tasks are completed while wearing firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) that weighs approximately 23 kg (51 lb), depending on size. This ensemble includes: helmet, flash-hood, leather work gloves, pants, boots, jacket and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). You will not breathe from the SCBA, but you must carry it. For safety during the treadmill task, running shoes are substituted for firefighting boots.

After completing the treadmill task, you will rest for 60 minutes before starting an orientation to the job-related performance tasks. The orientation to the job-related tasks consists of a “walk-through” session to practice each of the tasks. The orientation to the job-related tasks is standardized and must be completed according to the instructions of the evaluation staff. This will take approximately 30 minutes and will familiarize you with the evaluation procedures and provides a suitable warm-up for the demanding tasks that follow.

Each job-related task is followed by a rest period of exactly 3 minutes for recovery and, if necessary a small drink of water. You are not permitted to leave the evaluation area or remove the personal protective equipment during the rest periods. The tasks are described briefly here.

firefighter in full gear on treadmillAerobic Endurance

This is a progressive, incremental exercise task to exhaustion on a treadmill.

After a standardized 5-minute warm-up, you will walk at a speed of 3.5 mph and 10% grade for 8 minutes. This is called the constant work rate phase.

Once the constant work rate phase is completed you will immediately progress to the incremental phase. During this phase the treadmill speed remains at 3.5 mph but the grade increases 1% every minute to a maximum of 15%. Subsequently, the speed will increase by 0.5 mph each minute while the grade remains at 15% until you can no longer continue. The duration of this task depends on your fitness level and motivation, but usually lasts about 16 minutes. Generally, the longer the duration of the task, the better the score. Aerobic endurance will be evaluated from your total time on the treadmill.

When the incremental phase is completed, there is a mandatory 5-minute cool-down (slow walk on a flat treadmill). In order to pass the treadmill task, you MUST complete the 5-minute warm-up, the 8-min constant work rate phase and the 5-minute cool-down (for a total of at least 18 minutes).

During the task, heart rate is monitored continuously with a telemetry system. 

firefighter in full gear pulling hose next to man in black shirtCharged Hose Advance

From a standing position facing forward, you will bend and pick up a nozzle connected to 3 lengths of charged 45 mm (1.75”) hose. The task time starts when you move to pick up the hose. Holding the nozzle and hose securely with two hands over the preferred shoulder, you will advance the hose to the finish line. The hose is advanced a distance of 30 m (100’) while walking as quickly as possible (running is not permitted). The task time stops when you place both feet securely on a rubber mat.

This task assesses lower body strength and power for pulling and dragging. The task must be completed correctly and safely in 31 seconds or less.

firefighter in full gear pulling weighted sledWeighted Sled Pull

Starting from an erect position facing forward, straddling the rope on the floor, you will bend and pick up a length of static 16 mm (5/8”) nylon rope attached to a weighted sled. The task time begins when you begin to reach for the rope.

Keeping your feet securely in place, you will use the rope to pull the sled over the floor a distance of 15.24 m (50’). You will then walk 15.24 m (50’) and repeat the pull, walk back 15.24 m (50’) and repeat the pull for the third and final time. The task time stops when the sled has completely crossed the line for the third time.

This task assesses upper body strength, power, and endurance for pulling and hoisting. The task must be completed correctly and safely in 1 Minute and 43 seconds or less. 

firefighter using hammer to hit tireForcible Entry Simulation

Starting from a standing position, you will pick up the 4.5 kg (10 lb) sledge hammer and use it to strike an apparatus tire 30 cm (12”) across a smooth surface to simulate the mechanically- braked target surface of the forcible entry apparatus.

The task clock starts as soon as you reach for the hammer which is standing on the floor directly in front of the apparatus, and stops as soon as the tire crosses the line, indicating the end of the task. 

This task assesses muscle strength and power for striking. The task must be completed correctly and safely 45 seconds or less.

firefighter lifting weighted mannequinVictim Rescue

Starting from an erect position, you will bend to grasp a rescue harness and drag a mannequin weighing approximately 68.2 kg (150 lbs.) through a simple serpentine obstacle course. You will lift the mannequin and walks backwards for 15.24 m (50’), turns around a traffic cone and returns to the start line as quickly as possible, for a total distance of 30 m (100'). The task time starts when you move to pick up the mannequin and ends when the mannequin’s feet are completely across the finish line. No part of your body or the mannequin may touch the traffic cones during the task.

This task assesses upper and lower body muscle strength and endurance for pulling and dragging. The task must be completed correctly and safely in 49 seconds or less. 

firefighter in full gear climbing ladderLadder Climb

Starting from a standing position facing the ladder, you will climb 10 rungs (3.45 m) up and down a 7.2 m (24’) ladder. This is repeated 5 times as quickly as possible.

A repetition begins with both feet on the floor at the base of the ladder. You will climb and place two feet on the 10th rung (weight-bearing step is required), reverse direction and climb down until both feet are again on the floor to complete the repetition.

The task time starts when you move to start climbing and ends when both feet are on the floor after the 5th repetition.

You must maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times, and must climb the ladder rung by rung, without missing any of the rungs. The task must be completed correctly and safely in 1 minute and 49 seconds or less. This task evaluates the leg strength and endurance required for climbing under load.

firefighter holding heavy item next to board with man in black shirt supervisingEquipment Carry/Vehicle Extrication

You will lift and carry small (20 kg or 44 lb) and large (36 kg or 80 lb) vehicle extrication tools (the “Jaws of Life”) from the starting point and place them in designated places on the floor 15 m (50’) away.

Next, you will pick up the smaller (20 kg) tool, carry it 7.6 m (25’) and set it down in front of a vehicle door mock-up.

The smaller tool must be held in a level position at right angles to the door mock- up with the “jaws” in firm contact with each of three flat metal discs that are similarly oriented to the three “pins” that must be broken to remove a car door. The tool must be held in the correct position for 30 seconds on each disc. The tool is set down between each hold, and you must stand erect before lifting the tool and moving on to the next point of contact.

After this sequence is completed, you will return both tools to the starting point. The total walking distance is 105 m (345’).

This task evaluates the muscular strength and endurance required to lift, carry and use heavy tools in rescue situations. In order to pass the task, you must complete all aspects of the simulation safely and with correct form in 4 minutes and 30 seconds or less.

Acrophobia Test

The acrophobia test requires candidates to climb a 100-foot aerial ladder, touching each rung, enter the bucket of the apparatus, undertake a task, and then descend the ladder touching each rung. Attire shall be T-shirt or long sleeve shirt, long pants and candidate supplied safety footwear. Protective equipment shall be provided and always worn and shall consist of a harness, helmet, and leather firefighting gloves.

The scenario will not be timed; however, a pause longer than 10 seconds will result in disqualification.

Failure will result if the candidate is:

  • Unable to climb to the top of the aerial apparatus
  • Unable to complete the assigned task in the bucket
  • Unable to climb back down the aerial apparatus

Claustrophobia Test

The claustrophobia test requires candidates to don a blacked-out face piece and find and properly assemble hardware within a specific time frame. Attire shall be a T-shirt or long sleeve shirt, long pants and candidate supplied safety footwear. Protective equipment shall be provided and always worn and shall consist of a SCBA face piece, helmet and leather firefighting gloves.

Failure will result if the candidate is:

  • Unable to locate and properly assemble the hardware in the allotted amount of time
  • Unable to complete the task with the SCBA face piece on

100 Metre Swim

The candidate must swim one hundred (100) metres without stopping, using a forward-facing swim stroke and without any swim aids such as dive masks, fins, snorkel or flotation device. Stopping or standing up in the shallow end of the pool at any point during the exercise will constitute a failure of this evolution.

Stamina Exercise – Treading Water for 15 Minutes

Using no swim aids and wearing only a swimsuit, the candidate will stay afloat in a vertical position by treading water, drown proofing, bobbing or floating for fifteen (15) minutes, with hands out of the water for the last two (2) minutes. The inability to maintain a vertical position throughout the test and/or completing the final two minutes with both of their hands clearly out of the water shall constitute a failure of this portion of the test.

Candidates must follow the instructions and adhere to safety guidelines during all aspects of the physical testing. Failure to do so will result in elimination from the test and process.

The physical testing process may be altered due to social distancing measures.

Candidates will be made aware of the specific process once confirmed.

* Please note the dates for the interviews and physical testing are estimates and may change

 

 Effective Preparation for the Evaluation

In order to do your best, you should come to the station on your evaluation day well-nourished and well rested. You should not do strenuous exercise on the days immediately before your evaluation. Sleep well the night before and try to be as relaxed as possible.

Avoid alcoholic beverages the day before and definitely on the day of your evaluation. Do not smoke or drink beverages with caffeine (tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cola, etc.) for at least two hours prior to your evaluation.

Do not eat for at least two hours before your evaluation appointment. However, it is important to be well nourished and well hydrated. The evaluation is very demanding and most individuals are extremely tired at the end of each task.

If your appointment is first thing in the morning, do not skip breakfast. You should eat a light meal (e.g., fruit, toast or cereal, and juice) about three hours before your evaluation. 

You may want to eat a small snack (e.g., banana or Power Bar) during the rest period between the treadmill task and the job-related tasks. Do not try anything (Gatorade, Power Bar, etc.) for the first time during your evaluation appointment. You should know how your body reacts to your nutritional plan well in advance of your appointment.

Be careful to practice in advance so that you know how much to eat and drink during 3+ hours of intermittent, extremely strenuous exercise combined with some degree of heat stress from the protective clothing. If you eat or drink too much you will feel sick and do poorly. If you eat and drink too little, you will get dehydrated and do poorly.

Optimal nutrition and hydration strategies tend to be very individual. Work this out for yourself. Do not follow someone else’s advice unless you have had the chance to make sure it works for you under the kind of conditions you will experience during this evaluation. 

Good luck!

 What do I need to bring?

Physical Evaluation Fee

You must bring $325 cash for the physical evaluation. The fee is to be given to the evaluators prior to the physical evaluation being administered.

Medical Clearance Form

You must bring the Medical Clearance Form, signed by your physician, to verify that you are medically cleared to complete the evaluation. It is your responsibility to make sure that the physician signs the form and that the clinic or office details are included. Most physicians (and medical clinics) have a stamp that includes contact information. You will not be allowed to proceed with the evaluation unless this form is completed correctly.

Identification

Government-issued photo identification (e.g. drivers licence) must be presented upon your arrival at the station in order to verify your identity. You will not be allowed to proceed with the evaluation without suitable identification.

Clothing

Bring the following items of clothing with you: shorts, two T-shirts, running shoes, extra socks, and warm-up clothing. Your T-shirt will be wet from sweat after the treadmill task. You should change into a dry shirt and then put on your warm-up gear to keep warm during the 60-minute rest period.

Structural Firefighting Protective Ensemble

We will provide you with Structural Firefighting Protective Ensemble (SFPE) for the evaluation session, including boots. While we have a good selection of firefighting boots, getting an exact fit may not always be possible. In order to get the best fit, bring several pairs of socks (thin and thick sport socks). Candidates may bring their own SFPE as long as it meets NFPA 1971 and is current (less than 10 years old). 

Towel

You may use the shower facilities at the station to shower after your evaluation. You must provide your own towel.

Water and Snacks

You should bring a water bottle or sports drink (like Gatorade). Avoid energy drinks like Red Bull. 

 Stage 5: Second Round Interview

Date and Time: Interviews will take place from November 22 to 26, 2021. Candidates selected for interviews will be contacted to schedule their specific interview time.

Description: The interview will be conducted by a panel of interviewers that will not all be fire services related.

* Please note the dates for the interviews and physical testing are estimates and may change

Stage 6: Candidate Selection for Eligibility List

With the successful completion of Stage 5 and reference checks, you will become eligible for a position as a probationary firefighter, should a position become available. You will be notified if you have been selected as a successful candidate and the hiring timeframe will be discussed.

List of Qualified Candidates

Candidates who successfully pass all stages and reference checks will be on an eligibility list for 18 months. The City reserves the right to conduct an earlier recruitment drive, should its needs change. As Probationary Firefighter vacancies occur, candidates on the Eligibility List will be contacted. Applicants must inform The Corporation of any telephone or email changes as they occur.

Candidates from the Eligibility List that are contacted for potential employment may be recalled for another interview and must provide updated documentation and proof of successful completion at the time of offer of employment, for example D”Z” driver’s license, First Aid/CPR/AED certificates, Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector checks.  Candidates on the eligibility list will not be offered a position until such time as they complete the requirements as outlined in Stage 1.

Candidates that are offered employment shall have to pass the medical screening test outlined below. The medical evaluation of candidates shall include a medical history, examination and any laboratory tests required to detect physical or medical condition(s) that could adversely affect their ability to safely perform the essential job tasks.

Comprehensive Medical Test for Firefighter Recruit Candidates

Candidates that are offered employment shall have to pass medical screening that consists of the following tests:
  • Back Fitness
  • Strength Testing
  • Spirometry
  • ECG (resting)
  • Bloodwork
  • Urinalysis
  • Audiometry

Hearing tests for candidates will be conducted according to the NFPA standards. Medical conditions that can affect a candidate’s ability to safely perform essential job tasks are designated as either Category A or Category B. Candidates with Category A medical conditions will not be certified as meeting the medical requirements of the NFPA standard. Candidates with Category B conditions shall be certified as meeting the medical requirements of the NFPA standard only if they can perform the essential job tasks without posing a significant safety and health risk to themselves, members, or the public.

Category A medical conditions shall include the following:

  • Chronic vertigo or impaired balance as demonstrated by the inability to tandem gait walk.
  • On audiometric testing, average hearing loss in the unaided better ear greater than 40 decibels (dB) at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz when the audiometrec device is calibrated to ANSI Z24.5.
  • Any ear condition (or hearing impairment) that results in a person not being able to safely perform essential job tasks.

Category B medical conditions shall include the following:

  • Unequal hearing loss
  • Average uncorrected hearing deficit at the test frequencies 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz, and 3000 Hz greater than 40 dB in either ear
  • Atresia, stenosis, or tumor of the auditory canal
  • External otitis
  • Agenesis or traumatic deformity of the auricle
  • Mastoiditis or surgical deformity of the mastoid
  • Meniere’s syndrome, labyrinthitis, or tinnitus
  • Otitis media
  • Eyes and Vision

Vision tests for candidates will be conducted according to the NFPA  standards. Medical conditions that can affect a candidate’s ability to safely perform essential job tasks are designated as either Category A or Category B. Candidates with Category A medical conditions will not be certified as meeting the medical requirements of the NFPA standard. Candidates with Category B conditions shall be certified as meeting the medical requirements of the NFPA standard only if they can perform the essential job tasks without posing a significant safety and health risk to themselves, members, or the public.

Candidates wearing contact lenses must remove them prior to the visual examination. Please remember to bring your contact solution and case.

Category A medical conditions include the following:

  • Far visual acuity. Far visual acuity less than 20/40 binocular, corrected with contact lenses or spectacles. Far visual acuity less than 20/100 binocular for wearers of hard contact or spectacles, uncorrected.
  • Color perception. Monochromatic vision resulting in inability to use imaging devices.
  • Monocular vision.
  • Any eye condition that results in a person not being able to safely perform essential job tasks.

Category B medical conditions include the following:

  • Diseases of the eye such as retinal detachment, progressive retinopathy, or optic neuritis.
  • Ophthalmological procedures such as radial keratotomy, Lasik procedure, or repair of retinal detachment.
  • Peripheral vision in the horizontal meridian of less than 110 degrees in the better eye or any condition that significantly affects peripheral vision in both eyes.

Note: NFPA standard for eyes and vision include in their Category A medical conditions Colour Perception: “monochromatic vision resulting in inability to use imaging devices such as thermal imaging cameras”. Applicants are screened using colour plates on a Ishihara test for colour blindness. If the applicant fails this test the Farnsworth D-15 test is used. An applicant that fails the Ishihara can still pass the Farnsworth D-15 demonstrating they are not monochromatic thus demonstrating they can operate imaging devices. A severe failure of the D-15 would indicate monochromatic colour vision and a failure of the eye and vision section of the NFPA.

 

 

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