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Expo offers tips and expertise to firefighter hopefuls


Feb. 26, 2013, Toronto – Firefighter hopefuls should arrive early for interviews, dress properly, and be confident, according to fire officers who spoke at the 2013 Career Expo in Toronto on Saturday.

Feb. 26, 2013, Toronto – Firefighter hopefuls should arrive early for interviews, dress properly, and be confident, according to fire officers who spoke at the 2013 Career Expo in Toronto on Saturday.

The expo, at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI), was hosted by firefighter and BecomingAFirefighter.com founder Kory Pearn and was the first of four expos scheduled for 2013. More than 60 participants, at various levels of the recruitment process, were encouraged by speakers to learn everything they can about the fire departments to which they want to apply, do practice interviews and be mentally and physically fit.

Pearn opened the sold-out event with an overview of the firefighter recruitment process, from the necessary qualifications to how to stand out from other candidates. Pearn tackled topics such as career changes – candidates with work experience often have a broader scope of useful skills – and whether or not age is a factor in the hiring process (it’s not, he said).

Chief Mike Figliola and Deputy Chief Dwayne MacIntosh of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority told participants that they look for future leaders when they interview firefighter candidates.

“There’s nothing better than finishing one interview early and opening the door and seeing that the next person is already there,” MacIntosh said. “Dress appropriately – no jeans. . . And be confident.”

“This is your opportunity,” Figliola added.

Jesse Cooke of Twist Sports Conditioning in Whitby, Ont., provided tips on passing the firefighter fitness test, and Jason Lloyd from FirefighterAcademy.com explained what students should look for when choosing a post-secondary firefighting school. Lloyd also talked about the pros and cons of distance learning.

The day wrapped up with a panel discussion that gave participants a chance to ask questions of Pearn, the chiefs, and firefighters.

Also during the day, participants were able to visit booths set up by fire-service vendors, and tour the FESTI building and grounds, including the burn tower the confined-space rescue area, the hazmat training site and the auto extrication area; FESTI is the training centre for the GTAA’s Toronto Pearson Fire Department.

For more information about BecomingAFirefighter.com firefighter career expos in Calgary, Edmonton and Wolfville, N.S., click here, and to view the photo gallery from the event, click here.


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