Firefighter Technical Skills Assessment

Stage Three, Part Two - Firefighter Technical Skills Assessment

The Firefighter Technical Skills Assessments are based on of Bona Fide Occupational Requirements.  Each candidate will be given specific instructions and MUST perform each evolution as per evaluator instructions and in the safest manner possible. Evaluator must ask if candidate would like to read instructions or have instructions read to them. Candidate has a maximum of 5 minutes to review instructions, then candidate must start­ the evolution. Candidate may request one re-read of the skill instructions during the evaluation. The time clock will not be stopped during the re-read.

If you choose a re-read during your evaluation, you can choose to read the skill yourself, or the evaluator can read it to you.  If you choose to have the evaluator read the skill to you, they are only permitted to read the skill in full.  At no time will they only read part of the skill.    It is also important to note that a re-read will not be taken into consideration in a grievance process (i.e., evaluator is not responsible for a failure based on a re-read).  The testing grounds can be noisy, making hearing difficult and candidate comprehension can be altered due to the time sensitive nature of the evaluation.

Each evolution has a time limit of 10 minutes. Candidates will move through each evolution in the same order.   You must pass each evolution skill to receive a final pass to obtain your OFAI certificate.   The Firefighter Technical Skills Assessment is valid for 12 months.  If you are not successful in this assessment, candidates must register to re-take this assessment as per the re-test policy.

Important to Note:  You will be asked before each evolution if you understand the directions and if you would like to voluntary withdraw.

Ontario Fire Administration Inc. reserves the right to change the order of the Firefighter Technical Skills Assessment due to weather, logistics etc.

All candidates will participate in the pre-appraisal screening before continuing with the Stage Three Assessments.  A series of questions will be asked by the medical officer.  In addition, the OFAI Medical Questionnaire, and if required, the OFAI Medical Clearance Form, must be completed to identify those candidates for whom certain physical activities might be inappropriate. Candidates are required to consult with their physician if they answer “Yes” to any questions on the Medical Questionnaire.  Candidates will be required to provide their physician with the Physician Information Booklet and have their physician complete the Medical Clearance Form  before they can continue with testing. Please Note:  Candidates who are pregnant should obtain medical clearance before registering and participating in Stage Three.  Please contact the OFAI office for more information.

Medical Questionnaire

Medical Clearance Form 

Physician Information Booklet 

Candidate’s heart rate and blood pressure are measured prior to proceeding.Candidates will not be permitted to participate in the Firefighter Technical Skills assessment if their resting heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute. The last component of the pre-appraisal screening involves measuring the candidates resting blood pressure. Resting blood pressure will be measured using a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope.Candidates will not be permitted to participate in the Firefighter Technical Skills assessment if their resting systolic blood pressure measurement is greater than 140 mm Hg and/or their resting diastolic blood pressure is greater than 90 mm Hg. 

Candidates are given up to six readings for blood pressure and resting heart rate.  If after the first reading, your pulse and/or blood pressure exceeds the required level you will be asked to rest in the cafeteria and come back at a specific time.  If your readings are still high after the third attempt, you will be required to sign your consent form before continuing with additional readings. If after six readings, your vitals are still outside of the expected range, you will not be able to continue with your assessment that day.  Please contact the OFAI Administration office to re-schedule your assessment at 905-426-9865.  If you do not pass your pre-appraisal screening, this is not considered a fail, it is just not safe to proceed with physical testing and alternative arrangements can be made. Please note: we do not accept doctor’s notes with respect to your blood pressure and/or heart rate. Your readings must be within the expected range during the pre-appraisal screening in order to proceed with the assessment. This is both for your personal safety and the safety of our Clinicians.

Once each component of the pre-appraisal screening is successfully completed, the candidate is cleared to participate in Stage Three assessments.

You must pass ALL 6 EVOLUTIONS to pass this assessment. If you fail an evolution, you are required to leave the fire grounds immediately.

Please Note:  In order for candidates to be successful in the Firefighter Technical Skills Assessment, some form of formal firefighter training should be completed prior to attempting the six evolutions. This includes, but is not limited to: pre-service, private institution training and volunteer firefighting experience. Firefighter Technical Skills Assessments are based on Bona Fide Occupational requirements, with many of the skills coming from NFPA 1001 Level I and Level II,  and material found in IFSTA's Essentials of Firefighting and Fire Department Operations (Version 6). Candidates are encouraged to review IFSTA and ensure they are familiar with the equipment required and instructions for each skill. 

Please Also Note:  Candidate will be required to perform the evolutions dressed properly in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Candidates may bring their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  If you do not have your own, we have many types and sizes available.  It will be up to each candidate to ensure they have PPE and that it is donned properly. You will receive one warning if PPE is incorrectly donned, second warning results in a failure.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to communicate with the evaluator regarding fit of all PPE. You must advise the evaluator of any concerns prior to the commencement of your assessment.

You are required to partake in evolutions using SCBA. SCBA will be provided on-site.  We do not test candidate knowledge on SCBA.  Candidates are encouraged to be clean shaven for this assessment. Facial hair can cause the SCBA mask to have an improper seal leading to air leakage and possible failure of this assessment. 

Questions can be forwarded to the OFAI Administration Office.

The six evolutions and descriptions are described below.  They are in the order in which you take the assessment:

Skill 1:  10 Metre Ladder Climb

Each candidate must be dressed properly in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for this skill test. Candidates will use the following equipment:

  • Bunker gear, helmet and gloves
  • 10m ladder tied off to balcony railing
  • Pick head axe
  • Ropes
  • Roof Ladder
  • Safety Harness

You will be required to wear a safety harness for this skill. Prepare the axe for lifting using the appropriate rope & clove hitch knot with two half hitches. You must then tie two additional knots. You must tie a bowline knot around the ladder prop as though you would be hoisting it, and then a Figure 8 on a bight knot on a separate rope. When you have completed your knots, you must ask the evaluator if you can proceed. If the evaluator says no, you must determine and fix your errors.

When advised to proceed by the evaluator, climb the 10m ladder until you encounter a rung with tape wrapped around it and apply a proper leg lock around the taped rung. Take both hands off the ladder, reach around and touch each of your toes. Climb to the 3rd floor balcony and step off the ladder and onto the balcony. Raise the axe up to balcony, and then lower back to the ground, using the hand-over-hand method. Climb back onto the ladder and descend.

Skill 2:  Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Proficiency Test

Each candidate must be dressed properly in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with a SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and a blacked out face mask for this skill test.  Test facility will ensure candidate has a full tank of air for this evolution. Candidates will use the following equipment:

  • Bunker gear, helmet and gloves, flash hood
  • SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus)
  • Blacked out face mask

Don SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and approach SCBA Proficiency structure on air. Enter the structure when indicated to do so by evaluator and perform a proper search technique through the entire maze, passing each obstacle as they are encountered.  You must exit at point of entry, once the proper search has been completed. Remain in a crawl position. Do not attempt to stand up, crawl outside or remove obstacles while inside maze. This will constitute a fail.

If at any point you feel uncomfortable inside the maze please inform your evaluator. The evolution will end, and this will constitute a fail.  The partial or full removal of the SCBA is also not permitted, and will result in a fail. For our purposes today the evaluator will accompany you to observe you while you are being tested.

Skill 3:  Roof Ventilation

Each candidate must be dressed properly in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) for this skill test. Test facility will ensure candidate has a tank of air that is at least ¾ full for this evolution. Candidates will use the following equipment:

  • Bunker gear, helmet and gloves
  • SCBA
  • Roof ladder
  • Pick head axe
  • Pike pole

You must choose the equipment needed to be taken up the roof ladder to ventilate the roof. You must correctly place the roof ladder and demonstrate actions required to determine the roof is safe to work on. Once positioned on the roof, cut a 22” x 22” (55cm x 55cm) vent hole using the appropriate tools in the location indicated by the evaluator. You will ask the evaluator to proceed when you have advised the evaluator that you have completed cutting your hole. The evaluator will use a template to measure the hole size. If the hole size is too large, you will automatically fail. If the hole size is too small, you will have the opportunity to correct the size.

If the evaluator advises the hole is the sufficient size, you will simulate opening the ceiling below the roof using the pike pole to make contact with the base of the structure three times. Once completed, you will proceed to climb down the ladder, return to the ground and place equipment on the ground at the base of the ladder. For our purposes today the evaluator will stay at the foot of the roof simulator and observe you. 

Skill 4:  7 Metre Ladder Roof Ladder Raise

Each candidate must be dressed properly in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) for this skill test.  Candidates will use the following equipment:

  • Bunker gear, helmet and gloves
  • SCBA (not on air)
  • One 7m ladder
  • One roof ladder

You must be dressed in full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and SCBA (not on air). Using proper lifting techniques, pick up the 7m ladder and perform a one firefighter raise. Inform the evaluator whether you will complete a beam or flat raise. These are the only acceptable raises. Once the 7m ladder is correctly in place, evaluator will inform you if it’s safe to proceed. If the evaluator says “NO” you must make the appropriate corrections to proceed. When advised it is safe to proceed, climb the 7m ladder and proceed to deploy the roof ladder correctly, and safely.  Once the evolution is complete, return the roof ladder to the ground.

For safety reasons, you must request the assistance of the evaluation staff to butt and steady the 7m ladder before raising fly and prior to climbing. Your time will start when the 7m ladder is picked up. Time will stop when you and the roof ladder return to the ground.

Skill 5:  Fine Motor Skills Hose Assembly

Each candidate must be dressed properly in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for this skill test.  Candidates will use the following equipment:

  • Bunker gear, helmet and gloves
  • SCBA (no mask)
  • Hydrant
  • Hydrant Wrench
  • Hose Wrenches
  • 65 mm hydrant gate valve
  • 2 lengths of 100mm hose
  • 2 lengths of 65mm hose
  • 1 length of 45mm hose
  • 2 gated wyes (100mm to two 65mm and 65mm to two 38mm)
  • 45mm combination nozzle
  • 65mm nozzle
  • Adapter from 65mm to 100mm

Make all connections with the appropriate hoses and appliances provided. You must assemble hoses and appliances safely and properly as you would on the fire ground. Establish a water supply from the hydrant with a 100mm hose to the pump panel. Establish a hose lay from the pump panel with a 100mm hose to two 65mm hoses. One 65mm hose will terminate with a 65mm nozzle.  The other 65 mm hose will terminate with a gated wye reduced to two 38mm discharges. One 45mm attack line must be attached to the 38mm gated wye and terminated with a combination nozzle on the end. Once these connections have been successfully established, the evaluator will advise you to proceed to the charged line and direct water through the hole on the target.

Skill 6:  Medical Skills

Candidate must be dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), gloves and eye protection, for this skill test.

In order to successfully complete this skills test, candidates must have advanced first aid training, CPR training and the competence and training required to insert a properly sized oropharyngeal airway, operate a bag valve mask, apply an adult non-re-breather mask and describe the oxygen flow rate or concentration required.

Patient Assessment/Management Skills Test

In this skill, you will perform your assessment and verbalize your treatment for all conditions and injuries discovered. You must conduct your assessment as you would in the field, including communicating with your simulated patient.

As you progress through this skills test, you must state everything you are assessing. Specific clinical information not obtainable by visual or physical inspection, for example respiration, signs and symptoms, will be provided to you by asking the evaluator after you demonstrate how you would normally obtain that information in the field.

You can assume you have at least one firefighter with you who is trained to your level of care. They will correctly perform the verbal treatments and direction that you provide as necessary.

You must demonstrate all skills prior to delegating.

The evaluator will acknowledge your treatments and may ask for additional information if clarification is needed. 

Cost:  $250.00 plus HST

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