OFAI Candidate Mentoring Day

The Ontario Fire Administration Inc. (OFAI) is pleased to announce the return of the ever popular, Candidate Mentoring Day!

This coming December 2, 2022, from 8:30am to 4:00pm at Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI), located at 2025 Courtneypark Drive E in Mississauga, join OFAI partner departments and candidates as we walk through, explain, and assist those seeking fire service jobs, with those involved in the actual process.

The OFAI Candidate Mentoring Day provides opportunities for candidates to interact with fire service and human resource professionals who are directly responsible for hiring firefighters in their respective municipalities. The Candidate Mentoring Day offers you the chance to participate in four interactive, 80-minute sessions, to assist you as you work towards a career as a firefighter. Municipal partners of OFAI will share unique insights on how to achieve success when pursuing a career in the fire service.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is our first Candidate Mentoring Day since 2019. This event is always an exceptionally beneficial day for both candidates and our municipal fire service partners. We are delighted to inform you that fire service personnel and human resource professionals from Markham, Brampton, Central York, Cambridge, Midland, Guelph, East Gwillimbury, Ports Toronto and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) will be in attendance and ready to provide valuable advice and tips to candidates in all areas of municipal fire service recruitment.

Topics for our 2022 event include:

  • Resume and cover letter writing skills;
  • Application process;
  • Interviewing skills, including a mock interview panel; and,
  • Municipal roundtables – A networking session hosted by Markham, Brampton, Cambridge, and East Gwillimbury.

The mentoring day is offered FREE of charge to candidates who hold valid OFAI Candidate Testing certificates. Preference will be given to those who have completed all three stages. Candidates must register to attend.

If you are interested in participating in this extremely valuable and FREE event, please complete the online registration form. Registration is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Event Details:

December 2, 2022 from 8:30am to 4:00pm
Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute
2025 Courtneypark Dr E, Mississauga, ON L5T 1J3

Refreshments and lunch will be provided. For more information about this unique and informative event, click on the applicable links below:

Time Event
7:30am Registration Opens
8:30am General Session – Welcome
8:45am Session – Rotations
10:15am Session – Rotations
11:45am Lunch
12:35pm Session – Rotations
2:05pm Session – Rotations
3:35pm Wrap Up, Final Q&A

Session Topics and Facilitators

Resumes, Cover Letters, and the Application Process
Presented by: Kelly McDonald, Director, Human Resources, Ports Toronto; Jeremy Inglis, Deputy Chief, Central York; and Samantha Pearson, Firefighter, Billy Bishop Airport

Candidates learn how to craft a strong cover letter and resume when applying to become a firefighter. Our fire and HR professionals will discuss what to include and what to leave off your application. We will shed light on how to ensure the resume and cover letter speak volumes on the candidate’s behalf. Many job opportunities have been lost because of incomplete or incorrect application submission. This session will give candidates a detailed look at a typical application process, and offer tips on how to avoid application blunders. Candidates are invited to bring their resume to this session.

The Art of Interviewing
Presented by: Kelly Holden, Associate Director, Dean of Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI); and David Hollett, Deputy Fire Chief, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA)

Fire services receive hundreds of applications with every recruitment that they post. In this session, fire and HR professionals provide candidates with insight on how to put their best foot forward and come prepared when they are offered an interview. Topics discussed include: proper attire, appropriate behaviour, and the overall attitude candidates should exhibit when attending an interview in the fire service.

Candidates will also gain insight on how to make the most of the learning opportunities available to them so their application package stands out from the pile.

Mock Interview Panel
Claude Duval, Assistant Deputy Chief, Central York; Ritch Lowell, Deputy Fire Chief, Midland; Dave Elloway, Fire Chief, Guelph; Todd Aitken, Fire Chief, GTAA; Natasha Jacklyn, HR Advisor, Cambridge

A Mentoring Day favorite! Candidates will have the opportunity to participate in mock interview sessions with representatives from our municipal testing partners. Candidates learn about the styles of questions they will be asked, take their best shot at answering mock questions, and receive helpful feedback from fire service experts.

A maximum of six candidates will be selected/volunteer to answer questions from the panel. Each candidate will have two minutes in the ‘hot seat’ to answer the question. Our panel of fire and HR professionals will confer before providing feedback to the candidate in a group format. The feedback received will prove to be invaluable for your interviewing process.

Municipal Roundtables
Participating Municipalities: Markham Fire and Emergency Services, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, Cambridge Fire Department and East Gwillimbury Emergency Services

This session provides an opportunity for candidates to network with fire service and human resource professionals in an intimate, informal roundtable format.

During this session, small groups of candidates will rotate through each municipal table. There are no rules of engagement for this session. Candidates are encouraged to ask questions and learn more about the fire services of their potential future employers. Municipalities will provide outreach, and offer valuable feedback to candidates.