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Cambridge – Kitchener – Waterloo

You may be an ideal candidate for a challenging career as a professional firefighter IF YOU…

  • Want to help others and serve your community
  • Enjoy working as a vital part of a team
  • Enjoy continuous learning in both a classroom setting and on the job


… is well trained

All probationary firefighters receive extensive training in the latest firefighting and rescue techniques. Training is provided in handling emergency and medical calls as well as hazardous material situations. Fire prevention legislation and arson investigation techniques are also taught. Firefighters may be involved in Fire Safety Programs such as home inspections, Learn Not To Burn and Children's Safety. In fact, a firefighter's education is never complete - firefighters are always learning and being kept up-to-date on the latest developments and techniques.

…is physically and mentally fit

Firefighters must be able to handle periods of intense and sustained physical, mental and emotional stress.

…is a vital member of a team

Firefighters must work together as members of a well-honed team. Extended periods of time are spent working together, whether in emergency situations or performing maintenance duties around the fire station.


Applicants must successfully complete the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) from a licensed testing facility.

Please note:

  • The applicant must personally make the test arrangement with the testing facility.
  • The CPAT certificate must have an issue date between March 2012 and March 2013.
  • All costs associated with the test are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
  • The Joint Recruit considers CPAT certificates valid for one year from date of issue.

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed to test firefighter candidates on their ability to perform simulated tasks consistent with the duties of a firefighter. The test is designed to ensure that candidates possess the physical ability to complete the critical and essential tasks of firefighting.

CPAT Event Sequence and Timing

The CPAT consists of eight (8) separate events performed in a continuous manner.

Sequence of Events

  • Event #1 - Stair Climb
  • Event #2 - Hose Drag
  • Event #3 - Equipment Carry
  • Event #4 - Ladder Raise and Extension
  • Event #5 - Forcible Entry
  • Event #6 - Search
  • Event #7 - Rescue
  • Event #8 - Ceiling Breach and Pull

The events of the CPAT are placed in a sequence that best simulates their use in a fire scene.  The test consists of a series of eight events separated by an 85 foot (25.91 m) walk between each event.  This walk allows you approximately 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.  To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent you from hitting exhaustion, no running is allowed between events.

To ensure scoring accuracy by eliminating timer failure, two stopwatches are used to time the CPAT. One stopwatch is designated as the official test time stopwatch; the second is the backup stopwatch. If mechanical failure occurs, the time on the backup stopwatch is used. The stopwatches are set to a pass/fail time and count down from 10 minutes and 20 seconds. If time elapses prior to the completion of the test, the test is concluded and you fail the test.

The CPAT test is a pass/fail event.

Preparing for the CPAT:

Please visit the following websites  http://uwfitness.uwaterloo.ca/firefighter or www.brockfirefighter.com or the website of another licensed CPAT facility for more information. If you will be taking the test at the University of Waterloo you will need to attend an orientation session prior to taking the test.

NOTE: Hearing and vision are not part of the CPAT testing. This testing will be coordinated through the fire departments as a condition of employment.

Orientation sessions information will be posted on the University of Waterloo website.

Please contact any of the licensed facilities to book your session.

UW Fitness
Lyle Hallman Institute for Health Promotion
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4567 Ext. 36841

Brock University
500 Glenridge Avenue
St. Catharines, ON
N2S 3A1
(905)688-5550 Ext. 5070

It is your responsibility to ask questions if you do not understand any part of the CPAT events or procedures.


Information will be available on-line through the following websites:

City of Cambridge
50 Dickson Street, 4th Floor
Cambridge, ON N1R 5W8

City of Kitchener
200 King Street W, 3rd Fl, Eby Wing
Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

City of Waterloo
100 Regina Street S, 1st Floor
Waterloo, ON N2J 4A8

Each stage in the process is very important. Failure to meet the requirements at any stage will disqualify the applicant from the process.


Applications will only be received electronically through WORKOPOLIS.

Your application will only be accepted if you:
a) Complete the Question and Answer portion of the application process AND
b) Meet the minimum requirements.


Candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be invited via email to write the CPS Aptitude Test via email by February 15, 2013. The CPS test will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2013.

Candidates writing the aptitude test must bring 1 piece of valid government issued photo ID for identification purposes along with a receipt of online payment.

NOTE: The payment options have changed. All payments must be made online prior to the CPS testing. Further details regarding payment options will be included in the email invitation.

No cash payments will be accepted on the test date.

  • No mechanical aids including computers, calculators, and/or dictionaries will be allowed in the examination room.
  • Test results will be posted 3-4 weeks after the test date (no phone calls please). Inquiries about test results must be made within 2 weeks of marks being posted.
  • All applicants scoring 70% or higher will automatically enter the applicant pool.

NOTE: Entry into the applicant pool does not guarantee an interview.


As probationary firefighter positions become available, the Selection Review Team will screen applications from the applicant pool for interviewing.

Once you are in the applicant pool, it is important to update your resume on-line with any changes to your skills and education. These updates can be made directly on the Workopolis site. The Workopolis help desk will be available to assist you if you encounter any difficulties when updating your resume information.


If you are selected there may be a series of interviews for any given position. Interviews may be scheduled over an extended period of time. The interview team will consist of at least one member from the Fire Department and at least one member from Human Resources.

At the time of interview each candidate will be required to provide their original documentation, and authorization to contact at least 3 work references.

Applicants who are unsuccessful at the interview stage will be returned to the applicant pool for future consideration.


For those candidates who receive an offer of employment, the following conditions may be outlined in the offer letter:

  • Successfully pass the Firefighter medical assessment (includes Vision and Hearing test).
  • Successfully complete the municipality specific “Recruit Training Program”
  • Satisfactory MTO Driver’s License Abstract and a successful Police Record Check (paid for by the candidate).

We want to acknowledge the time and effort spent by each applicant in pursuit of a career as a firefighter.

THANK YOU for considering our Fire Departments.

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