Hiring process

Employment

Aware of the value and importance of its human resources, the SOPFEU invests in employee development. As the only organization in Quebec with a fire prevention mission, the SOPFEU selects, trains, coaches, and develops its own resources.

The SOPFEU offers a number of jobs in a variety of stimulating postings. Positions are made available throughout the year, but needs are greater between January and April. See all currently available employment opportunities and the hiring criteria associated with each one.

Consult the list of positions offered

Forest firefighters

*Also consult the “Pompier forestier : Sors des sentiers battus” (Forest firefighter: get off the beaten path) brochure.

The SOPFEU recruits its resources by means of competitions. The hiring period for this position extends from January to April, and the position is posted as of mid-December.

To be eligible for the position of forest firefighter, you must:

  • Have a High School Diploma in all cases,
  • Have a Professional or Vocational School Diploma in forestry, fauna, or fire safety, or
  • Have a College or University Degree in forestry, fauna, or fire safety, or
  • Be an undergraduate at the college or university level in a related discipline, or
  • Have a High School Diploma with three years of forest-related work experience.

The workweek consists of at least 40 hours and varies according to needs (fires). Job start and finish dates are not the same for each fire centre (approximately at the beginning of May and end of September).

The staffing process for the position of forest firefighter includes an interview, a medical examination, and a physical test. As the work is physically demanding, forest firefighters must be in good physical condition. The physical test to which you will be subjected during the hiring process, called WFX-FIT, is in compliance with the standard established by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). WFX-FIT represents the physical demand required during the initial attack and the sustained attack stages. This test also enables firefighters to qualify to participate in missions in other Canadian provinces.

If you do not meet the requirements to be a SOPFEU forest firefighter, you can still submit your application as auxiliary labour by way of specialized forestry companies. In order to deal with overflow situations, the SOPFEU trains approximately 500 people province-wide before the beginning of the fire season. These qualified people work as firefighters on an ad hoc basis. When the risk of fire varies between low and moderate, auxiliary labour is rarely needed. However, during a busy season, these workers are in great demand. The SOPFEU does not hire auxiliary labour. If you wish to work in this position, you must contact specialized companies within a given region. The best time to apply is between mid-January and the beginning of April.

Description of the physical test
The test includes four steps which an applicant must carry out in 17 minutes and 15 seconds or less to be hired as a SOPFEU forest firefighter. During this four-step process, participants wear a nine-pound belt at the waist, simulating the firefighting equipment worn by firefighters while firefighting.

1. Participants must carry a mid-sized motor pump on their back over a distance of 160 m (524.9 ft) while crossing a 1.22-m (4 ft) ramp with a 35-degree slope every 20 m (65.6 ft).

2. Secondly, participants must carry a mid-sized pump in their hands over a distance of 80 m (262.4 ft) without crossing the ramp.

3. Thirdly, participants must pick up and carry a backpack (containing 4 hose lengths) on their back over a distance of 1 km (3,281 ft) while crossing a ramp every 20 m (65.6 ft).

4. Lastly, participants must pull a weighted sled over a distance of 80 m (262.4 in) to simulate moving a hose filled with water.

Participants are considered to have passed when they have successfully completed each component of the test individually and all steps are carried out in 17 minutes and 15 seconds or less.

If you wish to see examples of successfully completed WFX-FIT tests and training exercises, we invite you to click on these links:

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Participants’ blood pressure will be measured and must be below 160/90 mmHg before testing.
  • Each participant will have to sign a consent form.

Recommendations

  • Regarding clothing, wear sports shoes and clothes designed for physical exercise.
  • Avoid smoking, eating, or consuming alcoholic or caffeinated beverages within a two-hour period before the tests.
  • Avoid training intensively in the preceding 24-hour period.