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Fire Services

Timmins Firehall

An Exceptional Opportunity for Fire Service Professionals to earn a Level 1 Certificate and a Level 2 Certificate in Public Administration and Governance, both of which are part of the B.A. (honours) in Public Administration and Governance.

Ryerson's Department of Politics and Public Administration offers the only part-time degree program in public administration in Ontario. Designed for working, adult learners, the program provides several features that assist part-time students attain their career and educational goals.  

The traditional curriculum and program requirements have been modified slightly for fire service professionals to acquire related knowledge and management skills. For the curriculum of the fire services partnership, please see “Program Details” (link below) and, for further information about the Public Administration and Governance program (including the fire services stream), please consult the Student Handbook (see link below).

The Fire Services curriculum is designed for fire services personnel working in the public and para-public sectors. It is structured so that fire service professionals can work towards earning a Level 1 Certificate, opens in new window and a Level 2 Certificate, opens in new window in Public Administration and Governance. The Level 1 Certificate is also the first level -- and the Level 2 Certificate the second -- of the BA (honours) program in Public Administration and Governance, opens in new window.  The attainment of a baccalaureate degree is recognised as increasingly necessary for career advancement within the Fire Service and within municipal government more generally.

Through a partnership with the Office of the (Ontario) Fire Marshal (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), Ryerson’s Department of Politics and Public Administration delivered, from 2000 to 2014, accredited program courses in intensive-mode, week-long format at the Ontario Fire College (OFC) in Gravenhurst. The partnership was formalised in November 2006 with the PDF filesigning of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), opens in new window that, among other things, provided recognition -- in the form of a reduced number of Professionally-Related course requirements -- of the Company Officer, Training Officer, and Prevention Officer Diplomas conferred by the Ontario Fire College (OFC).  Students with such qualification receive, from Ryerson, a course credit for OFC-999 which provides credit for six (6) Professionally-Related courses in the PAG program.

When Ontario adopted the accreditation model of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), external link, opens in new window, NFPA Level Two was deemed equivalent to the former OFC Diplomas, with "NFPA-1021: Fire Officer" replacing the former "Company Officer" diploma; "NFPA-1031: Fire Inspector" replacing the former "Prevention Officer" diploma; and "NFPA-1041: Fire Service Instructor" replacing the former "Training Officer" diploma. This will continue to be recognised by Ryerson upon presentation of the appropriate Letter of Compliance from Fire Chief or designate. Such Letters of Compliance will be based on post 31 Dec 2015 written and practical skill testing or, for those whose NFPA credentials were issued before 31 December 2015, the Letter of Compliance must show clearly that the credential is based on knowledge, usually the former OFC Diplomas.

Although the Memorandum of Understanding was terminated by the OFM and the OAFC in Fall 2014, the Department is committed to deliver, in alternative format, all of the courses necessary for fire personnel to complete their program(s) of study. All of the courses necessary to complete the Level 1 Certificate are available completely online.  It is now also possible to complete the Level 2 Certificate with courses offered either online or in hybrid format [approx. 16 hours of intensive-mode class (usually two Saturdays), with the balance completed online]. 

The Department also continues to develop Level 3 courses in hybrid format. When that process is complete, it will be possible to complete the degree entirely with online and hybrid courses.

The Public Administration Program has assisted in advancing my career, allows for flexible learning and faculty strive to meet the needs of the students as adult learners.

Tim Beckett, BA (2009); Fire Chief (Ret.), City of Mississauga