The History of Firefighter Training

The History of Firefighter Training

Firefighters are known as everyday heroes who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. They bravely battle fires, rescue people from dangerous situations, and provide emergency medical assistance. But before they can become the brave and skilled firefighters we know today, they undergo rigorous training. The history of firefighter training is an interesting journey that has evolved over time to equip these brave individuals with the skills necessary to face the challenges of their profession, and Canadian Fire Rescue College (CFRC) is proud to continue the tradition of firefighter training at our firefighting academy in Alberta.

smiling firefighters

Early Firefighter Training

Early firefighter training dates back to ancient times when groups of citizens organized themselves to combat fires in their communities. These early "bucket brigades" relied on teamwork, cooperation, and basic firefighting techniques to control and extinguish fires. There were no formal firefighter training programs or standardized procedures during this time.

burning house

18th Century

In the 18th century, as cities grew and became more populated, it became apparent that a more organized and disciplined approach to firefighting was needed. The first fire departments were established, and along with them came the need for formal training. Basic firefighting skills such as ladder use, hose handling, and teamwork were taught.

fire hydrant

19th Century

The 19th century brought significant advancements in firefighting technology, including steam-powered fire engines and the invention of fire hydrants. These advancements also influenced firefighter training methods. Firefighting schools and academies were established to provide more comprehensive training to firefighters.


20th Century

The 20th century marked a turning point in firefighter training, thanks to advancements in science and technology. The introduction of motorized fire engines, breathing apparatus, and specialized tools required firefighters to undergo specialized training to operate this equipment safely and effectively


21st Century

The 21st century has revolutionized the way firefighter training is conducted compared to the past. Firefighters now have access to train in both online and practical scenarios that can help them to better navigate dangerous situations. In addition, they receive more comprehensive and in-depth training that covers a number of topics, such as how to perform search and rescue operations, hazardous material containment, and fire prevention. All of these advancements have made firefighter training more effective and have allowed firefighters to better protect and serve their communities.

Modern Firefighting

Today, firefighter training has evolved into a comprehensive and multifaceted program that encompasses both practical skills and theoretical knowledge. Firefighters at our firefighting academy in Alberta undergo extensive training in areas such as hazardous materials handling, water rescue, high-angle rescue, and incident command. If you're interested in becoming a firefighter, learn more about CFRC and check out our firefighting programs, including online firefighter training, today.

Canadian Fire Rescue College (CFRC)

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