Fire to police

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
Rob4613
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Fire to police

Postby Rob4613 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:51 pm

I might get some flack for this, but what are some peoples opinions in going from fire to policing?

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Slovak4188 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:56 am

Rob4613 wrote:I might get some flack for this, but what are some peoples opinions in going from fire to policing?


Well....rarely ever happens lol. It's usually the opposite. Policing as a career is FAR busier than fire, you will need to sacrifice a lot more of your personal time (includes family life as well) in policing, especially if you want that promotion one day or to get into a specialized unit. You are also under a lot more scrutiny and any small mistake can cost you your job, especially during the probationary period.
"Hard truths cut both ways"

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Re: Fire to police

Postby John014 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:40 am

Rob4613 wrote:I might get some flack for this, but what are some peoples opinions in going from fire to policing?


I think it all matters in what you want to do. If you want to become a cop, then by all means pursue it. If you want to be liked by all of the general public then stay in your current role.

We always need good applicants and I would hope as a firefighter you are probably better than some of the shit we have been pumping out recently.

Throw in an application and see where it goes.
If you choose Law Enforcement you LOSE the right to be unfit.

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Rob4613 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:40 pm

I have thought long and hard about this decision. I have been on fire for 5+ years now, and have always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. When I was considering careers, policing was always a consideration of mine, but fire just happened to work out first. I get to see things from fires perspective, and see how the public reacts with us, compared to policing, however I also never get to see the true fruits of my labour, as it were. Take medical calls for example... we always pass off to higher authority and we never get to see or hear about results, due to patient privacy. On a day to day basis, I feel as if in a policing role, I would be able to make more of an impact on a smaller scale, more frequently, even as a patrol officer, than as a firefighter. I do love the job, but I feel as if it's time to do something more. More meaningful and impactful on a day to day basis. With the number of fires severely dwindling, and firefighters trying to stretch their boundaries, and take on more medical roles (I don't agree with it, we need more medics/ambulances on the road, lives are fixed in hospitals), I want to be a part of a career that has their own duties and tasks, specialized to them. You won't ever see a firefighter going into a domestic, or trying to branch over into the law enforcement side of things, and I feel as if policing is a more "professional" job, if you understand what I'm getting at.

Sure, I love the job, and the shifts are great, the downtime is awesome and the money is good... but that isn't why I wanted to be a first responder. I want to be challenged daily, whether by a cognitive issue, or physical, and fire just doesn't have that nearly as often. I'm young enough that I don't have a family, or dependents as of yet, and I love learning, pushing myself and growing.

I know it sounds as though I've made up my mind, but I'd just love some serous insight from some PC's that love their job, and wouldn't consider switching to fire just because "we have it made"

Thanks :)

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Kermode » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:25 pm

Slovak4188 wrote:
Rob4613 wrote:I might get some flack for this, but what are some peoples opinions in going from fire to policing?


Well....rarely ever happens lol. It's usually the opposite. Policing as a career is FAR busier than fire, you will need to sacrifice a lot more of your personal time (includes family life as well) in policing, especially if you want that promotion one day or to get into a specialized unit. You are also under a lot more scrutiny and any small mistake can cost you your job, especially during the probationary period.

A small mistake can cost a new police officer their job? Aren't you expected to make mistakes?

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Slovak4188 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:38 pm

Kermode wrote:
Slovak4188 wrote:
Rob4613 wrote:I might get some flack for this, but what are some peoples opinions in going from fire to policing?


Well....rarely ever happens lol. It's usually the opposite. Policing as a career is FAR busier than fire, you will need to sacrifice a lot more of your personal time (includes family life as well) in policing, especially if you want that promotion one day or to get into a specialized unit. You are also under a lot more scrutiny and any small mistake can cost you your job, especially during the probationary period.

A small mistake can cost a new police officer their job? Aren't you expected to make mistakes?


Yes and no. During the probationary period anything can happen.
"Hard truths cut both ways"

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Re: Fire to police

Postby TacticalPotato » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:19 pm

dont give up your holy grail...gravy train...7 on 1 month off schedule. lol

trust me...
POLICE CONSTABLE
BCT-1719

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” —George Herbert

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Re: Fire to police

Postby devilwoman » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:15 am

Yes and no. During the probationary period anything can happen.


Honestly, you really, really, reaaaallllly have to f* up to get terminated during probation. Most services spend thousands of dollars on training a recruit and will make every effort to "counsel" the officer. Mistakes that can cost you your job are ones that involve deceit, gross misconduct, excessive force, etc.. basically being a complete idiot.

A good coach officer will keep a new officer out of shit and good team mates will help once they've cleared their coach.
"Don't let someone get comfortable disrespecting you."

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Slovak4188 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:31 am

devilwoman wrote:
Yes and no. During the probationary period anything can happen.


Honestly, you really, really, reaaaallllly have to f* up to get terminated during probation. Most services spend thousands of dollars on training a recruit and will make every effort to "counsel" the officer. Mistakes that can cost you your job are ones that involve deceit, gross misconduct, excessive force, etc.. basically being a complete idiot.

A good coach officer will keep a new officer out of shit and good team mates will help once they've cleared their coach.

Haha too true. I only mentioned it because it's happened in the short time I've been here. I've seen 2 people canned. Heard about a few more prior to my arrival. It's extremely unlikely, but it's a lesson that no one is invincible. A couple of people thought they were and they paid the price.
"Hard truths cut both ways"

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Re: Fire to police

Postby bunnel » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:54 pm

Rob4613 wrote:I have thought long and hard about this decision. I have been on fire for 5+ years now, and have always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. When I was considering careers, policing was always a consideration of mine, but fire just happened to work out first. I get to see things from fires perspective, and see how the public reacts with us, compared to policing, however I also never get to see the true fruits of my labour, as it were. Take medical calls for example... we always pass off to higher authority and we never get to see or hear about results, due to patient privacy. On a day to day basis, I feel as if in a policing role, I would be able to make more of an impact on a smaller scale, more frequently, even as a patrol officer, than as a firefighter. I do love the job, but I feel as if it's time to do something more. More meaningful and impactful on a day to day basis. With the number of fires severely dwindling, and firefighters trying to stretch their boundaries, and take on more medical roles (I don't agree with it, we need more medics/ambulances on the road, lives are fixed in hospitals), I want to be a part of a career that has their own duties and tasks, specialized to them. You won't ever see a firefighter going into a domestic, or trying to branch over into the law enforcement side of things, and I feel as if policing is a more "professional" job, if you understand what I'm getting at.

Sure, I love the job, and the shifts are great, the downtime is awesome and the money is good... but that isn't why I wanted to be a first responder. I want to be challenged daily, whether by a cognitive issue, or physical, and fire just doesn't have that nearly as often. I'm young enough that I don't have a family, or dependents as of yet, and I love learning, pushing myself and growing.

I know it sounds as though I've made up my mind, but I'd just love some serous insight from some PC's that love their job, and wouldn't consider switching to fire just because "we have it made"

Thanks :)


I've often wondered about the potential lack of job satisfaction with fire. Sure, when Police are running their butts off, while fire spends a third of their on duty time fast asleep (not to mention all the other "down time"!), we've all had moments when we thought that looked pretty nice. But where's the challenge? Where's the job satisfaction? The few calls they do go to are mostly false alarms or they are not needed. I've always found it odd that they get paid comparably to police officers. You are correct, policing is more of a profession, IMHO.
I spent much of my career as an NCO and always told my people "you can make a positive difference in someone's life during any shift you work". Can firemen say that?
As a police officer you will need to make life and death decisions routinely on your own...no captain standing there to tell you what to do. It can be lonely, but you have far more independence. Also, you will also have the opportunity to have many smaller "careers" within policing itself. Depending on the agency, you will have the chance to work general patrol, canine, tactical team, criminal investigation, undercover roles, surveillance team, school safety, traffic enforcement as well as various other secondary duties like public order unit, marine unit, drug recognition expert, etc. All of these assignments will require specialized training and courses at police colleges where you will collaborate with other Members from around the province and the country. Even in General Patrol you will constantly be updating in changing legislation, case law, procedure, etc. Personally I have been on multiple courses at OPC, CPC, as well as in Michigan and New Jersey. I was an Ontario municipal officer (now enjoying retirement) but my work took me all over Ontario as well as into Quebec and B.C during some of the assignments I got to work. Do you get those opportunities in fire? You will be part of a brotherhood/sisterhood like no other in the world. There are lots of opportunities for promotion if you like, however this is a very competitive process, not merely a matter of seniority. Yes, there are lots of downsides and frustrations. You will work hard and see a LOT of bad shit. You deal with negativity all the time. There are many oversight bodies waiting to second guess your work and lots of media and others waiting to "catch" you slipping up. Many officers become jaded and unhappy over the course of their career, but like so many things in life, it is what you make it. Truly, it is a front row seat for the greatest show on earth, and there is no feeling like catching the bad guy, finding that lost child, or comforting the victim of a serious crime.
As has been said, not many fire folks are interested in making the switch. I did meet a former firefighter on a management course I was on at OPC years ago. He had no regrets but surely it is a very individual decision. As another poster recommended, look in to a ride a long or maybe an auxiliary position with your local PS. Talk to Members and get their perspective.
All the best in whatever you decide. Let us know how it goes.

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Rob4613 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:56 pm

opp2 wrote:I would suggest seeing if you can get a ride along, and try to compare for yourself the differences. I'd be the first one to say policing sure has changed in recent years and we are targeted and berated often. Be sure it is the change you want to make. It is rewarding and tough... after 23 years I get tired... really tired of the bullshit... but every now and then i still get to make a difference...


I've done a couple ride alongs, and have done so much thinking about the potential switch, believe me. I do not make this decision lightly, I get that I have it really good, but I've always wanted that little bit more.

TacticalPotato wrote:dont give up your holy grail...gravy train...7 on 1 month off schedule. lol

trust me...


I get what you're saying, believe me, I know how great the schedule is... however I am willing to trade that, for a feeling of gratification from the work I do.

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Rob4613 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:01 pm

bunnel wrote:
Rob4613 wrote:I have thought long and hard about this decision. I have been on fire for 5+ years now, and have always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. When I was considering careers, policing was always a consideration of mine, but fire just happened to work out first. I get to see things from fires perspective, and see how the public reacts with us, compared to policing, however I also never get to see the true fruits of my labour, as it were. Take medical calls for example... we always pass off to higher authority and we never get to see or hear about results, due to patient privacy. On a day to day basis, I feel as if in a policing role, I would be able to make more of an impact on a smaller scale, more frequently, even as a patrol officer, than as a firefighter. I do love the job, but I feel as if it's time to do something more. More meaningful and impactful on a day to day basis. With the number of fires severely dwindling, and firefighters trying to stretch their boundaries, and take on more medical roles (I don't agree with it, we need more medics/ambulances on the road, lives are fixed in hospitals), I want to be a part of a career that has their own duties and tasks, specialized to them. You won't ever see a firefighter going into a domestic, or trying to branch over into the law enforcement side of things, and I feel as if policing is a more "professional" job, if you understand what I'm getting at.

Sure, I love the job, and the shifts are great, the downtime is awesome and the money is good... but that isn't why I wanted to be a first responder. I want to be challenged daily, whether by a cognitive issue, or physical, and fire just doesn't have that nearly as often. I'm young enough that I don't have a family, or dependents as of yet, and I love learning, pushing myself and growing.

I know it sounds as though I've made up my mind, but I'd just love some serous insight from some PC's that love their job, and wouldn't consider switching to fire just because "we have it made"

Thanks :)


I've often wondered about the potential lack of job satisfaction with fire. Sure, when Police are running their butts off, while fire spends a third of their on duty time fast asleep (not to mention all the other "down time"!), we've all had moments when we thought that looked pretty nice. But where's the challenge? Where's the job satisfaction? The few calls they do go to are mostly false alarms or they are not needed. I've always found it odd that they get paid comparably to police officers. You are correct, policing is more of a profession, IMHO.
I spent much of my career as an NCO and always told my people "you can make a positive difference in someone's life during any shift you work". Can firemen say that?
As a police officer you will need to make life and death decisions routinely on your own...no captain standing there to tell you what to do. It can be lonely, but you have far more independence. Also, you will also have the opportunity to have many smaller "careers" within policing itself. Depending on the agency, you will have the chance to work general patrol, canine, tactical team, criminal investigation, undercover roles, surveillance team, school safety, traffic enforcement as well as various other secondary duties like public order unit, marine unit, drug recognition expert, etc. All of these assignments will require specialized training and courses at police colleges where you will collaborate with other Members from around the province and the country. Even in General Patrol you will constantly be updating in changing legislation, case law, procedure, etc. Personally I have been on multiple courses at OPC, CPC, as well as in Michigan and New Jersey. I was an Ontario municipal officer (now enjoying retirement) but my work took me all over Ontario as well as into Quebec and B.C during some of the assignments I got to work. Do you get those opportunities in fire? You will be part of a brotherhood/sisterhood like no other in the world. There are lots of opportunities for promotion if you like, however this is a very competitive process, not merely a matter of seniority. Yes, there are lots of downsides and frustrations. You will work hard and see a LOT of bad shit. You deal with negativity all the time. There are many oversight bodies waiting to second guess your work and lots of media and others waiting to "catch" you slipping up. Many officers become jaded and unhappy over the course of their career, but like so many things in life, it is what you make it. Truly, it is a front row seat for the greatest show on earth, and there is no feeling like catching the bad guy, finding that lost child, or comforting the victim of a serious crime.
As has been said, not many fire folks are interested in making the switch. I did meet a former firefighter on a management course I was on at OPC years ago. He had no regrets but surely it is a very individual decision. As another poster recommended, look in to a ride a long or maybe an auxiliary position with your local PS. Talk to Members and get their perspective.
All the best in whatever you decide. Let us know how it goes.



What can I say, but you've hit the nail so hard right on the head with this post. Fire has no jobs within the career, either you're on the trucks, or you aren't. The vast majority of the calls we are running are false alarms, or medical calls, only to be taken over by EMS, for which we weren't required to begin with. I want so much to be able to join a specialized unit or division, I love having the ability to set goals inside a career and actively work towards them. With the fire service (One I am part of) there is no way to progress in ANY capacity, aside from seniority, which I believe is so wrong... why not reward the hard workers, and penalize the slugs? Why should someone who's been on 25 years, but automatically promoted, but the guy thats been on 20, but taken courses, actively worked at busy stations, and tried to better them selves, why should they have to just wait in line for another 5 years, just because?

I have applied to a service, and am currently being rushed through the process, with hopes of making the December class. I will keep all those who are interested, updated on how things go, and to see how my personal experience goes :P

I've always wanted to talk to an officer that was once a firefighter, to understand how they felt, however I have yet to find one personally

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Re: Fire to police

Postby Slovak4188 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:34 am

Rob4613 wrote:
bunnel wrote:
Rob4613 wrote:I have thought long and hard about this decision. I have been on fire for 5+ years now, and have always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. When I was considering careers, policing was always a consideration of mine, but fire just happened to work out first. I get to see things from fires perspective, and see how the public reacts with us, compared to policing, however I also never get to see the true fruits of my labour, as it were. Take medical calls for example... we always pass off to higher authority and we never get to see or hear about results, due to patient privacy. On a day to day basis, I feel as if in a policing role, I would be able to make more of an impact on a smaller scale, more frequently, even as a patrol officer, than as a firefighter. I do love the job, but I feel as if it's time to do something more. More meaningful and impactful on a day to day basis. With the number of fires severely dwindling, and firefighters trying to stretch their boundaries, and take on more medical roles (I don't agree with it, we need more medics/ambulances on the road, lives are fixed in hospitals), I want to be a part of a career that has their own duties and tasks, specialized to them. You won't ever see a firefighter going into a domestic, or trying to branch over into the law enforcement side of things, and I feel as if policing is a more "professional" job, if you understand what I'm getting at.

Sure, I love the job, and the shifts are great, the downtime is awesome and the money is good... but that isn't why I wanted to be a first responder. I want to be challenged daily, whether by a cognitive issue, or physical, and fire just doesn't have that nearly as often. I'm young enough that I don't have a family, or dependents as of yet, and I love learning, pushing myself and growing.

I know it sounds as though I've made up my mind, but I'd just love some serous insight from some PC's that love their job, and wouldn't consider switching to fire just because "we have it made"

Thanks :)


I've often wondered about the potential lack of job satisfaction with fire. Sure, when Police are running their butts off, while fire spends a third of their on duty time fast asleep (not to mention all the other "down time"!), we've all had moments when we thought that looked pretty nice. But where's the challenge? Where's the job satisfaction? The few calls they do go to are mostly false alarms or they are not needed. I've always found it odd that they get paid comparably to police officers. You are correct, policing is more of a profession, IMHO.
I spent much of my career as an NCO and always told my people "you can make a positive difference in someone's life during any shift you work". Can firemen say that?
As a police officer you will need to make life and death decisions routinely on your own...no captain standing there to tell you what to do. It can be lonely, but you have far more independence. Also, you will also have the opportunity to have many smaller "careers" within policing itself. Depending on the agency, you will have the chance to work general patrol, canine, tactical team, criminal investigation, undercover roles, surveillance team, school safety, traffic enforcement as well as various other secondary duties like public order unit, marine unit, drug recognition expert, etc. All of these assignments will require specialized training and courses at police colleges where you will collaborate with other Members from around the province and the country. Even in General Patrol you will constantly be updating in changing legislation, case law, procedure, etc. Personally I have been on multiple courses at OPC, CPC, as well as in Michigan and New Jersey. I was an Ontario municipal officer (now enjoying retirement) but my work took me all over Ontario as well as into Quebec and B.C during some of the assignments I got to work. Do you get those opportunities in fire? You will be part of a brotherhood/sisterhood like no other in the world. There are lots of opportunities for promotion if you like, however this is a very competitive process, not merely a matter of seniority. Yes, there are lots of downsides and frustrations. You will work hard and see a LOT of bad shit. You deal with negativity all the time. There are many oversight bodies waiting to second guess your work and lots of media and others waiting to "catch" you slipping up. Many officers become jaded and unhappy over the course of their career, but like so many things in life, it is what you make it. Truly, it is a front row seat for the greatest show on earth, and there is no feeling like catching the bad guy, finding that lost child, or comforting the victim of a serious crime.
As has been said, not many fire folks are interested in making the switch. I did meet a former firefighter on a management course I was on at OPC years ago. He had no regrets but surely it is a very individual decision. As another poster recommended, look in to a ride a long or maybe an auxiliary position with your local PS. Talk to Members and get their perspective.
All the best in whatever you decide. Let us know how it goes.



What can I say, but you've hit the nail so hard right on the head with this post. Fire has no jobs within the career, either you're on the trucks, or you aren't. The vast majority of the calls we are running are false alarms, or medical calls, only to be taken over by EMS, for which we weren't required to begin with. I want so much to be able to join a specialized unit or division, I love having the ability to set goals inside a career and actively work towards them. With the fire service (One I am part of) there is no way to progress in ANY capacity, aside from seniority, which I believe is so wrong... why not reward the hard workers, and penalize the slugs? Why should someone who's been on 25 years, but automatically promoted, but the guy thats been on 20, but taken courses, actively worked at busy stations, and tried to better them selves, why should they have to just wait in line for another 5 years, just because?

I have applied to a service, and am currently being rushed through the process, with hopes of making the December class. I will keep all those who are interested, updated on how things go, and to see how my personal experience goes :P

I've always wanted to talk to an officer that was once a firefighter, to understand how they felt, however I have yet to find one personally

I work with one. And he's headed back to fire soon lol.
"Hard truths cut both ways"


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