Sarnia Fire and Rescue Truck file photo.

City Hiring More Firefighters

After deciding in 2015 to cut four firefighting positions through attrition, the city of Sarnia plans to hire two new firefighters early in the new year.

Sarnia Fire Rescue Services is facing up to $900,000 in overtime costs by year’s end because of serious injuries. Four firefighters are now on long-term disability and new hires are needed to maintain the mandatory minimum of 23 on duty at any one time across the city.

However, the city will save money by partnering with Ontario Fire Administration Inc. (OFAI). which provides a three-stage, standardized testing to candidates.

Chief John Kingyens says it’s much more efficient.

“It saves human resource and administrative staff time,” Kingyens says. “Instead of weeks and weeks of interviews, and developing a long list, we will have a short list and go back to the OFAI for a list of current candidates. We won’t have a two or three-year list anymore.”

Candidates pay almost $700 for the testing but there is no charge to the city for the service.

Kingyens says if they pass, departments know candidates are qualified and have the basic skills for the job.

If you’re interested in becoming a city firefighter, you can check out OFAI’s website at

There are currently 112 on-duty firefighters in Sarnia.