Frequently Asked Questions

What if I am not currently an instructor in my home department?

Selection of instructors for deployment is based more on the level of knowledge someone brings in a specific area. Being an instructor in a fire service discipline helps, but is not mandatory.

What if I don’t speak a foreign Language?

In countries where English is not the primary language, the host nation provides translators to work with instructors in the field. Oftentimes, instructors are paired up to make the delivery of information easier in these instances, and/or instructors are encouraged to focus efforts on practical skill training and to minimize classroom/lecture type delivery.

Will I have free time to explore the host country?

While the deployments are very busy and focused on training, Team leads and host country partners always work to ensure that some time is dedicated to exploring and learning about the country. We try and include time at the beginning or the end for some ‘team building’ where the host fire service can show us a bit of their country. Typically, there are no ‘down’ days within the deployment period where members can take off on their own, as the schedule is usually very full.

What expenses should I expect while in country?

The host country and FRITA work to ensure that in-country costs are kept to a minimum. Accommodation, ground transportation, and most meals during the training period are pre-arranged and costs should not be incurred by FRITA instructors. You would be responsible for any purchases or personal items required outside of that.

What if I have a food allergy or medical condition?

As FRITA tends to work in developing countries, those with food allergies and/or medical conditions should consult with their physician before considering a deployment. The deployments are typically ‘training ground’ in nature, and FRITA cannot take responsibility for any persons special dietary or medical needs while in-country.

How long is a typical day of instruction?

The majority of deployments run during weekdays, with a 0800 start and a 1700 finish. Occasionally, specific countries have requested an altered schedule to accommodate different shifts for personnel, but that is rare and would be worked out well in advance.

Do we get special deals on flights?

Deploying instructors are responsible for sourcing and purchasing their own flights.

Can my family members join me while on deployment?

Given the very full schedule for deployments and the very nature of the training ground, it is not conducive for family members to be in attendance. That said, we encourage instructors to bring family post-deployment, which many have. It is not uncommon for our instructors to schedule flights to stay in-country after the deployment ends, and have family join them then.

How safe are the deployments?

FRITA deploys to developing nations. Depending on the country, security varies. We take every effort along with our host fire service to ensure that where we conduct training, the accommodations, and any extra-curricular activities take place within areas deemed safe. That said, one should exercise caution and have heightened situational awareness anytime you are in an unfamiliar area, be it developing nation or urban area in North America.

What if I need to cancel my deployment I signed up for?

Life happens and we understand that at times instructors have to withdraw from the deployment due to unforeseen circumstances. We appreciate having as much notice as possible so as to adjust the instructional schedule and to select replacement instructors. Any costs incurred due to flight cancellations, etc. remain the responsibility of the individual.

What Standard does FRITA train to?

Where possible and practical, our instructional efforts seek to mirror the same standards as those in North America. Adhering to NFPA Standards in most of the developing nations we visit is not practical, nor realistic. That said, we follow the same approaches, use the same lesson plans, and teach to the same learning objectives as you would in your home fire service.

If I have a pardon can I still deploy?

FRITA does not ask instructors to undergo criminal records checks. We assume that given your acceptance into a fire service agency, either career, paid on call, or others; that you have demonstrated suitability.

Can we go on emergency calls of the host department?

In some instances, ride-alongs have taken place. As long as the activity is not disrupting the delivery of training, and the individual remains aware that travel insurance is not going to cover high risk activities such as fighting fires or conducting rescues, we have supported personnel going along as observers.

Can I deploy if I am a volunteer Fire Fighter?

We are open to anyone with fire service, emergency response, and/or emergency medical backgrounds. In selecting instructors, we look for skillsets and do not distinguish where an individual gained those skills.

What uniform do I wear while on deployment?

Typical attire is station wear boots, pants, and a FRITA t-shirt or FRITA golf shirt. Given the hands-on nature of most training being delivered, uniform that is worn in the fire station or the training centre of your home agency is appropriate. Oftentimes we request that instructors bring one (1) collared dress uniform shirt and tie for graduation/special occasions.

What if I don’t specialize in a particular topic?

We deliver training in a variety of topics, from basic firefighting to HazMat. If you have a passion for the fire service, keep your skills sharp, and are keen to assist fire fighters in developing nations to expand their knowledge and abilities, we welcome you to submit your resume.

What if I get injured while on deployment?

We ask all deploying members to complete our pre-deployment package which contains all the necessary and important contact information so we can support you should you be injured. It is the individuals’ responsibility to ensure they carry appropriate travel insurance while on deployment.

Where do we stay while in country?

Accommodation is pre-arranged by the host country/host fire service. This can range from mid-size to larger hotels, to in some instances being housed in army barracks. This is not a luxury trip, we are there to teach and engage. That said, we make every effort to ensure instructors have a place to go to at the end of the day where they can rest, relax, rehab, and prepare for the next day.

Can I stay in country before/after the deployment?

Instructors are encouraged to spend extra time in the host country and many stay after the deployment has ended for vacation and travel. Any costs or logistics associated with your non-deployment vacation is solely your responsibility and not that of FRITA or the host country.

What is expected of me while on deployment?

Instructors are expected to come to the deployment prepared. This includes having laid out lesson plans, being ready to instruct, to be flexible and adapt as necessary while the deployment unfolds. Dress and deportment consistent with being a representative of your home agency, of FRITA, and of Canada are expected. Working as a member of the team and supporting the FRITA Team Lead is also a key element for deployment success.

Will I need insurance?

As with any international travel, FRITA instructors are required to demonstrate they have valid travel insurance.

Should I see a travel doctor before deploying?

As with any international travel, individuals should take personal responsibility for their health and well-being. For you, this may mean visiting your family doctor or a travel clinic and advising them of your plans. They can then recommend any vaccinations or precautionary medications that should be taken.